Many felt murder’s appeal as they were drawn to see “Appeal of Murder,” a student-written production written by senior Ashley Jones and performed by Group Theatre.
This show is not for the faint of heart as it contains scenes depicting domestic abuse as well as suicide. “Appeal of Murder” is about a girl named Tessa Waters (played by sophomore English writing major Alyssa Grosso) who has to live with committing murder and trying to adjust to life after prison. All throughout the show, Tessa’s mind will not allow her to forget the murder she committed as she feels like an outcast in society.
The dark aspects of the character proved to be a challenge according to Grosso. “Getting into the more emotional aspects was challenging. The dark stuff was hard because, obviously, it’s very draining if you do it over and over again, but being able to succeed at it and feel something from the audience was the best part.”
Sophomore film production major Michael Kearney said he thought the show took a lot of interesting turns. “I liked the show a lot. It kept going in different directions than I expected it to and it was just interesting to think about the different ethical complexities of the show. I also thought the acting was really good and it was exciting to watch,” said Kearney.
Jones said this show was originally just for a class. “‘Appeal of Murder’ wasn’t originally anything more than a class assignment until I looked at the one act and heard the characters calling me to finish their story. In a way, Tessa spoke out to me and pushed me to keep moving forward. There was a power in this piece and something nagging in the back of my mind saying, ‘I’m not finished yet,’” said Jones.
She also said that this process allowed her to learn many things. “ From the writing process and creation to collaboration and teamwork, with the amount of work and time that goes into making something like this, I learned so much and I can’t even begin to say everything. It’s been a rollercoaster.”
Grosso said she learned a lot as well. “I learned that if you push yourself, put in a lot of effort and give it your all, you can overcome fear and challenges you weren’t expecting to,” said Grosso.
According to the program, “This play is entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Playwriting Program including the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program with entry for The KCACTF National Undergraduate Playwriting Award, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award, The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting and the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award.”
The “Appeal for Murder” cast includes Alyssa Grosso as Tessa Waters, Ruby Dupuis-Morrison as Jessalyn Waters, Vincent Moore as Brandon Carter, Jessica Bourque as Maxine Richards, Alec O’Rourke as Victor J. Sharp, Al DelGiorno as Christopher, Dreamy Kljajic as Aurora Cleminstine, Megan Conners as Judge Penelope Jones and Patrick Holden, Grace Kennett and Justin Park as the witnesses.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted