Maisie and Reuben Gilbert are naturals when it comes to performing in front of audiences.
They are seemingly at ease when they take the stage as the musical act The Gilberts, along with their older brother, Frieden. The band routinely performs contemporary folk music featuring three-part harmonies at events throughout Nova Scotia.
This month, Maisie and Reuben will be stretching those on-stage talents when they play rival lawyers during Avon View High School’s adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution, a play based on Agatha Christie’s murder mystery.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s interesting to have that back-and-forth between us,” said Reuben, who plays prosecutor Mr. Myers.
Maisie portrays Madame Winnifred Robarts, a defence attorney.
Rueben says it’s an interesting dynamic as the siblings actually get along well in real life.
“Sometimes people are surprised, like ‘you guys actually get along?’” said Maisie with a laugh.
“We’ve been able to practice together at home since we have so many scenes together, which is pretty useful,” she added.
Both Reuben and Maisie say while they’re comfortable on stage, acting is different than performing in a band.
“The feeling of being in front of an audience we’re fairly used to, but this is quite a different way of performing. You have to put yourself out there a lot more. You have to be a more commanding presence,” said Reuben.
“When we’re on stage performing, we have our microphones, we have our instruments but when you’re on stage like a play like this one, there’s nothing to hide behind so you feel way more exposed and out in the open and you really have to have a different kind of stage presence in a show like this one,” Maisie added.
The siblings say they’ve had fun preparing for their respective roles and are looking forward to working alongside their 25 other castmates. Upwards of 40 people are involved in the May production.
“There’s lots of twists and turns. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat,” said Maisie.
“I think people will really enjoy this play because as they watch the mystery unfold, they’ll want to know how it ends,” said Reuben, adding audience members will likely try to piece together the clues as the courtroom interrogations progress.
Donna MacMillan, the school's drama teacher and director of the show, says the play is a family-friendly murder mystery that will appeal to all ages.
“There’s no blood and gore,” she said.
The show, slated for May 9-11 at 7:30 p.m., can accommodate audiences of 250 people.
“As our last two productions sold out before opening, we strongly encourage people to purchase in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the AV main office,” said MacMillan.
IF YOU GO
What: Witness for the Prosecution play
When: May 9-11 at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Where: Avon View High School, 225 Payzant Dr., Windsor
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for students and seniors