When I was a child, mystery books were my favorite genre to read. My siblings and I would play the game Clue, over and over and over again. We never grew tired of solving the mystery. Life was a big mystery waiting to be solved.
As an adult, Alena Craig’s murder mystery birthday parties brought me back to my childhood, and sparked the creation of a summer drama mystery camp. Who knew children in Cordova were interested in solving mysteries, just as much as I was when I was a child?
With my love for the theater and Alena’s zeal for murder mysteries, we designed a Theater Arts class at Current Rhythms. Finding a play for 21 characters, grades four-seven, was not an easy task, but we found one.
Premiering January at the North Star Theatre, “Murderous Night at the Museum” by Kate Sparacio, Mike Steele, Matt Steele and Melissa Stumbaugh was Current Rhythms’ first junior theater full-production. This play was produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. Englewood, Colo. With volunteer support from Alena Craig, Serena Herschleb and Amber Nolan, rehearsals took off.
When rehearsals began in mid-October, I knew we were in for an evening of comedy and sleuthing. The actors were dedicated to memorizing their lines and were inspirational to each other. It’s not easy getting up on stage and acting. They were committed actors right from the start!
What made this production unique was the way the actors cooperated with each other backstage during their performance. There was a calm demeanor backstage and confident acting onstage. The audience reacted with spontaneous laughter, making this an evening of fun for everyone!
“Murderous Night at the Museum” synopsis
The play takes place at the Knotting Museum. It’s time to unveil its newest exhibit, The Tomb of Aepep and His Mistress, and several local celebrities have been invited to the big exhibition. Much to the pleasure of museum curator Darlene Kisser, the event seems to be running smoothly. Smoothly, that is, until the egotistical film starlet, Ms. Rose, and the washed-up singer, Joy Mond, are both murdered and panic ensues. Someone needs to figure out whodunit before another murder occurs, and it doesn’t take long for each of the guests to begin playing detective. The only problem is that one of these detectives is actually the murderer. Is it the cold cut loving man from New York? His photo-snapping wife? One of the bratty teenage twin sisters?
Dance specialist, Current Rhythms