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Ken Ludwig-penned adaptation specially commissioned by Agatha Christie Estate

[SALT LAKE CITY, UT SEPTEMBER 7, 2023] — Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC), Utah’s premier professional theatre, opens its 62nd season with Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The recent adaptation, penned by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor and Crazy for You) was commissioned by the Agatha Christie Estate. The production is described as follows:

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed eight times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – in case they decide to strike again.  

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is helmed by Melissa Rain Anderson, who is making her PTC directorial debut. In addition to directing at the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Big River, The Cocoanuts, and Macbeth), Anderson’s work has been seen across the nation, most recently in the acclaimed Dial M for Murder at Arkansas’ TheatreSquared. In regard to her work on the production, Anderson stated the following:

Having grown up watching mysteries and thrillers with my mother, I am thrilled to be directing Murder on the Orient Express at Pioneer Theatre Company. We get to go back in time and take a ride on the exotic Orient Express while a comedy/mystery unfolds and we seek to uncover the lies, deception and humanity of this incredible cast of characters. I am such a fan of these new adaptations and how they pay homage to the originals and also lean into a more modern lens. It’s a truly suspense filled ride with exhilarating twists and turns.”


Featured in the cast are PTC alum Bonnie Black (Lend Me a Tenor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Princess Dragomiroff, Amy Bodnar (Mamma Mia!, Outside Mullingar) as Greta Ohlsson, Andrea Morales (Scapin) as Mary Debenham, Robert Scott Smith (Mary Stuart, The Crucible) as Colonel Arbuthnot/Samuel Ratchett, and Anne Tolpegin (Sweeney Todd, The Prom) as Helen Hubbard.

Making their respective PTC debuts are Gisela Chípe (Broadway’s POTUS) as Countess Andrenyi, Edward Juvier (Broadway’s Les Misérables) as Monsieur Bouc, Matthew McGloin (Off-Broadway’s The Hello Girls) as Hector MacQueen, Alec Ruiz (Tootsie the Musical First National Tour) as Michel the Conductor/Head Waiter, and John Tufts (fourteen seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as Hercule Poirot.

Joining Anderson on the creative team are Scenic Designer Jason Simms (Sweat, The Lion in Winter), Costume Designer Phillip R. Lowe (What the Constitution Means to Me, The Lion in Winter), Lighting Designer Jaymi Lee Smith (Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Othello), Sound Designer Elton Bradman (A Distinct Society), Hair and Makeup Supervisor Tami Lee Thompson (The Lion King National Tour), Dialect Coach Adrianne Moore (Charles III, Dracula), and Production Stage Manager James O. Hansen (Tuacahn’s Joseph…Dreamcoat with David Archuleta).

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express runs from September 22 through October 7 at the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre. Tickets are available at PioneerTheatre.org or by calling PTC’s Box Office at 801-581-6961. 

This production is sponsored by Haynie and Company.



Joshua Black 
Director of Marketing and Communications 
O: 801-581-6270 


INTERVIEWS: Theatre staff, members of the cast, and creative team can be made available for interviews. Please contact Joshua Black to arrange.


 Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

Adapted by Ken Ludwig

“Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.ConcordTheatricals.com


September 22 – October 7, 2023


Monday – Thursday, 7:00 PM 

Friday and Saturday, 7:30 PM 

Saturday, 2:00 PM 


Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) is located in the Simmons Memorial Pioneer Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City 


$42 – $53 in advance; $5 more when purchased on day of show 

Students K – 12 or ages 5-18 are half-price Monday – Thursday 


Box Office: 801-581-6961 

Open 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday – Friday 

PTC Show Listing: Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express


Princess Dragomiroff: Bonnie Black* 

Greta Ohlsson: Amy Bodnar*

Countess Andrenyi: Gisela Chípe*

Monsieur Bouc: Edward Juvier* 

Hector MacQueen: Matthew McGloin* 

Mary Debenham: Andrea Morales* 

Michel the Conductor/Head Waiter: Alec Ruiz* 

Samuel Ratchett/Colonel Arbuthnot: Robert Scott Smith*

Helen Hubbard: Anne Tolpegin*

Hercule Poirot: John Tufts*


      Director: Melissa Rain Anderson

Scenic Designer: Jason Simms

Costume Designer: Phillip R. Lowe

Lighting Designer: Jaymi Lee Smith

Sound Designer: Elton Bradman

Hair & Makeup Supervisor: Tami Lee Thompson

Dialect Coach: Adrianne Moore

Production Stage Manager: James O. Hansen*

Stage Manager: Emily Nacrissa Griffith*

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. 


Now celebrating its 62nd season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company and leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Interim Managing Director Diane L. Parisi, PTC presents world-class productions that celebrate diversity in culture and society and serve as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah. For more information, visit PioneerTheatre.org.

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