Three Types of Plays

Any Murder theme play can be ‘executed’ with one of the above 3 formats. The number of professional actors is the primary difference between the three versions. The level of AUDIENCE INTERACTION is dictated by you. A brief phone chat will help us better assess your needs and what will best fit the mood, personalities, and ages of your guests. The Team Building variation adds about 15 minutes more of activities at the beginning and end of the play.

The DETECTIVE actor in our leading role (Scott Ebright)  is  dead-on believable  and  authoritative  as  he guides your guests through the various stages of the plot. His likeable personality reflects the stature of a true career detective. His mastery of “dead-pan humor” keeps the guests amused and alert as they venture forward into the mystical intrigue of solving “Whodunit?”

1. FULL PRODUCTION

    • Easy production for you to book – All Turnkey!
    • We supply the detective, all the actors, and PA Equipment & props
    • All our actors stay in character 100% of time and mingle with guests
    • Detective conducts investigation and keeps play flowing smoothly
    • Easy booking: Relax and leave the entire execution of the play up to us
    • Join your guests, be part of the audience, and let the mystery unfold

2. COMBO PRODUCTION

    • We supply the Detective and 2 – 4 additional actors for your play
    • All our actors stay in character 100% of time and mingle with guests
    • You provide the balance of your own volunteer actors to fill roles
    • Telephone rehearsal for your volunteer actors (about 10-15 min.)
    • Volunteer Actors get “Tips” article to help them perform

3. TEAM BUILDING PRODUCTION

    • We supply the Detective and 1 – 4 additional actors for your play
    • All our actors stay in character 100% of time and mingle with guests
    • You provide the balance of your own volunteer actors to fill roles
    • Telephone rehearsal for your volunteer actors (about 10-15 min.)
    • Volunteer Actors will get “Tips” article to help them perform
    • Team Building factors blend into play at start and conclusion

We always use at least 3-5 Professional Actors

The professional actors we provide will handle the more challenging roles where a vocal dialect and a great sense of comedic timing is more crucial than some of the other roles. Our Detective knows the play inside and out, and this fact gives us the maximum advantage to interact with unpredictable reactions from guests and encourage audience participation. All our actors are skilled with “ad-lib humor” when relating to audience questions and answers. This is why our Detective and an accompanying professional actor will help keep the entertainment value high for your show. If the Detective was the only Professional actor to perform with a cast of all volunteer actors, then there is a tendency for the all volunteer cast to play “the blind leading the blind” since your own volunteer actors will not have a professional actor role model to pattern themselves after (other than the detective). Our professional actors provide that example of a role model for your volunteer actors, and they will help to convey emotion, strong delivery, and engage the audience with skill and a flexible degree of ad-lib ability.

Scripts for your Volunteer Actors: Scripts are given to your actors about seven to ten days prior to the performance. Each actor’s script is only for their respective part – not for the whole play! The character profile is written at the top of each script so the volunteer actors’ personalities and skill levels can be a better match for each role. Volunteer actors don’t need to memorize lines, but are recommended to read through their short scripts about 15 or 20 times in order to get familiar with their dialogue.

TELEPHONE COACHING! Your volunteer actors can call our office anytime, day or night,  for additional coaching or a pep talk about the part they will play. Usually, a 10 or 15 minute phone conversation will better prepare them for their acting role.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

TeamBuildingLogoOur Team Building version of murder mystery plays uses at least two actors (the Detective and one actor playing one of the more challenging roles). Often times, our Team Building clients like to involve their own volunteer actors to join in the mystery play production. The Detective actor we provide acts as the facilitator and MC to keep the play flowing smoothly with all your volunteer actors. (See Team Building under the “CORPORATE” category on this website.)________________________________________________________________________________________

Time Duration of the Mystery Play…

We can fit our show into YOUR TIME frame!

Murder Mystery plays consist of two-acts, but they can also be presented as one continuous act (without break) or shortened if you have a limited time schedule.

From the initial screams and discovery of a “stiff”, our plays generally last 2 hours: Act I lasts approximately 45 minutes and after a 10-15 minute break, Act II lasts about 25-30 minutes. ALL PLAYS BEGIN WITH A REFRESHMENT HOUR OR COCKTAIL time period. This will add another 30 to 60 minutes to the play’s length at the beginning. The number of questions raised by your dinner guests – or other ad-libs and wisecracks from your audience – can affect the length of your play. The Detective keeps the audience focused and if any participants or guests get too carried away, he will re-direct them back to solving the crime if they get too far off from the timetable. The Murder Mystery concludes with climactic music as the perpetrator is arrested, handcuffed, and led out of the room. All performance times are flexible.

Don’t “Clutter” your program

Any additional activities like speeches, awards, contests, prize giveaways, Power-Point presentations, employee slide shows, product launches, etc. may all take place upon the conclusion of the play. It is best not to interrupt the a play in progress, as this will lose ‘break the spell’ of suspended disbelief and lose the interest of the audience when action resumes. (We have “been there” “Done that” many times back in the old days – we learned our lessons well!)

Our plays are cleverly written with an “elastic format” that allows room for adding or removing a character to fit within certain time requirements. This does not alter the quality of the plot. Generally, smaller audiences of 15 to 35 guests will be fully entertained with a FULL PRODUCTION of 4 instead of 5 professional actors. Or, our clients can make up the difference of that fifth actor by selecting one of their own guests to be a volunteer actor.

Why more than 5-6 actors doesn’t work!

As an event planner or buyer of murder mystery entertainment, you should steer clear of any other mystery companies bragging that they use 8 to 20 characters in their scripts. Audiences get over-whelmed by confusing plots that use too many actors or suspects. Stage play productions use many actors, but even then, the whole plot usually hinges on only a few main acting roles. Your guests need to observe and remember the various personalities and quirks of prime suspects so they can later evaluate what their motives might be. An interactive murder mystery play should never use more than 4-6 primary suspects to engage your guests. 

EXAMPLE: Try watching the movie, “Clue” or “Murder by Death” and see if you can keep track of ALL the suspects names, motives, actions and clues. The truth is, NO ONE CAN! Movies and TV shows usually have a bad habit of cramming way too much detail into a story that average audiences cannot remember nor understand. Or, the action all progesses much too fast from one scene to the next, and the viewer can be lazy and just let the story unfold before them, without having to tax their brains.

 ________________________________________________________________________________________

Photos of Sound Equipment used in our showsSpeakerEquipment

Share