In a game where the man who has just been murdered holds the only rule book, FC’s production of 13 Past Midnight follows the cast of the famed (and now deceased) Victor Winslow’s soap opera as a game night places them all at the scene of his murder.
A show full of twists, drama, 13 Past Midnight is an enigma being decoded by the cast and crew as they take a deep dive into their respective roles.
“I’m playing [Winslow] as a rich psychopath who has never been told ‘no.’ He is the kind of guy who has had nothing go wrong in his life because he’s got the money to fix it, and he’s got the brain power and sheer will and determination to do it,” said Mehrdad Mojtahedi, who is playing Winslow. “He’s a scary individual, and not someone you want to make an enemy of.”
“When it comes to Toni, I really connected to her diva-like personality and it is so much to connect to her and become so confident,” said Ana Fujimoto, who is playing soap opera star Toni Crawford. “For me, with Toni, it’s a lot about being confident in myself. She is someone who is sure in herself, she knows that everyone in a room is paying attention to her. She doesn’t even need to try.”
Though the show centers around a murder investigation, it is also a comedy, which can be a difficult combination to master. However for Mojtahedi the difficulties of combining these two different styles can work out and produce a good show.
“Murder as we know is not funny, so you try your best to straddle the line between drama and comedy. The way I see it, you’ve got to give them the murder bloody and all the gore and then you give them the comedy,” said Mojtahedi. “It’s slap-sticky, and funny, and it really works in a weird way.”
Not only is it the actors’ responsibility to portray a story and carry a production, but the tech.
“My duties, aside from conceptualizing the show, deciding on how to stage the show, and which actors to cast is to also collaborate with designers. We discuss my concept and then decide on costume, lighting, set, and prop concepts that work with my overall concept for the show,” said Candice Clasby, the show director. “From there we develop the designs together and I incorporate the designer’s thoughts into my blocking and work with the actors. Tech is where everything comes together.”
Working towards a completely immersive and dramatic experience, Clasby consulted with sound designer Chris Sison to compose a theme song, interludes, and special effects for the show.
To Sison music is one of the most important parts of the show as it adds to character development and the overall theme of the show.
“Pre-show, we have sort of a 1970s, soap opera, cheesy vibe. Almost like you’re in a lounge or elevator. This then rolls into the main theme, which is very psycho-circus, really bouncy and crazy,” said Sison. “Throughout the show we have some really funny stingers and really cheesy things. For the most part it is very light hearted and comical.”
The show will premiere Thursday Oct. 11, in the Bronwyn Dodson Theater. Tickets will be available to purchase at the box office. Admission is $15 at the door and pre-sale tickets are $12.50.