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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Ardmore Little Theatre teams with YW8 for 1920s-style murder-mystery fundraiser

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  • Mystery, intrigue and murder combined with audience interaction and the fast paced, high energy of the swanky 1920-styled characters create “A Flapper Murder at the 1920s Speakeasy!,” a murder-mystery dinner theater event to benefit a local nonprofit.
    Performed by seven actors associated with Ardmore Little Theatre, the interactive murder mystery dinner theater will be performed at Ardmore’s Santa Fe Depot for two performances at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9.
    “A Flapper Murder at the 1920s Speakeasy!” is full of firsts and unlike typical murder-mystery events, say the performers and event organizers.
    For one, this is the first time the non-profit organization, YW8, has hosted a murder-mystery benefit. The organization, which educates students in five Carter County schools about how to make healthy life choices and teaches that abstinence until marriage is the ultimate healthy life choice, teamed up with a fellow non-profit organization to make the event a reality.
    “YW8 hosts an annual banquet, but we wanted to do something else and before school started,” says Nan May, YW8 health educator. “The idea of a murder mystery came about.”
    “This is a first for us to team up with another non-profit like this,” says Leslie Dvorak, board president of Ardmore Little Theatre. “When I was approached about it, I’ve known Nan for years and my neighbor is an YW8 educator. I know the organization and I believe in the organization.”
    Dvorak, along with the six other performers, say they are happy to support YW8, but also look forward to delivering an interactive performance that will have patrons laughing along and asking multiple questions in hopes of answering which one of the seven committed murder at the speakeasy, an establishment that sold bootlegged alcoholic beverages during Prohibition.
    The performers say this murder mystery is very different and offers the actors an improv opportunity. There is no script. Instead, the actors are studying to learn their character, and at the event will engage in improvisational theater. Feeding off of each other’s energy, the characters will introduce themselves to the audience and make their way from table to table. Patrons will be encouraged to ask questions in hopes of unlocking the mystery.
    No one is above suspicion, say the performers, who don’t even know the mystery’s outcome. The seven will learn who committed the act when it comes time for the reveal at the event.
    “It is fast paced, so everyone will want to get involved,” May says. “It keeps everyone on their feet.”
    The audience will have an opportunity to complete a notecard to take a stab at who is the murderer. There will be a prize drawing for those who guess correctly, May says.
    Page 2 of 2 - The performers include Steve Brandenburg, Angel Dewbre, John Pryor, Lucas Johnson, Brent Holland, Tisa Peevy and Dvorak. They will be dressed in 1920s attire and be in character the moment they enter the Santa Fe Depot on Aug. 9, unaware of what the audience or fellow characters will ask them.
    “That’s what makes it fun,” Brandenburg admits.
    And not just for the actors, Holland says. “A Flapper Murder at the 1920s Speakeasy!” is a showcase for local talent, and provides an opportunity for live entertainment.
    “This allows people another layer of the artistic element in Ardmore,” Holland says. “This will be an opportunity for people to come see local talent and support a local organization.”
    The event includes a meal, and there will be a silent auction. Tickets for the family-friendly event are $45 per person, and are available at the brown paper bag and at the YW8 office.
    To ask questions or to purchase tickets, call the office at (580) 490-9980.

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