The Moscow Moose Lodge is hosting a murder mystery dinner theater show with the University of Idaho on May 9-11. The show “Out of Sight…Out of Murder” is directed by Travis Gray, a -theater MFA student.
“The show is free, but there is a suggested donation (in order) to eat,” Gray said. “All proceeds go to the Moose Heart — a Chicago-based orphanage.”
The show is about an author, Peter, writing alone in a mansion in Vermont on a stormy night. Because of the storm, the characters he writes about in his book come to life and he is suddenly in a real life murder mystery. Peter is played by Clay Kirkwood, a junior at UI.
“Peter is a very intense guy,” Kirkwood said. “All he really wants to do is have a drink and go to bed, but it seems life isn’t letting him get the kind of peace he feels he deserves.”
Gray said the show embraces a lot of the murder mystery clichés. There are the two lovers, the old character, the butler and the maid — all instantly recognizable characters that make up a murder mystery.
There are nine people in the cast and three designers for the show — costume, lighting and scenic designers. Gray said most of the designers in the department were busy designing for the Cherry Orchard.
Rehearsals for the show were six days a week from 10 to midnight in order to accommodate the cast members and designers that were also rehearsing for “The Cherry Orchard.”
Gray said employees at the Moose Lodge hope the dinner theater event becomes an annual event as a way to give back to the community and fundraise for Moose Heart.
Gray was assigned a class project of producing a production off campus without the help of university resources. He said he happened to find out the Moose Lodge was looking for a dinner theater opportunity, as well.
Finding a venue for the show wasn’t difficult, but Gray said one of the biggest challenges he faced as the director was finding a family-friendly script. He really wanted the event to be appropriate for people of all ages.
“There is some scary music here and there but it’s mostly just meant to be funny,” Gray said. “At most, we have a thunder sound effect.”
They are even figuring out a free daycare system at the Moose Lodge so people can bring even small children and not have to worry about finding daycare, according to Gray.
“It’s just one weekend,” Kirkwood said. “The limited performances should give us a good group of people in the audience.”
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