Monday, April 27, 2015

RAPA & the Russell Public Library present "A Plot Of Murder" 06/06

Russell Public Library - Russell, Ontario 

A Murder Mystery Evening - "A Plot Of Murder" by Lee Mueller. 

The play is produced by Joyce Chartrand & the Library.

The performance will take place Saturday June 6th 6:30 to 9:30 PM at the Russell Branch Library (1053 Concession Russell

Complimentary wine & beer, hors d'oeuvres and desserts will be served.

TICKETS: $40. On sale at the Library & at PRONTO.
No sales at the door. INFO: 613.445.5331.
Proceeds will support the Library's 3D printing & makerspace programs.

Monday, April 13, 2015

"An Audition For A Murder" at Owasso High School

An Audition For A Murder

Upcoming Production

Owasso High School in Owasso Oklahoma will present the murder mystery comedy play "An Audition For A Murder" 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the Ram Cafe.

The Plot of the "An Audition For Murder"

A Theatre group is holding auditions for a Murder Mystery called "Death of A Disco Dancer". All of the typical actors show up to audition. There is Mia Monahan - the militant method actress, Amber Frost- the ditzy Drama queen, Chad - the energetic actor who never seems to get a part in anything, Alan- the accomplished Theatre Major who works at a fast food place in the mean time. Troy May - the ego-centric actor who always gets a role and his gorgeous assistant Tantanya who holds his imported bottled water and carries his Portfolio. And last but not least, Mrs. Needleman and her precious daughter Julie , fresh from the Little Miss Pumpkin Pageant finals.

The auditions get underway without too many problems, well a few.. Well, all right, you see, the thing is.. the Director Vivian Vinderlou and assistant director Reed Moore have a bit of the problem with "script". The problem is they don't have enough copies for everyone. And the bigger problem is they don't actually have a finished script. 

Jim Culter- the playwright arrives in the nick of time with a few more copies and a few more finished pages just as one of the actors mysteriously dies. As luck would have it, Jim has brought Inspector Bonnie Brauvera along to the auditions to serve as Technical adviser for the play. Perhaps the investigation into this "mysterious death" will inspire the playwright and help him finish the play. After all, there is a read-through on Monday.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

"Stay As Dead As You Are" at Assumption College School

Assumption College School in Brantford, Ontario will present the murder mystery comedy "Stay As Dead As You Are" on April 9th at 6 pm.

Interact with the cast and indulge in a 4 course meal. Treat your palate to a roasted chicken quarter dinner with roasted potatoes, mixed veggies, garden salad with tomato and cumber- Italian dressing with warm brownie and ice cream for dessert! Catered by students of the "Hungry Lion". Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children under 13. Tickets close by April 2nd! Dinner and the show is April 9th starting at 6p.m. Seating is limited, so get your tickets NOW! Call the school for more details and ask to speak with Mrs. Ratelband at (519)751-2030 ext. 445.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Death Of A Doornail" back in St Louis March 20 & 21st

DEATH OF A DOORNAIL has been playing around the country quite a bit in the last few months. It played in February in Mansfield Ohio at the Ohio State Reformatory - which was seen on Ghost Hunters and also the prison used in The Shawshank Redemption ,  Doornail also just finished up this last weekend at Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield Illinois,

And now it makes it way back to St. Louis were it was originally staged back in the late 90's by Affton Centerstage. This new production is directed by Michelle Zielinski

Here's the plot:

Eccentric Millionaire Albert Doornale has invited all of his close friends to his estate including ex-wife Abigail, fiancĂ©’ Candy and childhood friend Salvatore. Everyone arrives at the estate greeted by his grumpy butler and cook, but Albert is not there. His spoiled daughter and nerdy nephew know only that blood has been discovered in an upstairs bathroom. Was Albert killed and carried away? Inspector Bukowski arrives to investigate…….


