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SCHOOL - "Murder, mystery and no live audience; How Bear River High is bringing back The Mousetrap"

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Cari Doutre – August 7, 2020

Bear River High School - July 28, 2020 - Photo by Cari Doutre/The Valley Headliner -

The Valley Headliner -'s coverage of the Bear River High School Theater Department's production of The Mousetrap is sponsored by Northern Furniture. Thank you for supporting local journalism in the Bear River Valley!

The mystery of the Bear River High School Theater Department’s spring 2020 production of The Mousetrap has been solved - and audience members will still get to see what the department had up their sleeves before the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic shut down production in March.

“In my mind it was never going to come back, and we were done with it,” recalled Bear River High School theater teacher Derek Sorensen.

This was after Utah dismissed all public schools in mid-March because of public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Once some of those restrictions were lifted plans were made to bring the production back to the stage – but in a very different way.

“We were able to meet back together because it’s only an eight-person cast and we were able to produce a show meeting all the requirements that we needed to do,” added Sorensen.

But what about a live audience? Not this time. Utah is still under some restrictions as far as large group gatherings.

Making accommodations during the ongoing pandemic, the production of The Mousetrap will be made available on a streaming/pre-recorded basis thanks to Bear River Live, a locally owned and operated live-streaming multi-media company in Tremonton.

It also means an adjustment for the young actors on stage.

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Parker Rowan and Nathanael Freeze - Photo by Cari Doutre/The Valley Headliner -

The Mousetrap stars Mattie Mecham, a 2020 graduate of Bear River High School, as Mollie Ralston and Damon Fuhriman as Giles Ralston. Nathaneal Freeze plays the part of Christopher Wren and incoming freshman at Bear River Middle School, Olivia Bailey, plays the role of Mrs. Boyle.

Keelan Anderson stars as Major Metcalf and Shannon Epling graces the stage as Miss Casewell. Parker Rowan plays the role of Mr. Paravicini and Dillon Stewart stars as Sergeant Trotter.

Working just as hard behind the scenes are the technical crew – Bear River High School students Kolton Cutler, Lexi Hyer and Pearl Woolley.

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Pearl Woolley, Kolton Cutler and Lexi Hyer - Photo courtesy of BRHS Theater Department
“It will definitely be very different. I think we usually thrive off of the energy of an audience. It changes the dynamic of the show completely. I think we, or at least I, have gone into this prepared differently,” said Mecham.

Stewart agreed.

“It’s very hard to act when there is nobody responding to what you’re doing,” he said.

“That’s what we thrive off of,” Stewart added, referring to the audience’s response to a live production.

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Damon Fuhriman, Mattie Mecham and Dillon Stewart - Photo by Cari Doutre/The Valley Headliner -

Even without a live audience, viewers will still get the suspense and excitement from watching The Mousetrap.

The Mousetrap, a play about eight strangers stranded at an English countryside home in a snowstorm, work together to piece together a mysterious murder that will have audience members on the edge of their seats throughout the production.

“It is a murder mystery, so someone dies, and the audience gets to play along and try and figure out who did it,” said Stewart.

“Everybody is a suspect, so you have no idea,” added Olivia Bailey. “I’m really excited to hear about people’s different guesses and their ideas on who the murderer is or what’s going to happen next.”

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Shannon Epling and Olivia Bailey - Photo by Cari Doutre/The Valley Headliner -

Tickets to watch Bear River High’s production of The Mousetrap are $5. Viewers will receive a link that will direct them to the pre-recorded play for the audience to “just watch it from your couch,” Stewart added.

Viewers can begin watching the theater department’s production of The Mousetrap online starting Monday, August 10. To purchase tickets, click on one of the following links.

Photos by Cari Doutre/The Valley Headliner -


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