The Grade 8 class play was a whirlwind of action, intrigue, and laughter in its incomparable portrayal of The Butler!
All seems to be well at the grand country home of the Aunts Mildred and Millicent; dinner is nearly ready, their guests are soon to arrive, and their walls are bedecked with their most recent purchases of priceless art. The only slight annoyance is that hopeless butler Bunting, a smart-talking, Clouseau-esque disaster of clumsy obliviousness.
But as the guests begin to arrive, it soon becomes clear that not all is at it seems. Colonel Charles reveals his desperate plea to the rich aunts for money, as he recently lost his family’s fortune, just as the aunts reveal that their niece Dorothy has been entrusted with power over their finances should anything happen to them— power they intend to pass to Colonel Charles in the coming days. Meanwhile, young Dorothy confronts the artists who have come to dinner— and lays bare her knowledge that what they sold to the aunts were in fact forgeries! Priceless art? Not anymore! She demands a return of what they paid (plus a little extra for her trouble), or will turn them in to the police.
Amid this roiling soup of intrigue, the aunts are unexpectedly attacked by an unseen assailant, causing them to fall brutally to the floor, struck by amnesia. Hoping to get to the bottom of this heinous act, a team of officers and incompetent inspectors arrive and begin to question the partygoers. It soon becomes clear that no one has an alibi, and nearly everyone has a motive. In a sudden burst of inspiration, the gathered journalist guests propose the concept of a burglary gone wrong, which the artists themselves agree sounds like an excellent idea!
As the gathered guests withdraw to their rooms, the plot begins to thicken, as interwoven intentions begin to unravel. Colonel Charles confesses his forthcoming power over the aunts’ finances in hopes of clearing his name, yet only draws himself deeper into suspicion. The artists and the journalists converge, revealing their collusion, and plan to blame everything on the incompetent and therefore unindictable butler. In another sudden attack, the niece Dorothy herself falls disastrously down the stairs.
Just as the inspectors charge Charles with the crime, his children step forth to reveal their close-held knowledge. They have known all along of the forgeries, and of the journalists’ complicity! The guilty artists and journalists confess their financial crimes, but beg ignorance and innocence in the injury of the aunts and their niece— just as Colonel Charles’ wife Catherine proudly declares her own guilt!
She knew about the financial power forthcoming to her husband, and attacked the aunts with the hopes of hurrying it along! But she must have had a partner to accomplish these heinous acts— who was it??
“It was I,” announces Butler Bunting in triumph, as they flee into the night. “Her secret brother!”
Thanks as always to Sean Reardon and Jane Rothwell for their work with costumes and scenery on this play, and a special thanks to the Set Design Class and its instructor Karen Eutemy for the truly inspired display that accompanied this performance. Thanks as well to Ms. Sidoli for her writing and direction, and to all the eighth-grade teachers, advisors, and parents for their help and support. And, most of all, thank you and congratulations to our eighth-grade performers for a wonderful and unforgettable final Grade 8 class play at DCD!