Presented at the ROYALE ORLEANS
2801 Telegraph Road
Friday March 20, 2015 at 7:00pm evening
Saturday March 21 2015 at 1:00pm matinee
Saturday March 21 2015 7:00pm evening
Doors open half hour before show

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Springfield Theatre Centre channels 'Zany' with "Death of a Door Nail,

Elaine Spencer in the State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois wrote a very nice piece about and STC's upcoming production of my play "Death Of A Doornail"  (for any murder mystery novel fans out there - they may get the reference or nod to crime writer M.C. Beaton and her Hamish Macbeth series which all have a title "Death of a.... " in the title. Such as "Death of a Gossip", "Death of a Cad" etc.. and NOT as some people have inquired - an Arthur Miller - Willy Loman reference. )

Anyway to quote:
"It's no mystery why Springfield Theatre Centre booked "Death of a Door Nail," an interactive murder mystery dinner theater production, for its annual fundraiser show that opens Friday.
STC seems to have found a winning formula like that of the authors and filmmakers parodied in the show -- colorful characters, plenty of clues and complications, and (maybe) a corpse, with the audience trying to guess who, if anyone, done it.
Written by Lee Mueller, "Death of a Door Nail" opens with the close friends and relatives of eccentric millionaire Albert Doornaile gathering at his lavish estate. The guests do not know why they have been invited, and when they arrive, their host is nowhere to be found. When bloodstains are discovered in the bathroom, suspicions of foul play arise and the sleuthing begins."

Read the full article HERE 

Details of the Doornail:
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 20-21; 1 p.m. Sunday and March 22
Where: Hoogland Center for the Arts, Theatre III, 420 S. Sixth St. 
Tickets: $30 for dinner and show
Information:  hcfta.org

Friday, March 06, 2015

"Last Call At Chez Mort" selling out Kirby-Hill House in Kountze Texas

Received this press release from my friends down in Kountze Texas who are producing my recently penned comedy murder mystery  "Last Call At Chez Mort"  
Chez Mort is a Jazz style Night Club and it's Last Call takes place in the 1940's. The plot is ripe with guys and dolls, mugs and dames, sirens and songs.  More can be read here
Kirby-Hill House has a rich history dating back to 1902 when it was built and in 1992, underwent renovations to restore the grand home.  Murder Mystery Dinners are one method the local group utilize to raise funds for restoration purposes. Theatre with a purpose! Amen to that. 
Here are the details from the Kirby-Hill House: 
"Looking to add a little mystery to your life? Want knee-slapping entertainment, elegance, and style? Throw in a little vintage, some fashion, a truly mouth-watering menu and, yes, murder.  The Kirby-Hill House Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is is in its 27th season now and shows for the newest production are selling out.
This year, the production is “Last Call At Chez Mort” by Lee Mueller
Opening night was a sell-out, and tickets continue to sell fast for the second weekend nights this weekend on Friday and Saturday March 6-7, and on March 13-14.
For more information or tickets, call 409-246-8000, or log on to its Facebook page 
Kirby-Hill House is located at 210 W. Main in Kountze Texas

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Endless Mountain Theatre Company presents "Death Near Dead Man's Holler"

The western-themed comedy murder mystery “Death Death Near Dead man’s Holler” will be presented at three separate locations across Susquehanna County. So pick out a date or location convenient and join us for a night of laughs, mystery, food and drink!
Written by Lee Mueller, the story takes place in the small town of Meridosa near Dead Man’s Holler, where nothing ever happens, nothing until now. A notorious outlaw Sergio Van Cleef is being kept in the jail for the night until Marshall Tucker can transport him to the train station to catch the 3:10 to Yuma. Mrs Peacock, president of the Ladies Ethics Guild is none too happy about the arrangement, nor is she happy that the new Saloon “entertainer”, Sadie Mae Harlow has not been run out of town. But while Sheriff John Ford keeps watch, the prisoner ends up dead in his cell. No one was around at the time or had access to the the prisoner. With the help of Parson Graham and Doc Watson, the Sheriff must try to solve this case, if only for his own satisfaction.
All shows cost $27 and include dinner and show. Reservations are required for all shows. Seating is limited, so make your reservations today! For details click link below

Thursday, February 19, 2015

To Host A Murder Mystery, The Game Is A Foot So You Might Need A Shoe

So you would like to host a murder mystery event but really don't know where to start. Here are some basic tips and ideas to get you started and point you in the right direction.

The first thing you will need is to cover the 3 P's:

  • Product - what type of event would you like to host? A play? A Game?
  • Place -where you can host your event?
  • People - who will help you and participate?

  • Deciding on what type of event you want to host will help narrow down your other choices. If you would like to host Murder Mystery Play, it will require a good size place and extra people to perform. If you wish to host a Mystery game, you can host in your own home or find a small venue that will not require many extra people to help you.

    What are the differences between a Play and a game?
    A Play is a theatrical performance with actors, a set, props and a script.
    A Game is generally an outline or scenario with participants .

    Hosting a Murder Mystery Play

    You can find many resources for play scripts on line. My own site, Play-dead is one of those resources. It is very easy to purchase performing rights for a play. A play of course will require a group of people ranging from actors, to a director, costumes and props. If you do not have a theatrical group,here are some ideas:

  • Local Community Theater group- Check in your area or search on line. Most communities have amateur theatrical groups. The benefit of community theater groups is that it's a volunteer based organization.
  • Local Colleges and High schools- Most schools have theater departments or personnel that may be willing to stage a play for you.
  • Create your own Group- You may have a theatrical background or know someone who does.
    If you don't wish to stage a play yourself, you can also find groups on line that supply their own acting troupe and Murder Mystery Plays.

    Hosting A Murder Mystery Game

    You can find Mystery Games on line that come in all shapes and sizes. Some are set for dinner parties with elaborate plots which include kits with all the material you need. Others are very simple with a set of rules and basic plot. Most Murder Mystery games involve everyone, much like a role-playing games. You will not need any theatrical performers, just yourself and your guests. Each individual Mystery Game site will explain how the game is played, what you need etc..

    Resources for Murder Mystery Games:

  • Murder Mystery Games

  • Mysteries On The Net

  • Free Form Murder Mystery Games!

  • Finding a Place

    If you prefer a more theatrical Murder Mystery or don't wish to host a game at your home, you will need to find a venue. Finding a place is really not difficult. My home group started out performing Mysteries at a local Historic Mansion, moved to a Community Center and finally found a home at Banquet Facility. Many popular Murder Mysteries are based in a Dinner Theater setting. The idea of a dinner and show is very appealing to audiences.

    Venue Ideas:

  • Local Community Center / Theater - check your local area most Centers have a theater or large room for rent.
  • Local High School - many will rent theater space to you.
  • Local Historic Homes - many Historic Homes in large cities host murder mystery plays.
  • Banquet Halls - sure, their main business are weddings and reunions but they offer ample space plus most have their own kitchens or catering services so Hosting a "Dinner Theater" would be perfect.
  • Hotel Conference room - many large hotels have conference rooms perfect for hosting a play.
  • Restaurants - some restaurants have "party" rooms that supply enough space to host a dinner theater.

  • If you choose to create your own theatrical troupe you will of course need a place to rehearse the play. If you have secured a location that will let you perform the show, they may also let you rehearse there. If not, there is nothing wrong with a good old basement or garage. My local group spent years rehearsing in basements.

    Promote Yourself

    Local newspapers have calender sections strictly for Theater auditions and performances. Smaller local papers and publications are always looking for interesting stories, so call the paper and see if they would like to do a story. If you have a website, Blog,  Facebook, or twitter by all means, promote your performance. Best yet make a short video and post it on youtube to attract attention - (here is an example )

    Extra Bonus idea Contact local businesses in your area to see if they would like to purchase an ad in your program. Leave a few pages free in your program for his purpose. Selling advertisements will generate added revenue. Another idea is to see if the businesses would like to donate any items, gifts, coupons etc.. as prizes for your play. At the end of the evening whoever guesses the "murderer" will receive a prize from a local business plus this business gets a free promotional plug. Hopefully these tips will get you started in the wonderful world of Murder Mystery Hosting!

