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Journal's 'Torn Pages' reveal big secret in murder mystery

Azi Carter, Staff Writer

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The Los Medanos College Little Theater delivered a masterpiece in the original play “Torn Pages.” Drama Professor Nick Garcia’s current directing class wrote, auditioned and casted the production bringing to life a murder mystery that had the audience breathless as the actors weaved a spell of murder and suspense with songs that entertained and mesmerized the theatergoers.

The set design was especially impressive. The stage, lighting and costuming of the Roaring ‘20s during Prohibition, brings the audience into a Chicago speakeasy where entertainment held high stakes, even murder.

Many of the actors had worked together in previous LMC productions and from those experiences were able to take “Torn Pages” to another level of commitment.

Assistant stage manager, prop master, and one of the play’s writer’s, Pricilla Rodriquez, saw how the play progressed into a cohesive production.

“There was a level of trust established between the cast and their developed maturity caused the process to flow without any major mishaps, “ Rodriquez said. “We’ve become a big family and are dependent upon on each other to make our productions a success,” she added.

Rodriquez is a seasoned playwright, director, and actress having independently written plays and has participated in collective collaborations like “Torn Pages”.

The talent displayed in this production included singing in the opening scene, signaling more impressive feats to come. The audience was immersed in the ambiance of the speakeasy, with the piano and vocalist performing their personal renditions of classic ragtime banter.

The who-dun-it was cloaked and shrouded in mystery, as the crime scene became a place of remorse and restitution leaving the audience on the edge of their seats.

“This is a show that is like a movie playing out before your eyes,” Rodriquez said.

From the time the theatergoers were seated music reminiscent of the ‘20s with touch of modern genres of music, set the stage for the elements of surprise.

The antagonist was something of a mystery as his back-story was slowly revealed to the audience.

Teryn Macallan, cast as Donatello, displayed his multifaceted talents. His voice smoothed and soothed the audience, lulling them peacefully into scenes only to be riveted out of their seats as the full disclosure of his character began to manifest right before their eyes. Macallan spent time researching his character to better understand his motivation.

“This is the only path towards a genuinely authentic portrayal of a character,” said Macallan.

“Torn Pages” is a bittersweet moment in Macallan’s performance career at LMC, as he prepares to transfer to San Diego State University in the fall.

“’Torn Pages’ couldn’t be more momentous time in my life as truly this play as a whole feels like the perfect send off for my final performance,” he said.
The next show times for “Torn Pages” are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. General tickets are $15 and tickets with a student ID or service ID are $10.

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