A Tale Spun with Lies: Cadre Kerr takes a darker turn with Web of Murder

For their second production of the year, Cadre Kerr continued with their season of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Unlike the troupe’s previous show, The Addams Family, this new production had more murder and a little less comedy. Web of Murder, written by Jonathan Troy, has some basic elements of a typical whodunit. Murders are committed and the audience is drawn into the process of deduction with the main characters to investigate the identity of the murderer.

“The thing with Addams was there were plenty of obvious lines you can laugh at,” said senior Saira Martinez, Web of Murder’s stage manager. “In Web of Murder, you had rare moments of humour you had to find for yourself.”

Web of Murder was Cadre Kerr’s first production under the tutelage of Joey Watkins. Julie Ryan, the troupe’s sponsor and main director, stepped down this time to oversee the theatrical technicians while her assistant director stepped up to oversee the performers.

“It felt freeing to work with young actors this time instead of handling theatre technical productions,” he said. “As much as I enjoy working with tech, I feel that my strongest point is working with the performance.”

For many of the troupe members, the feeling is mutual. Most of Cadre Kerr had already worked with Watkins in the district play Beauty and the Beast and The Addams Family, but having him all to themselves as the main director was a different experience.

“He uses very different techniques from Ryan, even now with the UIL play coming up,” said senior Melissa Ramos. “It’s not something I’m used to, but they definitely work.”

Of course, each show comes with its own struggles and mayhem and Web of Murder was no exception. A few weeks into show preparation, a few troupe members were unable to be a part of the show. It was a critical wound for the production: one of these people, senior Danyal Syed, was a performer. Due to its small cast size, all of the performers were significant and difficult to replace.

“I know I screwed over a lot of people when I had to leave the troupe,” he said. “I was scared for them, but I had faith that they would pull through.”

And surely enough, his faith was not misplaced. Junior Quincy Robinson, who had already held another performing role, quickly filled in place of Syed; his character was given over to junior Kerean Vu, who was a crewhead of the set crew before taking on a performing role.

“I was scared to the point where I tried to see if anyone else could take the role because living up to Danyal is hard,” Robinson said. “But I pulled through in the end; it was tough, but I did it.

Like a diamond, Cadre Kerr emerged from the stress and pressure stronger than ever before. What fell apart eventually fell back together.

“I am so proud of my troupe,” Ryan said. “Everything just came together in the end. Where I should’ve spent a lot of money, I did not need to because of them.”