Erica Riggs is the type who always tries to figure out a murder mystery book or play. But she doesn’t often guess the killer.
“I’m always remarkably bad at it,” she says. “It doesn’t really bother me though, because I enjoy being surprised.”
Riggs hopes that Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution,” which opens Thursday, Aug. 18, will keep audiences surprised at the 2nd Space Theatre.
We caught up with her to talk about her role in the play.
Q: “Witness for the Prosecution” is a murder mystery, so you don’t want to give away too much. But give us a brief rundown on the plot.
A: A wealthy older woman has been murdered by a cosh to the head, and Leonard Vole is suspected. His defense attorney, Sir Wilfrid Robarts, has a tough case, since not only was Leonard the last person to see her alive before the murder, but was also recently made the main beneficiary of her will. Leonard’s only alibi is his wife Romaine, but she may have secrets of her own. Dun-dun-dunnnn!
Q: You play a woman named Romaine. What kind of person is she? What kind of person is her husband?
A: Romaine is smart, calculating, and German. Leonard is very charming, and a bit of an accidental ladies’ man.
Q: Did you read Agatha Christie growing up?
A: I did! I was a huge reader growing up, and read most of her short stories and a few of her longer books. The one I remember most clearly is “And Then There Were None.” I’ve never seen any of her plays, though, so watching it come to life has been a lot of fun.
Q: Do you think many people will be able to figure out “Witness for the Prosecution” before the big reveal?
A: I think people may THINK they’ve figured it out, but Christie is the master at the surprise twist, and this play has a great one (or two) ...
Q: Tell us a little about your acting experience.
A: I’ve been acting since fifth grade and graduated from Roosevelt School of the Arts (go Roughriders!). I took a break to join the Air Force and have my daughter, but came back to theater about 10 years ago. This is my third play with Good Company Players. I played Caitlin in “Over the River and Through the Woods” and Adriana in “Comedy of Errors.”
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
A: I don’t think “Witness for the Prosecution” has ever been done in the Valley – or, if it was, it was a long time ago, so this should give Fresno audiences a fresh look at a classic story. It’s mostly a courtroom drama but has some very quirky characters and those surprising twists. When the movie came out, there was a notice on the screen at the end of the film asking audiences to please not give away the ending, and ushers in the lobby who requested the same thing. Hopefully our 2nd Space audiences will enjoy the surprises and then keep them to themselves!
Witness for the Prosecution
- Opens Thursday, Aug. 18. Runs 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 9.
- 2nd Space Theatre, 928 E. Olive Ave.
- www.gcplayers.com, 559-266-0660.
- $20, $17 students and seniors.