The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Cast dons black and white makeup for play

By Shelly Williams/se news editor

Blackmail and murder will have a twist March 5-7 as the SE drama department performs Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, Dial M for Murder, written by Frederick Knott.

Set in 1954 London, the thriller circles around Tony Wendice and his rich wife Margot. Tony plans to murder his wife for the same reason he married her — money.

He blackmails an old schoolmate into killing her and arranges an alibi for himself. When the attempted murder goes wrong, Tony tries a different way of getting rid of his wife. All the while, a policeman tries to solve the crime with Margot’s other lover.

SE play director John Dement said the entire play will be done monochromatically.

“It’s all done in black, white and shades of grey — the costuming, the scenery and even the food,” he said. “We’re starting with five gallons of white and five gallons of black, and we’ll mix everything in between.”

Playing Margot, SE student Courtney Morris said she’s excited to see how the play comes together as the cast transforms back in time to wear 1950s attire.

“The costumes are really fun because it’s the ’50s. I get to wear the swooshy skirts and all that stuff,” she said. “I can’t wait to see all that finished and on stage with the set done.”

Hair color, skin and fingernails, along with any other flesh tone will be taken out of the play. They will use a toothbrush and black dye to remove the tones in the actors’ mouths. They’ve already rehearsed how to apply the makeup.

“We have to brush our teeth with black dye. It actually has less taste than water, but it’s just weird,” said Ryan Davila, who plays Margot’s boyfriend, Max Halliday. “It comes out really easily so we constantly have to keep putting more in our mouth during the show.”

However, makeup wasn’t the toughest matter Dement and his cast and crew faced. Finding furniture for the play that wasn’t necessarily expendable and could be painted over was the difficult task at hand, Dement said.

“For instance, you can take a desk that’s already been painted, and we can paint it grey. Then when we’re done with it, we can repaint it brown and give it back, and nobody’s going to be mad,” Dement said.

“But if you take a really nice natural stained desk and paint it grey, people get more than a little bit upset with you.”

Five years ago, Dement took a similar play to a festival. Other directors asked if he was afraid the audience wouldn’t connect to the story because it was old and was written in the ’50s. He simply compared the upcoming play to today’s television.

“It’s on Desperate Housewives. This is a husband trying to kill his wife, and it goes wrong. He tries to make it work for him, but in the end, the good guys win and the bad guys go to prison,” Dement said.

“It’s CSI. It’s NCIS. All of those shows have this plotline. There’s somebody trying to get away with something. There’s a victim, and there’s a hero. It’s a very familiar story, and I think the audience will really like it. And it’s well-written. It should be something like nothing they’ve ever seen before, which is always a good thing. ”

Dial M for Murder performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the SE Roberson Theatre.

Tickets are $6 for general admission, $3 for those under 18 and over 50 and free for TCC students, faculty and staff.

Reservations are required. To make reservations, call the box office at 817-515-3599.

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