Murder mystery: Thespians perform improv whodunit

Megan Krenek

Murder. A whodunit mystery presented by the theatre department shocked both the theatre group and the audience. Law and Hors d’oeuvres is an improv show put on by the thespian group in the Blue Bistro as a murder mystery dinner theatre. The show was done in an improv style, preventing even the cast from knowing who the murderer was beforehand.

“The show is all improv, so we all make up stuff as we go,” sophomore Mikayla Eppenbaugh said. “The various props were all new to us as well.”

Because the show took a different angle with improv than a traditional performance, students had to hone their skills before they could put the story together.

“Ms. Eder worked with the students a lot on improv, and then I came in,” theater director Jacob Justice said. “We had different events going on, we were doing Trunk-or-Treat at the same time, so after I came in and created, an overarching story, but then tried to figure out who’s good at which game.”

The actors were required to think on their feet and focus on being witty, entertaining, and quick, differing from the norm where lines are written and rehersed and the only thing that they need to focus on is the delivery.

“Since a lot of the show is improv, it was a mystery for me, too,” sophomore Courtney Coker said. “It’s fun because you never know what’s going to happen or what people are going to say, you just have to go with it.”

The show was built organically from the ground up, allowing students to brainstorm and create a unique show all their own.

“First period was throwing out ideas and someone said Law and Order and I love Law and Order,” Justice said. “I was like ‘yes, this is the show,’ Every kid in there has their own confession statement, so we don’t know who’s going to be the murderer for each night. The audience is the one who gets to tell us.”

Since the audience dictates the direction the story moves, each character could be implicated for the crime. The first night, the Inspector (Trey Weltens) was chosen as the murderer by the audience and he delivered his reason for murderering the chef, while the night after assistant detective (Taylor Speier) was the murderer.

“I think this play is very unique just because it is improv and people worked hard for it, even though we didn’t know it was going to happen,” Courtney said. “It really shows a lot of talent because the performers have to go with whatever everyone else says.”