Coupeville students set entertaining “Trap”

— Created May 4, 2022 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Coupeville High School’s WolfPac Theater Troupe is pleased to announce its return to the stage with “Trap,” a one act play written by Stephen Gregg. The play opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the CHS performing arts center with two more performances set for Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for students with ASB.

Theater instructor and the play’s director, Stefanie Ask, said this production is a unique one that will give audiences a thrill and a shiver.

“‘Trap’ is a play that I first found when reading other theater teachers’ reviews. It was first published in 2018, so it’s relatively new, but on the high school theater scene it’s been getting a lot of attention because it’s really different from the more traditional plays that get produced at the high school level,” she explained. “It’s a spooky story, a one-act done in eight scenes. It is structured as a smattering of documentary-style interviews and scenes that flashback from the 1940s and jump to the present, all exploring some mysterious and tragic events that took place in a ‘cursed’ theater in fictional Menachap, Calif.”

Ask said this production fit the bill when it came to finding something that could be rehearsed and staged safely, following COVID protocols at the time, such as staying masked and keeping distance from one another.

“This play gave us a unique opportunity to do that in the way that it is cleverly structured,” She said. “But also, I’ve never directed a play that’s intended to be scary before and even now that restrictions have loosened, I’m still so glad we chose this one. Students are getting really excited about scaring the audience a bit. I typically tell students that producing theater can bring you two different types of thrills: the rush of hearing an audience laugh hysterically, and the power of making them cry. But now we are finding a third thrill: making them scream! (Maybe.)”

Between cast and crew, there are 25 students taking part in this production. For many, this is a whole new experience.

“With the exception of my current seniors, nobody in the cast has been in one of our high school stage productions before,” said Ask. “We managed to do a video production last year built out of student-recorded monologues, and it was fun, but there’s nothing quite like performing for a live audience. I have a strong feeling, though, that once this cast feels the rush of gasps and applause for this show, they’ll be hooked forever.”

“It has been a blast,” said senior Brian Casey of getting to work on a live production again. “After having our last in-person show canceled by the pandemic, it is a breath of fresh air to be back on the stage with the lights shining the brightest!”

Noelle Daigneault, a senior who has not participated in theater since middle school, also said she is happy to be back on stage.

“I have always enjoyed performing,” she said. “Something about being on centerstage with a bright light shining in your eyes, and loads of people watching, really puts you in character. It gets me excited and gets me ‘in the zone.'”

Daigneault plays New York detective Gwendolen Heche in “Trap.”

“[She’s] a rough and tumble, strong woman, new to being a detective after her failed attempts of trying to make it as an artist,” Daigneault described. “She is a mother and understands the importance of family. So when it comes to the Oak Box mystery, she is determined.”

“Ephrain Salas is a firefighter that tries to help find out what is going on in the theater,” Casey said of one of his characters. “Ephrain is a man that loves the town he lives in and the people in the town as well. He will stop at nothing to keep the town safe.”

Those involved in the production say they hope audiences will enjoy the suspense and intrigue of their production.

“I think the suspense will capture the audience the most,” said Casey. “Between all the twists and turns there are lots of creepy things that happen.

“I’m really excited about what we’ve come up with,” Ask said. “I hope audiences will appreciate a show that gives them a bit of a scare. It’s definitely a unique experience to have in a theater. We’re used to scary movies, but a scary play is a unique experience.” 

 Performances of “Trap” will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Coupeville High School performing arts center. Masks are optional, but anyone who is not feeling well is asked to refrain from attending.

“Come support the theater program and Coupeville High,” encouraged Daigneault. “The money you spend on the tickets goes directly to support our program so we can continue putting on fabulous plays!”