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THS asks 'whodunnit?' with two one-act plays

'An Evening of Mystery' opens at THS, Feb. 18

TIMES PHOTOS: JONATHAN HOUSE - Jacob Lee investigates the murder of and Ben Caldwell in Murder in the Knife Room. The two plays will premiere next Thursday, Feb. 18.In detective fiction, there’s no such thing as coincidence.

But coincidence is exactly what led to next week’s winter showcase when two Tigard High School seniors will present their one-act plays at Deb Fennel Auditorium at Tigard High School.

On Feb. 18, the curtain will rise on “An Evening of Mystery,” two one-act plays aimed at stimulating both your deductive powers and your funny bone, and both starring and directed by THS students.

The comedic murder mysteries are directed by seniors Zander Eisenhauer and Clarissa Au.

Au and Eisenhauer were invited to direct one-act plays this year, Eisenhauer said, but neither knew what the other was going to direct.

Check it out!

What: "An Evening of Mystery"

Where: Deb Fennel Auditorium, 9000 S.W. Durham Road, Tigard

When: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18-20, 3 p.m., Feb. 20

How much: $8

Tickets: Tickets are available online and at the door

“It just happened that we both picked murder mysteries, which was cool,” he said. “I personally picked mine because it was comedic. I like that. I like bringing the audience into it and making them laugh.”

Tigard High used to stage one-act plays regularly, said theater director Todd Hermanson, but stopped over the years. He said he’s working to bring the tradition back to the school.

“It gets all the kids engaged,” Hermanson said.

Eisenhauer’s play, “Murder in the Knife Room,” is a “Clue”-esque head scratcher about a mysterious host who invites a group of strangers to a party to reveal a terrible secret, only to be killed before he can make his announcement.

Au’s one act, “The Omelette Murder Case,” is a spoof on TIMES PHOTOS: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mallory Cross and P.J. Doolin perform a scene from the upcoming Tigard High production of The Omelette Murder Case.Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Au said.

“It really plays with Shakespeare being weird with English,” she said. “People get annoyed with his colorful way with words.”

In the play, Shakespeare, a private detective, is sent to investigate the murder of his father.

Poking fun at the Bard is especially timely for Tigard High Students, who wrapped up a production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the fall. Au studied Shakespeare and competed in a local Shakespeare competition this year.

“I was attracted to this because I love that it made fun of Shakespeare, since I’d spent a lot of time with him over the last few years,” she said. “I did a lot of Shakespeare last year.”

“An Evening of Mystery” will be Au and Eisenhauer’s directorial debuts. Eisenhauer said he hadn’t ever thought about directing before, but said he’s enjoyed the experience.

“I jumped at the chance as soon as it was offered,” he said.

Eisenhauer and Au have been working with their casts since January to prepare for next week’s shows. Eisenhauer said that unlike large plays such as “Midsummer,” which took a lot of work to prepare, directing one-act plays is fun.

“Because the plays are shorter, there’s a lot less to rehearse, so you can run the scenes over and over and get them fine-tuned just right,” he said.

The show begins Feb. 18 and continues through Feb. 20. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. each night, with a matinee at 3 p.m. Feb. 20.

Tickets are $8 and available at the door, or online at