Drood: WATERFORDrama Breaks The Fourth Wall

Drood: WATERFORDrama Breaks The Fourth Wall

Taylor Houggy, Reporter


As soon as the winter production of You Can’t Take It With You had closed, WATERFORDrama director Shane Valle was already brainstorming possible shows for the upcoming spring musical. He wanted something unique, something that the drama club has never done before.

After careful consideration, he confronted the actors with the announcement that WATERFORDrama’s 2016 musical would be The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Set in 19th century England, the show follows the story of Charles Dickens’ unfinished murder mystery novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The original novel tells the tale of the enigmatic Drood, whose sudden disappearance shocks the entire city of London. However, this is where it gets interesting.

Since Dickens died before he could finish the novel, no one knows the true fate of Edwin Drood, or who could possibly be responsible for his disappearance. Playwright Rupert Holmes took it upon himself to incorporate the audience directly into the story and let them decide how it ends. Once the musical reaches the point in the plot where Dickens stops writing, the audience takes over. Ballots are passed around to each person, which they will use to vote for how they want to see the show end.

Then, during intermission, the ballots are counted and the actors then finish the show according to the story line with the most votes. Along with having to learn multiple alternate endings, as well as having to keep an accent throughout the entire performance, students were shocked to find that they would be acting in a show that broke the fourth wall so significantly, which is not usually done in WATERFORDrama or any theatre club.

“It’s nerve racking,” says senior Sasha Amodeo, “because you never know what kind of interactions you will have with the audience.” However, this shock is balanced by a feeling of excitement and eagerness to perform such a unique show. Amodeo claims, “It is a lot more rewarding because of all the hard work that goes into it.”

The fourth wall is something that is often never disturbed in musical theatre, but Drood is one of the few shows to break the wall completely. Through May 5 through 7, you can come experience the magic and be a part of the show yourself. !  Advance sale tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults.  Tickets purchased at the door are $10 for students and $15 for adults.

So, what ever happened to Mr. Edwin Drood? You decide.