Julia M. Dendinger | News-Bulletin photo
During a rehearsal, Christine Carter as Emily Brent, Jose Muñoz as William Blore and Ana June as Vera Claythorne run through the opening scene of “And Then There Were None,” which will be presented by The Hub Community Theatre the next two weekends.
BELEN — Eight people are invited to an isolated island by a mysterious host. After dinner, a recording is played, accusing each of them of murder.
The guests discover none of them actually know the couple who invited them to the island and, with that, they begin to die, one by one.
So begins Agatha Christie’s best-selling mystery, “And Then There Were None, ” the latest production of The Hub Community Theatre.
After a COVID-imposed two-year hiatus, director Caleb Ramsell says he and the performing arts group are thrilled to be in front of an audience once again.
“I’m the director but we do all this as a team,” Ramsell said. “We’re all sharing many hats and helping.”
Ramsell said the production will feature some new faces as well as those local theater fans are familiar with.
“We are seeing new people, which is always great,” he said. “Everyone works really well together and we hope everyone enjoys the show.”
The original play was written for three acts, but since theater audiences have gotten used to only one intermission, Ramsell said the troupe is splitting it into two acts.
In those two acts, the mystery unfolds, with a twist at the end when the murderer is revealed. The cast of characters range from Vera Claythorne, a young woman on leave from her position as a sports mistress at a girls’ school, played by Ana June, to Emily Brent, an elderly, pious spinster portrayed by Christine Carter.
“Vera has some dark things in her past and wants a new start,” June said. “She definitely uses her wiles.”
Carter, a theater major in college, said Emily definitely portrays herself as very religious, but isn’t as pious or as kind as she believes.
The manservant for the island estate, Thomas Rogers, played by Soren June, develops a bond with Vera.
“She’s the only one that sees him and his wife as real people, not just ‘the help,’” Soren said.
Bonnie Shea, who plays Fran Naracott, the ferry captain who brings the guests and supplies to the island, said the role was originally cast as a man, going by the name of Fred.
A member of the Mansion Players of Valencia County and the Companions of Jesus of New Mexico, Shea has been with The Hub Community Theatre since her first appearance in “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
“I love this. Being around young people keeps me energized,” Shea said.
Performances will begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, and July 22-23, at the Belen High School auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for military members, seniors and students, and will be available at the door. The play is recommended for those 13 years old and older.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.