‘Murder on the Orient Express’ arriving at CBU

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2024) - The theatre program at California Baptist University will bring the hair-raising suspenseful tale "Murder on the Orient Express" to life, arriving on stage Feb. 23.

The play is an adaptation of the classic novel by Agatha Christie, depicting the mystery of a murder on a train that detective Hercule Poirot must solve.

"I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but if you are familiar with the book and movies, you won't be disappointed," said Ethan Park, director of the play and adjunct professor of theatre.

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ arriving at CBUThe roles include characters from France, Scotland, Great Britian and the South.

"My favorite part of this production is everyone has their own dialect," said Matthew Furness, who plays Monsieur Bouc, a friend of Poirot. "It's so cool hearing all these different actors working on their accents and coming together for this show."

In the play, the cast needed to maintain a balance in portraying their characters, said Furness, a theatre sophomore.

“Your character should feel like a real person. The struggle with a comedy is making your character believable while still being silly and over the top," he said.

Santino Alvarado, a film sophomore, plays detective Poirot, a lawful and stern character.

"It took a lot to find out why he is the way he is,” Alvarado said. “It's been really interesting to find that character … finding the breadth of the scenes and why I do what I do."   

While the actors had their acting challenges, the set designer, Annie Anderson, had to create a train.

"The multiple train cars on stage has been an incredible challenge but a thrilling design choice," Park said.

Park called the story a comedic thriller and hopes the audience leaves having experienced the full spectrum of human emotion, Park said. 

"There are full belly laugh moments, heart-shattering discoveries, intense moments that make your hair stand on end, gut-wrenching monologues, and a powerful discussion on right versus wrong and the idea of justice," Park said.

Alexandra Kuebler, a theatre freshman who plays Countess Andrenyi, agreed.

"I hope the audience comes away with a deeper understanding of emotion, because the play is so layered,” Kuebler said. “As you watch, each character's backstory develops more and more and it just gets deeper and deeper.”

"Murder on the Orient Express"
Feb. 23-24, March 1-2 at 7 p.m.; Feb. 24, March 2-3 at 2 p.m.
Where: Wallace Theatre, California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA, 92504
For more information, please visit https://performingarts.calbaptist.edu/theatre-current-production/

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8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504