This Halloween, I got to celebrate in style — by stage managing/wardrobing a murder mystery dinner theatre production! This format is a classic example of immersive theatre: the audience becomes part of the show and the set is actually the totality of audience’s and cast’s surroundings, not isolated to a stage. Our production, Halloween Moon Rising by Kelby Siddons, was produced by Y-Not Theatre and hosted at the Matheson History Museum in Gainesville. It was my last non-circus production in Gainesville, and it was fantastic. The play’s characters are inspired by historical figures in north central Florida, including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
Although I had done quite a few immersive shows, this production proved to me that immersive theatre requires a firm camaraderie among the cast and crew. Everyone has to be on board with each other to make it work, in tune enough to fix things when they go wrong. We were all lucky to have actors, crew, and a director with a great attitude.
I also had fun making props that the audience looked at for clues. Imagine my delight when someone picked up on the tiny detail I’d hidden in a newspaper clipping and correctly guessed the murderer!
Overall, a delightful production, and I hope to be able to work on a murder mystery again.