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“The Unexpected Guest” prepares for opening night

MUNCIE, Ind.--- Starting Feb. 9, the Ball State Department of Theater and Dance is about to perform the play “The Unexpected Guest” at the University Theater on campus.

“The Unexpected Guest” was written by famous British playwright Agatha Christie. The plot involves a stranger who crashes their car and must seek refuge inside a strange house, but what they find is the scene of a murder. The play originates from Christie’s home country of England and involves many references to 1950’s English culture.

Director of the show at Ball State Karen Kessler explains how some of these concepts can be challenging for students and actors who are unfamiliar with the play.

“This kind of play is outside of people’s worlds,” Kessler says. “And unless students are avid readers of Agatha Christie, they don’t bump into this kind of play.”

But even with some of these foreign ideas, Kessler explains that she tries to create a good time for actors with the help of a relaxed environment and fun energy.

“I am one of those directors who truly believes that people working as human beings is good,” Kessler says. “The play is more fun when everyone is having a fun time telling the story.”

Rather than a spectacle like different Broadway shows, Kessler reveals that the play is a “slow-burner," meaning that the show keeps audiences wondering who is the one that committed the crime.

“It’s people fooling you,” Kessler says, “and you have to backtrack to previous parts, and that’s the fun of a mystery.”

But while the play does have a plot of guessing and shocking reveals, there ultimately is no message behind this play. However, the story goes back to how everyone likes to put together a puzzle.

“We love to put things together,” Kessler says. “And we try to put this mystery into as much of an entertainment value as possible.”

To watch this play, go to the Sursa Concert Hall or go to www.tix.com to purchase tickets.

Contact Evan Shotts with comments at evan.shotts@bsu.edu.