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TF South hosts virtual theatre productions this weekend and next

Information provided by Thornton Fractional South High School

LANSING, Ill. (December 3, 2020) – TF South High School will host two virtual theatre productions in the coming days, the first — a murder mystery — this weekend, and the second — an adventure story — next weekend.

“A Virtual Whodunnit” – Dec. 3, 4, 5

This weekend, TF South Drama is inviting the audience to join via Zoom as they present the Zoom play “A Virtual Whodunnit” by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus. The show will be performed December 3, 4, and 5 at 7:00 p.m. The play tracks the aftermath of the shocking murder of the patriarch of a tech company, asking the audience to follow along and help solve the mystery.

TF South students auditioned for the show via Zoom in early October and have also rehearsed virtually several hours per week over the past two months. TF South teacher Douglas Schlesser, who is directing the show, noted that he intentionally picked a one act show since the students would have less rehearsal time than in a traditional theatre setting. Schlesser said, “The kids have really taken ownership of this piece. It’s odd being in Zoom for so long each day, but these kids are killing it. Each time we run it the nuances get better and better, just like a real performance.”

TF South student Brian Valentine plays the role of Barry Schwarz in the school’s production of “A Virtual Whodunnit.” (Photo provided)

The cast of the show includes the following TF South students: Roger Carter as Augustus Sterling/Sloan, Brian Valentine as Barry Schwarz, Adam Jones, Jr. as Bullion Sterling, Zecheriah Overall as Eugene Everton, Juliean Gulledge as Florina Sterling, Kayla Wright as Juniper Everton, Abigael Popp as Macy Sterling, and Joy Lewis as Haley Hawkins. Photos of the cast members are posted on the show’s Facebook event page. “A Virtual Whodunnit” follows Detective Rockford Sloan as he attempts to solve the murder of tech mogul and patriarch Augustus Sterling, who was murdered during a Zoom call in which he revealed that he would be changing his will. Sloan (and the audience) must decide who the killer really is. The actors received coaching from directors Doug Schlesser and Asa Wallace, a TF South alumnus who recently graduated from ISU with a degree in acting.

“She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” – Dec. 10, 11, 12

In addition to this weekend’s virtual theatre production, another virtual show will premiere next weekend, December 10, 11, and 12 at 7:00 p.m. TF South teacher Ann Wolpert is directing “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen. The Zoom link to attend the production will be posted on Monday, December 7 on the TF South webpage and Facebook page. The play tells the story of older sister Agnes who never paid much attention to her younger, geeky sister Tilly, until tragedy strikes. Agnes is forced to enter the mysterious world of Dungeons and Dragons to find and “save” her sister. The play is not meant for very young children as it has some frightening images and some adult language.

Cast members of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” include Natalie Dominiak as Agnes Evans, Payton Stachelski as Tilly Evans/Tillius, Jeremiah Kimbrew as Miles, Angel Sanchez as Orcus/Ronnie, Saniah Johnson as Vera, Griffin Polley as Chuck, Jorja Wood as Lilith Morningstar/Lilly, Harmony Johnson as Kaliope Darkwater/Kelly, Olufunmilola Williams as Narrator, Jack Raeck as Steve, Victoria Gonzalez as Farrah, Mercedes Garcia as Evil Gabbi, and Zamayah Holmes as Evil Tina.

Principal Jacob Gourley said “I’m really proud of the ways our staff and students have persevered in this remote learning environment and discovered ways in which they can continue to connect and pursue extracurriculars despite the many challenges we have faced. I’m excited for the shows!”

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.


  1. The Virtual Whodunnit was very well done. I would highly recommend it. It can be seen tonight or tomorrow. We are all very proud of our staff and students for their many innovative ideas during this very difficult time.

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