WASILLA — Valley Performing Arts is opening their latest show of the season, “The Game’s Afoot” Friday.

Director, Kimberly Snell participated in a question and answer interview to discuss the upcoming play and the excitement shared amongst her dedicated cast and crew.

Q: Are you all excited about opening day?

“Oh yeah. They’re excited. I’m excited. Everybody has overwhelming excitement and nerves.”

Q: Why did you want to work on this particular show?

“This is one that I had read and seen a long time ago when I first got involved with theater. I just think it’s really funny, and I like mysteries and comedy… I just thought I would do really good with a comedy and I thought the community that comes to see these kinds of shows would really like this play. It has a little bit of everything… It’s just a fun murder/mystery and a fun whodunit.”

Q: How long have you been with VPA?

“I’ve done two shows here. One didn’t happen because of COVID. So, I haven’t been here very long, maybe about two and a half years. I came here from Fairbanks. I did a lot of theater in Fairbanks. I did ‘Haunting of Hill House here, and this is my first time directing. I’ve never directed before.”

Q: How long have you been involved with theater in general?

“Oh, since high school. I graduated in 2006. I’m originally from Texas. That’s where I was born and raised… I’ve been in over 13 productions, been the lead of nine of them, but I’ve never directed before. For a lot of my cast and crew, this is their first time. We’re a band of firsts. We’re misfits.”

Q: What are some of your favorite things about doing theater with places like VPA?

“My number one favorite thing is definitely the community that comes with it, very helpful people, very open-hearted, will give you the shirts off their back, very welcoming. I’d only done one show here, and my husband got diagnosed with leukemia, and I didn’t really know anyone here. They really, really opened up their hearts to me and my family.”

Q: What are some of your goals with VPA?

“To help them out as much as I can and become an every year volunteer… I would like to direct again. Next year, I think I’m going to be onstage. I don’t think I’m directing next year but I think this opened up the door for me to direct again. That would be the goal. I really enjoyed it and it was a really big learning experience for me too.”

Q: What do you think about the fact so many different people can go to places like VPA to try theater out?

“I think it’s fantastic. A lot of people might feel like they’re outcasts in everyday life. But here, everyone can pretty much come as they are. They’re welcomed and they’re loved. We’re all a bunch of weirdos… Everybody here is from different groups and categories and the one thing that brings us together is that we love to do theater. Some of us are jocks. Some of us are 90-year-old grandmas. Some of us are single men. Some of us are single women. Some of us are parents. Different lives, different folks, different strokes, but this is the one place where we all kind of find a common ground.”

“The Game’s Afoot” opens Jan.14 and runs through Jan. 30. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Regular Admission is $19. Students and seniors are admitted for $17. For more information, visit valleyperformingarts.org

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

Plot description:

It is December 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous.

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