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ICCT presents murder mystery

BY ALYSSA MARIE HARN | FEBRUARY 10, 2011 7:10 AM

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The feeling of being on stage and the camaraderie among cast members is hard to let go of and easy to miss, even after 36 years of being involved in theater.

An attachment to the art is something 70-year-old actor Gerry Roe has yet to break, proven by his failed attempts at retiring from theater for the past decade.

“I always think when I finish a role that I’m retiring, but then something comes along, and I’m not,” said the member of the Iowa City Community Theatre.

He will star as Judge Wargrave in the upcoming play And Then There Were None despite his previous vow to never play a lead role in a show again.

The play version of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery And Then There Were None will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St. Admission is $10 for children (12 and under), $15 for seniors and students, and $18 for the general public.

The show focuses on 10 strangers who, for no known reason, are invited to stay on a private island off the coast of England. Each of them is accused of murder when they arrive, and one by one, the characters die until the true murderer remains. Roe said that though the play is a mystery, a comedic side of the show is also apparent in Christie’s writing.

“There is quite a bit of humor in [the play], which doesn’t seem to make sense because people are getting killed right and left,” he said.

Laughter is also present during rehearsals, he said.

“Everyone likes and trusts each other — it really is a company feeling,” Roe said. “If I make a mistake, I can laugh at myself along with everyone else, and that only happens when you are working with people you are comfortable with.”

Many of the cast members have worked together in previous community-theater productions. The cast members’ ages range from 19 to 80, each with a variety of experience in the theater.

Cast member and University of Iowa alum Matthew Falduto said he enjoys working with experienced and talented actors such as Roe, as well as Iowa City theater newcomers, such as Tracy Schoenle and Josh Meggitt.

“It’s nice to have someone new to take [the theater] by storm,” Falduto said.

And Then There Were None is Falduto’s first foray into acting on stage in nine years, a time he spent raising his three daughters and working behind the scenes for many shows as one of the founders of Dreamwell Theatre.

“It’s hard to stop acting,” Falduto said. “People exercise their bodies and their minds, but our emotions need exercise as well, and that’s what going to the theater or, even better, being in a show is all about.”


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