Murder mystery dinner returns to Krannert

By Se Young Lee

Future private detectives and those with a hunger for mystery will get a chance to test their wits this winter, thanks to the Krannert Center Student Association.

The KCSA will be hosting its second Murder Mystery Dinner from Dec. 8 to Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts (KCPA) at the University. Tammey Kikta, spokeswoman for KCPA, said the dinner is part of the association’s effort to promote the arts within the community.

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Adam Schwartz, vice president of KCSA, said the idea for the activity began at a community outreach department meeting last year.

“It started off as a joke,” said Schwartz, junior in ACES.

But as the meeting went on, the members began to take the idea seriously. After consulting the KCPA staff, Schwartz wrote a 10-page proposal overnight. When the plan was approved, the KCSA members wrote, directed, performed and organized the dinner, which sold out quickly last year.

Jessica Senning, junior in engineering and assistant director of last year’s dinner, attributed the success to the popularity of the concept as well as a well-thought out script.

“The plot was really good last year,” Senning said.

Schwartz, producer of this year’s event, said the night is divided into three segments. The murder is committed in the first act, which will run for approximately 45 minutes.

The dinner, consisting of chicken and stir-fried vegetables as well as a beverage and dessert, will be served during the 20- to 30-minute intermission.

When the second act begins, the audience will be able to ask the suspects questions to help solve the mystery. The audience will then vote on which character they believe committed the crime. At the end of the show, the real murderer will be revealed.

Schwartz was thrilled by the success of the event, which sold out despite the fact that they added two more dates and freed up more space by serving the food outside the theater.

He said some of the Krannert Center’s biggest donors and contributors were invited to one of the performances, bringing further interest and credibility to the event.

“I expect (the murder mystery dinner) to be a continuing tradition for the KCSA,” he said.

Schwartz said KCSA will be releasing more tickets on Dec. 1 – at $25 each – and some tickets may be available during the evening of each performance.

Senning, who is the director of this year’s performance, said the 10 student actors involved in the mystery murder dinner will not disappoint.

“It’s going to be a great show,” she said.