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Mystery Writing Boot Camp
at the Brumder Mansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Thank you so much for offering such a great mystery! My family gets together every other Thanksgiving for a BIG party! "Death in them thar hills" was perfect since we live in Arizona and for many it was the first time in Arizona. Everyone (35 of us) came in costume, (a requirement for Dinner!) AND played their part perfectly. This play is written so well that it goes extremely smooth with very little preparation. There were many pictures taken and I wanted to send just a few. What a blast! Please share my pictures to show off some great costumes. I have shown my album to many who have requested your web address. Thanks again!
How long will it take to orchestrate the mystery?
This mystery is designed to be an afternoon's or evening's entertainment. Give yourself three hours to stage it.
What should the set look like?
The mystery takes place in the Old West. An outdoor setting or a horse farm would work, but you can create a theatrical set for the performance.
How much involvement does the audience have in the mystery?
The mystery is highly interactive. After the opening dialogue, the suspects mingle with the audience members to answer questions in character.
How large should the audience be?
Much of this will depend upon your cast's ability to field questions effectively. An audience of up to 100 will be able to ask questions without feeling crowded.
How should we use the 20 additional roles?
If you are staging a large party and want everyone to have a role, you can assign these roles in advance. If you are using this mystery in a theatrical setting, you can assign the roles as your audience arrives. Tell those who are given minor roles to mingle with the other audience members and reveal what they know about the case.
The Theatrical Version is designed to be performed by a troupe of actors in an interactive setting, or staged for a large group party in which everyone has a role.
Included in the kit are:
- Complete instructions on how to stage the death of Dusty Jonesin front of the group. In the home version, the investigation takes place on the day after Dusty's death. Your guests will be assembling to remember the life of Dusty Jones.
- A newspaper account in The Cactus Gulch Gazette records Dusty's final speech.
- Instructions for U. S. Marshal Nate Dillman, the person who will lead the investigation.
- Roles for all 10 prime suspects AND a role for Dusty that include family backgrounds and recollections of events that led up to the murder.
- Minor roles for 20 additional people. None of them is involved in Dusty's murder, but all know something about the case.
- A series of written clues that are handed out to prepare the group for the murder mystery.
- Key supporting information that will be revealed at critical times during the investigation.
- "The End" that is revealed at the end of the evening and ties the event together. Remember: MOTIVE, MEANS and OPPORTUNITY will point to the guilty party.
Was it the gold that did him in?