‘Game’s Afoot’ predicted to thrill

Ames Community Theater, also known as ACTORS, performs ‘The Games Afoot [or Holmes for the Holidays]’ at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, 22, 28, 29 and at 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the Ames Community Theater.

Haley Brase

Whispered accusations of murder echo throughout William Gillette’s home when one of his guests for the weekend is stabbed.

Ames Community Theater, also known as ACTORS, performs “The Game’s Afoot [or Holmes for the Holidays]” at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, 22, 28, 29 and at 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the Ames Community Theater.

William Gillette, played by Cory Hug of Des Moines, has an eye for mysteries.

“I like the whole Sherlock Holmes aspect of it and trying to solve the crime and the fact that he’s the king of the castle,” Hug said.

Mr. Gillette invited his friends to visit his castle for the weekend for pure enjoyment, but it led to nerves pulsating through everyone’s bodies once they became suspects of a murder.

Inspector Goring, played by Caesarea Hendrix of Ames, is assisted by Mr. Gillette to solve the crime. When taking notes from suspects, Inspector Goring’s facial expressions are amusing and intriguing, achieved by the flexibility of her eyebrows.

“All the characters have something in their past or with them that is flawed, and it takes one character to bring it all out,” said Nicholas Schoenfelder of Ames, who plays Felix Geisel.

Mr. Geisel is an enthusiastic spaz throughout the play that will make the audience wonder what he’s up to next.

Each character has a secret and will keep the audience on the edge of their seats, continually trying to figure out who the murderer is.

“I think it’s a wonderful suspense, murder mystery, farcical comedy,” said producer Stan Rabe. “I think it’s fun because it’s a comedy based on this murder mystery thriller. The humor is kind of dark, but it’s still funny as can be.”

Rabe has been involved with ACTORS intermittently since 1978 as a director and producer.

“Producing is satisfying because you impact the entire show,” Rabe said. “Here at ACTORS, as the producer, I’m the boss.”

Similar to Rabe, Susan Norris has had a lot of experience with ACTORS. She has been in the role of an actor, set designer and director, so the actors listen to her instructions with trust.

“We’ve had several rehearsals where we’ve done improv so they can, you know, think on their feet, because if the disappearing book case doesn’t work well they’re going to need to think on their feet,” said Norris.

Each actor participates in improvisation activities to prepare for malfunctions on stage or in case an actor forgets their lines. 

“It’s got Sherlock Holmes, it’s got Shakespeare, it’s got Christmas, it’s got silliness, it’s got suspense,” said Alex Kirstukas of Ames, who plays Simon Bright. “It’s everything you could ask for in a show really.”

A thrilling play combining laughter and wonder will cause the audience to become Sherlock Holmes, as Mr. Gillette did, to crack the case of the murder.