We schedule frequent play readings to help the play selection committee hear a script come to life, but even more importantly, to allow people who may not have the time or the courage to take on a role in our staged productions to have a chance to exercise their voice as an actor. Reading the script in this informal supportive setting provides “safe” opportunities for actors to practice “cold” readings of unfamiliar material. At the end of the reading, we solicit opinions from both readers and listeners about the suitability of the show for the M&M stage.
Next scheduled play reading:
When: Sat 12/7/19 at 2 pm
Where: Community Room, Fire Station # 51 at 8935 SW Burnham St. Tigard, 97223
What: "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie
Seven guests are invited by Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen, most indirectly, to their estate, the only thing located on remote English coastal Indian Island, to which there is only boat access twice a week. The only other people on the island and estate are the two married domestics, who are already there, and Mrs. Owen's new secretary, who accompanies the other seven on the boat. In addition to the name of the island, there are references to the nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians throughout the estate, including a collection of ten Indian statues on the dining room table. All ten people at the estate will quickly learn three things: that neither Mr. or Mrs. Owen are yet there, they being delayed in London; that none of them have ever met either of the Owens, even the three employees, or know each other beyond the married couple knowing each other; and that Owen accuses all ten of being responsible for the death of an innocent person, and thus must pay for their crime. The accusations are on the surface surprising as the guests include highly respected people, such as a judge, a doctor and a former general. The ten are stuck on the island for at least three days until the next boat arrives as there is no means of communication otherwise on or off the island. As per the nursery rhyme, the guests, one by one, are found dead, each time with one of the ten Indian statues on the dining room table missing. Initially, those still alive believe U.N. Owen, which they realize is a play on the word "unknown", is hiding somewhere on the island, committing the murders himself. But what may be more frightening for them is the possibility that Owen may be one of the ten of them, and thus has a front row seat to their every move...
Judge Lawrence Wargrave - A recently retired judge. Wargrave is a highly intelligent old man with a commanding personality. As the characters begin to realize that a murderer is hunting them, Wargrave’s experience and air of authority make him a natural leader for the group. He lays out evidence, organizes searches, and ensures that weapons are locked away safely. Wargrave’s guilt is revealed at the end of the novel in a confession that illuminates the characteristics that drive him to commit the series of murders: a strong sense of justice combined with a sadistic delight in murdering.
Vera Claythorne - A former governess who comes to Indian Island purportedly to serve as a secretary to Mrs. Owen. Vera wants to escape a past in which she killed a small boy in her care, Cyril Hamilton, so that the man she loved would inherit Cyril’s estate. Although the coroner cleared her of blame, Vera’s lover abandoned her. Vera is one of the most intelligent and capable characters in the novel, but she also suffers from attacks of hysteria, feels guilty about her crime, and reacts nervously to the uncanny events on the island. The “Ten Little Indians” poem has a powerful effect on her.
Philip Lombard - A mysterious, confident, and resourceful man who seems to have been a mercenary soldier in Africa. Lombard is far bolder and more cunning than most of the other characters, traits that allow him to survive almost until the end of the novel. His weakness is his chivalrous attitude toward women, particularly Vera, with whom he has a number of private conversations. He cannot think of her as a potential killer, and he underestimates her resourcefulness, which proves a fatal mistake.
Dr. Edward George Armstrong - A gullible, slightly timid doctor. Armstrong often draws the suspicion of the other guests because of his medical knowledge. He is a recovering alcoholic who once accidentally killed a patient by operating on her while drunk. Armstrong, while professionally successful, has a weak personality, making him the perfect tool for the murderer. He has spent his whole life pursuing respectability and public success, and is unable to see beneath people’s exteriors.
William Henry Blore - A former police inspector. Blore is a well-built man whose experience often inspires others to look to him for advice. As a policeman, he was corrupt and framed a man named Landor at the behest of a criminal gang. On the island, he acts boldly and frequently takes initiative, but he also makes frequent blunders. He constantly suspects the wrong person, and his boldness often verges on foolhardiness.
Emily Brent - An old, ruthlessly religious woman who reads her Bible every day. The recording accuses Emily Brent of killing Beatrice Taylor, a servant whom she fired upon learning that Beatrice was pregnant out of wedlock. Beatrice subsequently killed herself. Unlike the other characters, Emily Brent feels convinced of her own righteousness and does not express the slightest remorse for her actions.
Thomas Rogers - The dignified butler. Rogers continues to be a proper servant even after his wife is found dead and the bodies begin piling up. The recording accuses Rogers and his wife of letting their former employer die because they stood to inherit money from her.
General John Gordon Macarthur - The oldest guest. Macarthur is accused of sending a lieutenant, Arthur Richmond, to his death during World War I because Richmond was his wife’s lover. Once the first murders take place, Macarthur, already guilt-ridden about his crime, becomes resigned to his death and sits by the sea waiting for it to come to him.
Ethel Rogers - Rogers’s wife. Ethel is a frail woman, and the death of Tony Marston makes her faint. Wargrave believes her husband dominates her and that he masterminded their crime.
Anthony Marston - A rich, athletic, handsome youth. Tony Marston likes to drive recklessly and seems to lack a conscience. He killed two small children in a car accident caused by his speeding, but shows no remorse.
Isaac Morris - A shady, criminal character hired by the murderer to make the arrangements for the island. Morris allegedly peddled drugs to a young woman and drove her to suicide.
Contact Kathleen Silloway using the address below to register your interest in reading one of the roles. Assigning roles in advance saves us precious time at the reading. If you would like to read a role or have questions, please email us at email@example.com or call 503.524.2058.
If you do not wish to read, we still need you. You are welcome to watch and listen and take part in a short discussion after the reading.