Public Invited to ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Theater Performance at Mary

Murder on the Orient Express Poster

Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, at 7 p.m., in Arno Gustin Hall on campus

BISMARCK, ND — Samuel Ratchett receives life-threatening letters while aboard the Orient Express traveling from Istanbul to London in 1934. He approaches Hercule Poirot, a famous detective who happens to be in the same car, and demands that he investigate the notes. A snowdrift brings the train to a sudden stop only to find Ratchett in his locked cabin dead from multiple stab wounds while lying in bed. There are only eight potential suspects who could have murdered the man and Poirot is tasked with finding the killer.

This riveting murder mystery is from Agatha Christie’s novel “Murder on the Orient Express,” and first adapted for theater in 2017 by Ken Ludwig. Now the popular play is being performed by the University of Mary Dramatic Arts Department Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, at 7 p.m., in Arno Gustin Hall on campus. Tickets are $10 and available for purchase at the box office before the show. University of Mary students, faculty, and staff receive one free ticket by showing their MCard ID.

“Agatha Christie was a master at creating colorful characters and weaving them into an engaging and suspenseful story, where the audience is kept guessing who the murderer could be,” explained the Chair of the Dramatic Arts Department at Mary, Dan Bielinski. “The first play I directed at University of Mary was the “Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, so it is fun to revisit a murder mystery. They're fun for the students to perform and fun for audiences to watch. There's suspense and danger, but there's also plenty of humor. It should be a fun evening.”

Twenty-two cast and crew members make up University of Mary’s production, including Bielinski as director.

The most rewarding aspect is to the see the ensemble cast come together in support of each other,” added Bielinski. “There's a really beautiful chemistry between them on stage and off stage.”

Bielinski reminds Agatha Christie fans and theatergoers of actor, producer, and director Kenneth Branagh’s well received motion picture portrayal of this classic back in 2017.

Branagh adapted this to the big screen several years ago with a star-studded cast, so a lot of folks should be familiar with the story from the movie,” said Bielinski. “There are still plenty of twists and turns in the stage version that should keep the audience on the edge of their seats.”


Michael Hafebredl – Poirot — Highlands Ranch, CO

Anthony Sester – Bouc — Bismarck, ND

Sophia Ahlquist – Mrs. Hubbard — Minneapolis, MN

Alec Stork – Ratchett — Mandan, ND

Cecilia Rabaey – Countess — Taunton, MN

Brittany Berger – Princess — Yakima, WA

Greta Hall – Greta — Brainerd, MN

James Adam – Arbuthnot — North St. Paul, MN

Stella Statz – Mary — South St. Paul, MN

Izzy McSherry – Head Waiter — West St. Paul

Timothy Tucker – Michel — Deer Park, WA

Owen Parker – MacQueen — Murrieta, CA


Dan Belinski – Director — Bismarck, ND

Rachel Morrison – Assistant Director — Bismarck, ND

Zach True – Stage Manager — Bismarck, ND

Isabella Sletteland – Stage Manager — Bismarck, ND


Joshua Dill — Saint Paul, MN

Alana Mangan — Pine City, MN

Wendy Jackson — Aurora, CO

Luke Hasson — Sicklerville, NJ

Carrie Athman — Hamilton, MT

Soraida Pichardo — Bismarck, ND

Anyone who wishes to learn more about the University of Mary can do so at or by contacting an admissions representative at, or by calling (701) 355-8030. The University of Mary is one of only 15 Recommended Cardinal Newman Society Residential Colleges and Universities in the US.

About the University of Mary: True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 18 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in Business Administration, Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 20-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and the USA College Clay Target League. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.