Acting with a deadly twist

You may have heard of murder mystery dinners where each diner gets to play/act out a part previously revealed to them. This involves asking questions of the other diners to try to discover who committed the dastardly crime. After each course another part of the play is acted until as dinner finishes, you get to accuse your victim, with only the actual murderer knowing they were guilty all along and having lied all the way through the meal, except for comments about enjoying the food, hopefully.

What is the play’s twist?

Now there is a great twist on this – with real actors. Lee Mueller of Playedwell LLC of Lake Saint Louis, will sell you, by the performance, an interactive play so your audience can be involved and not fixed in their seat, watching your show.

During every regular play, the audience are trying to work out the whodunit as it goes along and they will discuss the who and why for hours after the play ends, so why not involve them from the start?

What do you get for your money?

Firstly, Lee insists his plays are not party games, but real plays.

• Each script contains a section of “improvisation” and “audience interaction”.

• You can insert your own “local” references to the show to fit your community.

• Most of the scripts have a cast of ten or more and are adaptable to any type of venue.

• The script is emailed as a .pdf upon payment. No charge per script and no waiting.

Changes to the play

You can add your own local touches to the script. Your local audience will enjoy this contact, adding to the interaction. You might add references to people or places that are in your local news, as long as you don’t risk a day in court afterwards.


One of the play’s premier benefits is the way the audience can interact with the actors. The characters can be asked questions by the audience. This provides the actors with the opportunity to improvise, providing they keep to the story or can make it back on track soon after a red herring or two.

What does the play cost?

Apart from your usual theatre or room fees, lighting and crew, the writer charges $65 for the use of one of his plays – the performance rights. You will need to budget another $25 for each live performance with no additional charges for photocopying the script. For around a 75-90 minute performance, that is a good deal. The timing will vary according to your audience’s participation.

Rent the playwright

If you can afford the cost of one night in a hotel for the playwright, he can visit your play for a question and answer session with your audience.

Alternately, you can have him attend a teaching session for your actors to boost your performance with audience participation skills. He might even stay and watch your rehearsals or play if you have paid him enough.

How were you planning to use one of his plays?

Stephen Hall is a freelance writer who writes regularly on business, finance, green issues, movies, sport & technology. Visit to hire him for article writing.

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