    -Lee Mueller

    Play Dead Murder Mysteries

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    Liberty Center High School Drama Department Renews The Process

    Hold the presses. OK yea, presses are a bit heavy...so just set them down in the corner over there.

    "I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning" is being performed at 3 locations.

    Per my good friends in Ohio I received this announcement: "Liberty Center Drama Department cordially invites you to the wedding of the month as Brenda and Eddie (the popular steady) are getting married....and mayhem abounds!
    I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning at Liberty Center High School
     Getting Murdered In The Morning 
    I had the great pleasure to visit Liberty Center Ohio last year around this time when they were in rehearsals for my play "Murder Me Always". I realize for student actors it's always a little surreal to have the person who wrote the lines you are speaking on the stage to be sitting there watching you. I have been in similar situations where the playwright sat in on rehearsals and watched as I interpreted his dialogue, trying to convey (hopefully) what he meant. I must say, most of the playwrights I have met were pretty laid back and didn't furiously take notes or scream that it was all wrong!!! Many writers, including myself have an understanding that once their ideas/words fill a page, they are gone. What we had envisioned will very rarely sound and look exactly as we imagined once it is interpreted by someone else.
    I always believed if we as writers do our job correctly, directors and actors will realize the scope of any character we created. The will understand the emotion and tempo of a scene and if we are fortunate, actors will pick up the slightest nuances we etched into our words.

    Of course, with Murder Mystery Comedies, most of the characters are painted in very broad strokes. I do not mind if an actor takes a character and runs in a new direction with it. Sure, it may not be what I originally imagined but it may be better than I would have thought. Much in the same way a music composer may be delighted at a jazz interpretation of his simple tune. (Tea for Two by Oscar Peterson and Lester Young for example.)

    An old favorite quote of mine is "Art is the process not the product" and that holds true for many playwrights. Our art is in the process of writing - creating characters who speak and interact with each other through conflicts and finally resolve everything at the end. (sometimes)
    Once we are done, we have a product called a "play". One the great things about our art is that once it is handed off, it becomes a process (art) all over again for actors. A self renewing art form.

    I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning at Liberty Center High School
    Liberty High School Drama department will be renewing the process of art November 13th through 15th. A close approximation of my imagination will occur at 103 W Young St, Liberty Center, OH 43532. Oh and there will be a cake and punch reception Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights at 7:30 in the Little Theatre, Liberty Center. All tickets are $8.00 and may be purchased at the door.

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Upcoming Play Dead Murder Mystery Events

    “I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning" is being performed in 2 locations in November. First on Thursday, November 6th at 6:00p it will appear at Holiday Inn & Suites on 3950 Walden Road in Beaumont, TX.

    he interactive show, presented by the Port Arthur Little Theater, invites the audience to guess the killer’s identity. Guests are invited to wear wedding clothes. The event includes dinner and a cash bar. Tickets $60 per person, tables of 10 $650.

    Proceeds benefit Southeast Texas Special Olympics athletes. For reservations, call (409) 833-1363.

    The play will also be presented by Bishop McCort Catholic High School’s drama club in Johnstown Pennsylvania. The show will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15 at the school’s Bach Center at 25 Osborne in Johnstown.

    The fun spoof features all the elements of a wedding reception with a twist – a murder. “This show is a great vehicle for a family friendly evening, complete with dinner and a show,” said Jean Arcurio, Bishop McCort’s theater director.

    “The guests, or audience members, will get to participate in the reception fun as well as try to help solve the murder.” Wedding guests will join in dancing, catching the bridal bouquet and the garter toss, and have wedding cake for dessert. Actors will perform at various locations right among the audience, and the audience will participate in plot events. “Other actors will blend into the audience,” Arcurio said. The performance will be accompanied by a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.