The board of directors at the Liberty Lake Community Theatre didn’t have to look very far to find someone to direct its reader’s theater production of Brian D. Taylor’s “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery.”
At the theater, 10 teenagers and one adult liaison make up the Teen Board, which raises money for the theater and encourages teen involvement through educational programs.
After she co-directed a recent reader’s theater production of “Dragnet Double Feature” with theater president Jennifer Bergman, the board tapped 15-year-old Kendall Boren, vice president of the Teen Board, to lead the production.
She and 17-year-old Emma Neary will co-direct “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery,” which opens Friday and runs through April 14.
In “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery,” the company at the Murder Mystery Playhouse are working on a production of “Putting a Little English On It,” a British murder mystery.
Things are going as well as they could be for the mediocre company until the final dress rehearsal, when the lights suddenly go out and an actor dies onstage.
The company replays the scene for investigators, a theater critic and the playwright only to have an actor die each time they reach the end of the scene.
As the company tries to solve the murders, the actors all wonder if they could be next.
“The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery” is a reader’s theater production, so the actors will all have their scripts onstage during the show.
But rather than have the actors sit onstage and walk to the microphone to recite their lines, Boren and Neary have added blocking to make it feel more like a traditional play.
To help the cast keep the two plays straight, Boren gave the actors a tip.
“I said ‘Guys, when you’re doing the British part of the show, ‘Putting a Little English On It,’ I want you to go as overdramatic and cheesy and loud as you possibly can. I know it feels weird, but go more overdramatic,’ ” she said. “They did it immediately, and I was like ‘Yes, you’re the best!’ ”
Boren has had a lot of fun working on a show like “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery” and she thinks audiences will enjoy the show too because of the twists that come with the play-within-a-play concept.
“There’s two different plays going on, and what can make it interesting is that lots of drama happens behind the stage,” she said. “The show is really happening behind the scenes so I think it’s interesting for a play within a play because you get to see both of those aspects.”