City Circle Acting Company presents Deathtrap

BY JOSIE JONES | MARCH 04, 2010 7:30 AM

Charlie Anderson/The Daily Iowan
Carole Martin and Scot Hughes rehearse a scene as Myra and Sydney in Deathtrap at the Iowa Children’s Museum on Tuesday.
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Tucked away in the back corner of an interactive children’s museum, after walking past a grocery store and tables that stand a foot high, Scot Hughes is sitting center stage as the character Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap, punching away on a broken typewriter.

This isn’t the first time Hughes has participated in the longest running non-musical on Broadway. He also played the role as a freshman at Central College.

“I’ve been waiting for the chance to do it again for 27 years,” she said. “It’s a fantastic play.”

Deathtrap will open at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Iowa Children’s Museum in Coral Ridge Mall. The play will run through March 14, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. Admission is $17 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.

The story follows playwright Bruhl on his desperate attempt to create a successful play. With many plot twists and turns along the way, the thriller was designed to keep the audience wanting more.

“The first time I read through it, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is going on?’ ” director Alex Iben said. “Of course, I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

Although the production is centered on trickery and suspense highlighted with dramatic and humorous moments, actor Brad Quinn feels the play has a deeper meaning.

“It’s about making bad assumptions,” he said. “And the consequences when making those assumptions.”

With a five character cast, Iben, a 21-year-old UI theater and film major, feels the most beneficial aspect of directing is the ability to collaborate with different actors. She said she enjoys being exposed to the brilliant ideas that the cast and designers contribute to the production.

Despite directing many middle-school and university-level plays, Deathtrap is Iben’s début at directing community theater. However, being a college senior hasn’t affected her capability.

“I don’t think her age has been a real issue,” Hughes said. “She’s been really great to work with. She has a good understanding of what she wants with the show — and for a director, that’s great.”

Iben has a similar opinion about the cast, and she said she is lucky because the actors accepted her youth.

“I’m assuming it was a leap of faith,” she said. “And it’s nice that they took it with me.”

Iben isn’t the only one new to community theater. Kaitlyn Busbee, 20, is participating in her first theater production since eighth grade. She plays a 40-year-old psychic from Holland in Deathtrap, a role she said she’s excited about.

“I’ve done a lot of serious and dramatic roles lately,” she said. “I haven’t had the chance to take a stab at a comedic one in a while.”

The two-hour play is aimed at a more mature crowd, Iben said, and the type of audience that really wants to be captivated.

Quinn agreed.

“If you haven’t been to a live show before, this would be a good way to start,” he said. “It’s got humor, suspense, fighting. It’s got everything you could want.”

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