Audiences can expect the unexpected Friday when Agatha Christie's classic murder-mystery, The Mousetrap, makes its debut at the Mitchell Area Community Theatre. The production, the longest continuing running show, is focused around the murder of a foster mom. After the murder, a group of strangers find themselves stranded at Monkswell Manor during a snowstorm with the murderer, if only they knew who.

Directed by Raylna Schilling, the cast and crew of the production hopes to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

"Agatha Christie is known for her twists at the end of her shows," Schilling said. "She has done a really good job that the plot is not given away."

Schilling said Christie asks casts and audiences to keep quiet about the ending of the show to keep future viewers in the dark.

The comedic murder-mystery was written in the 1950s with an underlying message of the long term effects of trauma and abuse on youth, a message that still rings true today.

"For me being a teacher, that's a really important lesson that we as a society need to think about," Schilling said.

Even with the somber, underlying message Schilling said there are still plenty of "belly laughter" moments in the show.

"The actors have done a good job at bring out those funny moments in the show," Schilling said. "(The audience) should expect to be thoroughly entertained."

Schilling, who is new to the community theater directing scene, directed theater in the school district for 17 years. She said the small cast of eight adults was a completely different directing setting, but she has welcomed the change.

"This show has been a fun challenge for me," Schilling said. "Between the cast I have and crew that I have, I haven't much felt like a director more than I've facilitated them being able to use their own talents. Our cast, they are some really talented people."

The Mousetrap production will debut at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mitchell Pepsi-Cola Theatre with another show at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. A 2 p.m. performance will be held on Sunday. The production will be performed three more times the next weekend beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 with a final performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. Tickets can be purchased for $15 or $17 online at mitchellact.org or by calling the theater office at 996-9137.