By Mikayla Baumgarte, senior
In August, a group of 15 actors were brought together by director, Matthew Christian, to bring a show filled with suspense to life.
A show that is traditionally a radio show from the 1940s, Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher was transformed into a stage production put on by the Concordia Lutheran High School Drama department.
The show was performed at Concordia Lutheran High School on October 16th, 2016 alongside another short play called Shel Silverstein Staged to create A Afternoon of One Acts. In addition to the regular performance, the Sorry, Wrong Number cast went to the University of Indianapolis on November 12th, 2016 to participate in Regionals for the first time in Concordia Lutheran High School drama history. They competed against three other high schools from the surrounding area. Each troupe had 50 minutes to perform including the setup and CLHS got it done in 45 minutes.
Sorry, Wrong Number takes place in the 1940s. It was originally performed as a radio show, but the CLHS drama department shifted it to a stage show. The play is centered around neurotic invalid named Mrs. Stevenson (played by sophomore, Addison Agen.) She’s confined to her bed and gets very nervous when her husband doesn’t come home from work right away.
After calling his office a million times and getting a busy signal, she dials the New York operating system to have them try and reach her husband’s office. When the first operator tries to connect her to her husband’s office, Mrs. Stevenson overhears a conversation between two suspicious men. The men were discussing murdering a woman at the request of a client, therefore we can infer that they are hitman. They planned to make it look a simple robbery gone wrong by taking all her money and jewelry.
Startled at this news, Mrs. Stevenson tries to get ahold of her husband again by using the New York operating system again. She speaks to several operators trying to get them to help her report the murder she overheard and none of them are any help. She then calls the police and explains the circumstances of the murder to the officer. He asks her if the reason she’s reporting the murder is because she suspects that someone may be trying to kill her.
Up until this point, Mrs. Stevenson hadn’t ever thought about the fact that this murder may be directed at her. She has a loving husband, who has taken care of her since she got sick 12 years ago, and a lazy maid who barely can make it up the stairs with her breakfast tray, therefore she has had no reason to suspect that anyone wants her dead. Now, Mrs. Stevenson is filled with even more desperation for her husband to return home to protect her from her possible murder.
Sorry, Wrong Number is full of plot twists and many suspenseful moments that leave the audience shaking. Due to the fact that this play was a radio show, there are very few stage directions. Mrs. Stevenson sits center stage in her bed with a phone the entire play.
On stage left and stage right there are two tables set up for the other characters such as the police officer, the gangster hit man, and the five operators.
The aspect that made the play stand out was the lighting done by director, Matthew Christian. The window behind Mrs. Stevenson’s bed was illuminated to create a shadow and when each operator picked up the phone, a spotlight shone on them.
The CLHS troupe had the biggest and most elaborate set and still managed to finish in the allowed amount of time. They also had the most detailed costumes, hair, and makeup that coincided with the time period of the play.
CLHS performed a suspenseful play, while the other schools performed comedies and emotional dramas. Sorry, Wrong Number came in 3rd place and unfortunately didn’t move onto the State competition.
Even though the journey ended there, “Going to the first drama competition for Concordia was a blast,” says Senior, Logan Krinn, “It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.”