A murder mystery
Actors Guild of Schuylkill County presents original play by local writers
The Actors Guild of Schuylkill County is hosting a party this weekend, but not everyone is leaving alive.
“It was the Butler in the Library with the Candlesticks” will be held at 7 p. m. today and Saturday and 2 p. m. Sunday at the Theatre at Simon Kramer, 15 Alliance St., New Philadelphia. Tickets are $ 15 and available through www.agosc.org, by calling 570- 617- 2720 or at the door, cash only.
“It was the Butler in the Library with the Candlesticks” is an original mystery/ comedy written by Anthony Kurdilla and Loretta A. Murphy. The story takes place in 1924 at a birthday celebration for elderly matriarch Lady Balfour at her home of Highcliff Manor in Cornwall. The night takes a dark turn when she is killed. As theweekend continues, more of the guests are murdered. Enter a young barrister, his witty columnist wife and a buffoonish Scotland Yard inspector to solve the case.
Kurdilla, 22, of Frackville, said he is excited to see his work come to life on stage.
“To see how far we have come and to see howit is brought to life is really exhilarating,” Kurdilla said.
Kurdilla originally wrote it as a 30- page screenplay. It was suggested to him by guild member Amy Mills to develop the work into a full play. Hewent to Murphy for help and eventually tabbed her as co- writer.
“She has been as much a part of this as I have,” Kurdilla said.
He said he drew inspiration from Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and the Old Dark House films such as “The Cat and the Canary.”
Kurdilla will also help bring his vision to life by serving as director, his first time in this role. Being an actor for seven years, he knew many of the people in the production. There are 17 people in the cast, including Tonia Vinansky as Lady Violet Balfour, Zane Bechert as Inspector Clayton, Paul Noon as Colonel Humphrey, Mark Bennyhoff as Backwood and Barbara Fuedale as Mrs. Drake.
He also gained a newfound respect for the production team.
“One thing I really learned as director is the backstage players are very important,” Kurdilla said, adding they are the ones who give the play its look.
Going forward, Kurdilla said hewould like to see the play be picked up by other groups. However, his focus is on thisweekend and presenting his and Murphy’s work.
“Iwould like to see other theater groups tackle it. I’m very content with what Loretta and I have accomplished,” he said.
For more information, visit the guild’s website or Facebook page.
Samantha Simatos, left, portrays Betty Hall, and Nate Heater, portrays Harry Hall, in the Actors Guild of Schuylkill County’s production of “It Was the Butler in the Library with the Candlesticks.” The show will be presented at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Theatre at Simon Kramer Institute, New Philadelphia.
Sharon Angelo will take on the role of Miss Vivian Weston in the play.