Student actors at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee are presenting audience members with a different kind of play through next weekend.

In its final production of the spring semester, which opened Friday and continued over this weekend, theater students are expanding their skills with this murder-mystery musical that takes place backstage during a play.

“It’s very much challenging, because they are playing not only their character but their character’s character too,” said assistant director Ann Shaheen. “In this show, our crew is constantly on, because they are the crew in the show.”

“Curtains,” set in the 1950s, follows a detective trying to solve a murder on the set of a play. With homicides happening after Acts I and II, the detective needs to solve the mystery amidst falling for an actress and trying not to get killed himself.

While we don’t have to wrap our heads around the idea as much as the students have to get into their characters, it especially came easy for some.

Senior Tristen Farley, who plays one of the lead actors within the play’s story, said being part of this kind of story line was great training for the future.

“It’s fun messing with the duality of it,” he said.

Sophomore Beth Heaton, cast as the detective’s love interest, said it was initially challenging for her to portray developing emotions that lead to love.

“It’s a great way to develop my skills, the slow development of feelings has to be genuine,” she said.

With its range of levels in the near 60-member play, Shaheen said the goal is to make students feel welcome and that it takes the whole team to pull off a performance.

“That’s something that we really strive to emphasis,” Shaheen said. “Teamwork really weighs into the outcome.”

“Curtains” will be playing at Horizon Community Learning Center, 16233 S. 48th St., at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. both Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.

Tickets are available at the school’s main office, $10 for adults and $5 for students.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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