Stage Coach Theatre plays ‘Mousetrap’

By Laural Marselle

The latest play from the Stage Coach Theatre might trap your attention.

“Mousetrap,” a play based on the novel by Agatha Christie, opened at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Stage Coach Players Theatre, 125 S. Fifth St. Tickets went on sale Sept 27.

“Mousetrap” is the longest continuously-running production in England, said Todd Toles, president of the Stage Coach Players Theatre.

“The play takes place in England shortly after World War II when several people stay in a country hotel and try to solve a mystery after somebody gets killed,” he said.

The players put on six productions a year, including three plays and three musicals. This production is the last play of the 2003 season. The next season will begin in March.

“We get a lot of ideas for our plays from suggestions a committee takes from our patrons,” Toles said. “We select what we want about a year in advance.”

The Stage Coach Players began performing in DeKalb in 1947 when a group of people performed “Pure as the Driven Snow” at the former Masonic Temple on Locust Street in DeKalb. Ann Eddy Gray was the director.

“The performers had so much fun that they asked Ann if they could form a theater group,” Toles said. “They then went to John Ellwood, one of the most affluent people in DeKalb, and persuaded him to let the group perform in the loft of his big barn.”

The theater group’s name also has an interesting history.

“When they first started performing out of Ellwood’s barn, the first box office they used was a stagecoach, which gave them the name the Stage Coach Players,” Toles said.

Two years ago, the players moved into their current home, which seats 164 people.

For information, call the box office between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. at 758-1940.