Theatre Club presents a Mystery/Thriller called “And Then There Were None”


Theatre club actors and actresses pose in full costume for the play "And Then There Were None." (Courtesy of Skyline Theatre Club)

“Drink orange juice, get sleep, and don’t get sick!” shouted Assistant Director/Production Manager Emma Fuchs to some actors leaving the set at the end of rehearsal. After the long hours and all the “blood, sweat, and tears” that went into production, less than a week before opening would be an inconvenient time to catch the flu.  

Especially inconvenient since this is the first theater production in 20 years, including the first production to make use of the new state-of-the-art lighting equipment and a pulled up apron. The apron, the part of the stage that covers the orchestra pit, was brought up over the summer and gives the actors on stage five feet of more room, which also brought them closer to the audience.  

The technical equipment that was installed in 1969 was finally replaced with industry standard equipment thanks to a half million dollar contribution from SMCCD’s Facilities Department. The tech crew was thankful, including Andrew Lidwell, who wants to go into theater as a career. Technical Director Anna Vargas was also pleased.

“You can learn all the theory you need on those boards [from the 1960s], but you won’t learn anything useful for you [to use] in the industry,” said Vargas.  

It’s Friday night after 9 p.m. and while other students are out to a party or watching a movie in the city, Skyline students in the theatre club are still at school, diligently rehearsing their first ‘serious’ production, set to open next week.  

“And Then There Were None,” a murder mystery/thriller based off an Agatha Christie novel, will be performed for one week only. The theatre club call this their ‘serious’ venture in that previous shows, including the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” did not count because there was lip syncing while acting in front of a movie screen.  

The play is a classic. It has been a target for parodies like the Family Guy episode “And Then There Were Fewer.” Also the movie “Clue” (based off the board game of the same name), was based off the popular ‘whodunnit’ mystery novels in the 1920s such as Agatha Christie’s.  

“I like that it’s a murder mystery, it’s like: ‘Who’s the killer? Nobody knows!'” said Diana Kozolva, who plays the female lead of Vera Claythorne.

The play is compromised of self-taught Skyline students in the theatre club. While there are currently no acting classes at Skyline (theatre club advisor, Alan Ceccarelli, teaches only the technical/building aspect of a production), theatre club students have had to rely on their previous experience and teach each other.   

As far as Fuchs is concerned, theatre club members not only helped each other act, but also help with other aspects of production–from helping build and paint sets to paying out of pocket for props.

“Every actor has worn multiple hats,” Fuchs said.

Student Director Sarah Boone was also conscious of the crew’s efforts saying that, “This show will hopefully open the door for Skyline to have a theater program for the first time in 20 years. Everyone in this show has stuck through so much to get this show going and it’s so important to all of us.

“We should be able to get a program here and we should be funded [as much] as the other schools because there is a want for it here. We want it, and we want it to happen now,”  Boone said.

Ceccerilli acknowledges that it is a slow process to reinstate a drama department since it was consolidated with Cañada College’s own department in the late 1980s. But the rebuilding has begun. Skyline will have a drama department next semester with one class focusing on technical aspects of production called Drama 608.    

While there are no acting classes yet, the theatre club will continue to do performances with the hope of one or two a semester. The theatre club encourages students interested in drama to join the club at anytime, noting that no prior acting experience or knowledge is required.  

“I like seeing kids get involved and fall in love with the process, without having to worry about all the other stuff,” said Ceccerilli, referring to the ease of working in an educational setting compared to a union.  

Additional Information

Tickets are on sale at door for $7 or you contact Alan Ciccerlli at (650) 738-4154.

Shows: Nov. 11-13 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. at the Skyline theater in building one.

Theater club meets in the Skyline theater every Friday at 2 p.m.