Double Act Deathtrap Dazzles

Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts Reviewed

By: Justin Demmitt Class of 2021 Staff Culture Writer  

The Deathtrap cast. Photo Credit. Mr. Dave Berlin

Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts, a theatrical piece put on by the Advanced Theater Ensemble led by Ms. Carolyn Burke, was a hit with audiences of all ages.  From the costumes, to the lighting changes, to the fluent acting, this play was a roller-coaster of emotions with plot twists everywhere. Throughout the play I found myself asking questions like, “Who’s going to die next?” and “HOW are you still alive?”

Before the play even began, the audience was greeted by a truly amazing lighting display.

Filled with moody oranges and reds, the subtle and dramatic light changes took the play to the next level entirely.

Professional lighting by UCHS students. Photo Credit: Justin Demmitt

The dramatic action came fast and furious in Deathtrap as two of the main characters conspire and then cover up a murder, a storm rolls in as psychic senses danger all around the set then a main character commits a shocking betrayal.

In the end a character is kidnapped at gun point, two characters die, and the lives of all characters involved were forever changed.

After the performance I was able to catch up with members of the cast and crew to get their thoughts on the performance.

Zaria Gerald explained that her job as Costume Designer was fun, but required a lot of patience. “The best part of my job was getting to order and buy costumes for all the actors,” she explained. “My biggest obstacle as Costumer was trying to find everything the actors needed.”

Stage Manager, Alia Johnson, emphasized, “the hardest aspect of my job was actually the day of the show managing on and off stage complications.” Despite the challenges she explained, “I wouldn’t trade my job for the world, because I was working hard with my friends by my side the entire time.”

Assistant Director, Kayla St. Macary lamented that her job was very tough, seeing as she was upholding one of the biggest roles and dealing with people believing she wasn’t capable of the responsibility that came with having a serious job. Jokingly, she added, “the best part of my job was to control and yell at people,” while the biggest obstacle for her was dealing with the attitudes of her coworkers and motivating those who were not always taking their jobs seriously.

Damon Nunez, starring as Sidney in Act Two, indicated that the role of Sidney was extremely hard, having to improvise, memorize lines, and (spoiler alert) stage a fight against his co-star Zakiy Cherry. Nunez added, “A huge obstacle for me was living the experience and trying not to crack under the pressure of stage fright.

The shocking conclusion of Deathtrap. Photo Credit: Mr. Dave Berlin

Last but not least, Stephanie Scantlebury who plays Helga in Act Two, said “On a scale from 1-10,the difficulty of the role was a nine.” Helga’s character had an accent and a crazy costume so making those two things work together must have been demanding. Scantlebury added, “It was also difficult not look at the audience because all eyes were on me!”

All in all, Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts was a highly enjoyable experience for viewers, actors, and directors alike. Full of twists and turns, this thrilling play was easily one of the best entertainment features at UCHS in a long time.  From the set design by Ms. Segarra and the art students, to the realistic performance by the theater department, Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts has raised the bar for the UCHS Arts Department.

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