The winter play is on “track” for success

Cast of Murder on the Orient Express prepares for opening night


Ethan Kniznik and Dylan Tehrani (12) practice character choices a few weeks prior to the opening night of the play.

Since the inaugural 2001 rendition of The Diary of Anne Frank, VHHS has put on student acted plays during the winter season. Murder on the Orient Express is a comedy, murder mystery and suspenseful story that Backlight Theater Company has been working on since November and the show was performed on February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Ethan Knizhnik (12), who plays the role of Hercule Poirot, along with many others in the cast, has had to exchange his midwest accents for a new one.

“I had to practice the [Belgium-French] accent for a while, and it has improved,” he said.

Tyler Singer (11), who plays the role of Hector McQueen, expressed the sense of professionalism and responsibility they feel.

“I feel like being in this play, I have to take more responsibility for my character and also just [take] ownership of the role I’m given because I don’t want to disappoint the people,” said Singer.

Aside from perfecting his own character, Knizhnik mentioned the props are a key part of the storyline.

“There’s so many props in this show, like the murder weapon. [There are] a ton of clues in the room that he’s murdered in, so trying to keep track of all of the props definitely takes a lot of work,” said Knizhnik.

Stage manager, Lucas Jocson (10), has participated in the creation of the props Knizhnik mentioned.

“Making the props has been one of the best parts because it allows me to be creative with my job,” said Jocson.

Jocson was also involved in the making of the set.

“The set is really interesting. It’s all on wheels, so we’re able to spin it around to change scenes,” said Jocson.

Line memorization is one of the most important things about preparing for an acting role. Anaya Bindal (10), who plays Mary Debenham, has had a lot of experience with this.

“[I find myself] just running lines with my parents, my siblings, my friends, to memorize [the script]” said Bindal.

Jocson mentioned the community formed within Backlight Theater Company.

“We’re just a really big, happy family. Theater has been so amazing, and the cast and crew have been so amazing,” said Jocson.

Backlights’ next production is the Freshman and Sophomore play titled The Treasure Island being performed on February 17th and 18th.