Audience members kept at the edge of their seats during “Trap”

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

As 7 p.m. approached on Friday night, people filed into Coppell High School’s Black Box Theatre to see the Cowboy Theatre Company’s “Trap” production, the first show after COVID-19 restrictions eased. 

CHS actors surprised the audience with a twist at the end which kept the audience at the edge of their seats. A little girl was so scared that she spilled milk on the floor. 

“The audience reactions tonight were fantastic,” CHS senior actor Elena Hewett said. “Being able to finally get to go into a real crowd, go down and scare the crap out of people was so much fun. People dropping their keys, needing to pick them up while I’m still making direct eye contact with them and throwing chairs around. It’s all the fun stuff and scaring people that makes me love the show.”  

Audience members were able to embrace actors’ facial expressions as actors did not have to wear masks. 

“It was really exciting to see the actors’ faces after a year and a half,” CHS theater director Karen Ruth said. “I think the audience enjoyed seeing the actors’ faces after a year and half too. That was pretty special for me.”

Ruth and CHS9 theater director Lauren Holt wanted CHS theater students to perform “Trap” for a couple of years, but the pandemic postponed the production of this particular show. 

“We’ve been eyeing it for a while,” Ruth said. “Then the pandemic happened and we were like I guess we can’t do that show that we’ve been wanting to do.’ It’s creepy, fun and weird. It has good roles for a lot of people. It involves a lot of students and a lot of technicians.” 

Hewett enjoyed trying a role that they typically do not play. The “Trap” production gave CHS actors the opportunity to try new roles. 

“Normally, I play either the wise intellectual or the crazy one,” Hewett said. “Every UIL show so far, I’ve chased someone down with a feather duster on stage. I’m the crazy one, chasing people down, running around, being drunk, having swords and all sorts of wild stuff. It was interesting to play this calm, motherly figure.” 

According to CHS sophomore assistant stage manager Nandini Petluri, the stage managers and crew members had the intention of making this play interactive from the initial stage of executing the production.

“We worked with lights, sound and projection,” Petluri said. “We wanted to make it a very interactive play and make it interesting for the audience, and have a little bit more connection than the other plays do. We did this with more of the tech side. [We used] set, light, projections and sound to build up to the creepy scenes.”  

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