Do you like whodunits? If you do, then the Sampson Arts Council has just the event for you. The annual Mystery Dinner Theatre will be held at the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center on Saturday, March 2. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.
“This year we decided to go a little different with our mystery dinner,” explained Kara Donatelli, Arts Council executive director. “This year’s event will be interactive. During the 30 minutes before the meal begins, the actors will be mingling with the guests and will use what they discover in their story plot. It should prove to be very entertaining and fun.
Another change is the use of professional actors to perform for the mystery dinner. “A Brush with Death” is the story of the mystery of an up and coming new artist, Sketch Framefiller. This new artist seem to have come out of the woodwork, yet some say that his work is to die for.
The play is an interactive performance produced by It’s A Mystery, a Triangle-based theatre company that has been creating and performing interactive entertainment since 1996. In a review by Southern Living Magazine it was stated that “It’s A Mystery, is North Carolina’s sneakiest gang of actors. They take murder-mystery dinner theater to the max. The group leads audiences through a thrilling game of whodunit. But watch you back. Once they’ve finished off the victim, the fun is just beginning.”
Donatelli stated that the committee decided to go with a professional group this year to change things up a bit.
“We are so appreciative of all the local actors and playwrights who have done so much to make our mystery dinners so successful. It is a lot to ask of volunteers, and they deserve an opportunity to be a part of the entertainment also. Having the venue change from the Small House to the Agri-Exposition Center has also allowed us to do the show in one night rather than multiple nights because the center can accommodate many more people than the Small House,” asserted the director.
In discussing this year’s mystery, the director shared that the audience will be involved from the very beginning.
“Will art imitate life or will the opposite be true? It will be up to the individual tables to study the clues and information provided to discover who could commit a dastardly crime. The audience will piece together the clues of the case in this interactive detective dinner theatre show. The first table to solve the mystery and correctly identify the motive and the culprit will win a prize,” remarked Donatelli.
The Arts Council has been doing the mystery dinner theatre for five years now and any proceeds are used to further expand the arts programs at the Small House. The major goal of this particular event for the Arts Council is to provide another opportunity for adults to experience the arts locally. The director expressed that there were multiple opportunities for children throughout the year but adult opportunities are more limited so the dinner theatre is a great chance for them to discover what the Arts Council has going on.
Tickets went on sale Jan 22 and will be offered through Feb. 22. Advance reservations are required.
“Tickets sell quicklyso gather your friends and reserve a table now,” stressed Donatelli.
There are “Super Sleuth” tables with seating for eight, which are the front row tables 1 through 10 and include eight drink tickets for $500 per table. Other “Detective” seating is $50 per person which will be at tables 11 through 20. Tickets are available at the Sampson CenterStage box office at 414 Warsaw Road in Clinton. For more information call 592-7200.
Evans Catering is providing the meal of mixed spring mix salad, served with strawberries, white cheddar cheese, caramelized walnut and poppy seed dressing; boneless chicken breast with a rich Marsala sauce and mushrooms; fresh steamed asparagus; sour cream and chives mashed potatoes; assorted dinner rolls, iced tea, water, coffee; and dessert of New York style cheesecake with chocolate and caramel drizzle.
“We encourage everyone to go ahead an get their tickets early before we sell out. We sell out every year and you do not want to miss this great whodunit event,” stressed Donatelli.
To contact Billy Todd call 910-592-8137 ext. 117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.