Audience does more than sit back and relax at “Murder’s in the Heir” (30 photos, video)

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Audience does more than sit back and relax at “Murder’s in the Heir” (30 photos, video)

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Katie Sones

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Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in “Murder’s in the Heir.” Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

On the opening night of the Foothill Drama Department’s first production of the year, “Murder’s in the Heir,” the cast didn’t even know how the play would end. 

“Murder’s in the Heir” is a murder mystery and comedy about billionaire Simon Starkweather played by junior Jason Borrajo, whose family isn’t thrilled about the new will he has written up. The real action doesn’t start until Starkweather dies at the end of the first act, because during the intermission it is the audience’s job to choose the killer. In the playbooks, there were paper ballots for the audience.

One of the main characters was Jean Culpepper. She was the director of “Murder’s in the Heir” and she was played by freshman Mary Mendoza. She would pop out at random times and interrupt the actors throughout the play. She has to explain things to the audience, or tell the actors what they are doing wrong. This made for a lot of laughter throughout the play, because the actors would have to lose their places, or respond to the audience’s choices.

“I thought it was really funny and clever. It had me laughing and I was on my toes a little bit, but overall they’re really good actors, and they all were very invested in it,” senior Paris Trollope said.

The actors did a great job of loosening up the audience. The cast got the crowd laughing on the edges of their seats. The audience constantly wondered “who did it.”

This was the first play of the year for Foothill’s Drama Department, but it won’t be the last.

“We’re talking about a skit night, like a “Carol Burnette” [sic]. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Carol Burnette, but short skits done with the drama class,” said Mrs. Rodrigues, adviser of the Drama Department.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119136394″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

All of the hardworking cast and crew were student volunteers from Foothill, who practiced and prepared outside of class. “We’ve been rehearsing for approximately two months, Tuesday through Friday, for approximately two to four hours” said senior Hailey Tallman.

The drama department is now one year old, and when asked if she thought there had been improvements since their first play, “Night of the Teenage Zombies, ” Rodriguez said, “I do. I think that everybody has learned and grown, there are a few who stand out, but I think everybody has definitely had improvement, even since the beginning of this production.” 

Credit: Johnathan Carriger & Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

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Credit: Bridget Parrino & Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

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