Four Flags Players: “We Must Kill Toni”

Published 2:29 pm Monday, July 1, 2013

The cast of "We Must Kill Toni" prepares for an upcoming show.

The cast of “We Must Kill Toni” prepares for an upcoming show.

Director Cathy Heide’s Four Flags Players cast for the upcoming comedy, “We Must Kill Toni,” brings together the talents of a Niles New Tech facilitator and one of her learners, a professional actor and two troupe veterans ,who are also acting in an independent film.

Christian Bounds, 15, plays Toni.

She will be a junior and has adopted a Las Vegas attitude toward acting alongside one of her teachers: “What happens at practice stays at practice.”

She turns 16 this month and appeared in “Our Town.”

“This is a mature role for Christian,” Heide said. “She’s playing someone who is much older, but she is very able to handle it. She’s doing a good job with it.”

Teacher Kristen Adams-Bondy facilitates 10th-grade world studies, which incorporates English and history. She just completed her first year in Niles and portrays journalist Miss Richards in 1940s London.

She directed the high school’s fall production, “Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Her husband, Patrick Bondy, toured this year with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival of Jackson.

“We took ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘The Scottish Play’ around to different high schools that hired us to perform for their students,” said Bondy, who plays Harris the Scottish butler. “This is my first show with this group.”

After living in Colorado for three years, Kristen and Patrick, who have a son, Desmond, 3, moved here in August to be closer to family in eastern Michigan.

Patrick also teaches for the middle school W-A-Y Forward program.

“I met Kristen because Four Flags went in to work with students on ‘Julius Caesar,’ ” Heide said.

“New Tech and Four Flags are business partners,” Adams-Bondy said.

“Acting is so important, not just for theater purposes, but everything you do in life,” Heide said. “Attorneys, doctors, business meetings, teachers have to be able to stand up in front of people with confidence.”

In Ian Stuart Black’s “We Must Kill Toni,” two scheming Oberon brothers (Dakota Word as Francis and William Wreggelsworth as Douglas) oversee an estate passed down through the family’s females.

“We try to do things that have not been done locally,” Heide said, “and we’re Dr. Who fans.”

Black, who died in 1997, wrote three stories for “Dr. Who” in 1965-66.

When the great-grandmother passes away, the house is inherited by Toni, a distant cousin. They mull marrying or murdering her to retain the source of their means.

“We Must Kill Toni” means extending First Presbyterian Church’s small stage six feet to accommodate a stairway.

“We partnered with a student at Western Michigan University (MacKenzie Shangle) to design the set,” Heide said.

Rehearsals two to three days a week began in May.

Like his director, Word read poetry at “Audible Art: People Out Loud” at Niles District Library April 13.

Word has been around Four Flags Players for seven years. The college student will be transferring from Western to Indiana University South Bend (IUSB). He is on the board and will be directing the next production, Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap,” whih is to be followed in November by another comedy, “Alive and Kicking.”

“I love every aspect of theater,” Word said. “Set-building, lights, sound, performing, directing. Theater will be my major at IUSB and, while I enjoy being backstage, I’d like to be a performer. That is my passion.”

Wreggelsworth’s mother was always after him to get involved in drama, but he procrastinated until “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,” who are characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Hamlet.”

“That was a week before the performance,” he said. “They quickly threw me in as a guard, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now, acting is my passion and my overall career goal as well. I wish to be in films, while Dakota wishes to be on stage. We’re pulling double duty by doing ‘The Throbbit.’”

“The Throbbit” is an independent film parody of “The Hobbit” being directed on weekends by Jim Richardson, of Edwardsburg. A few scenes have been shot on Yankee Street near Niles, as well as in South Bend, Ind.

“It will be wrapping up toward the end of August and going into post-production,” Word said.

“I’m loving it,” said Wreggelsworth, who also works fulltime at Rural King, “and it reaffirms my belief that I’ve chosen wisely in my given profession.”



Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 2 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.

Performance location: First Presbyterian Church, 13 S. 4th St., Niles .
Tickets for “We Must Kill Toni” cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and active military and can be purchased by calling (269) 695-1150 or by visiting