Three years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote a murder mystery play for my local community theater troupe, the Tam Valley Players, not realizing it would be years before we returned to live theater.
Now it has been years and I am knee-deep in directing the play, which opens March 3. Sausalypso Houseboat Wars Murder Mystery is a comedy/farce inspired by true events in the 1970s. Developers wanted to evict the hippies, squatters, pretend pirates and their ramshackle houseboats from the waterfront to build a luxury harbor. The hippies resisted with dinghies and oars, street theater, and civil disobedience.
You may have heard about the houseboat wars from the newspapers or TV reports. Or heard about them from someone who was there. But this is what really happened.
If you haven’t attended a Tam Valley Murder Mystery Dinner Theater event, here’s how it works. You sit at a table for ten and eat dinner. Then the play starts. At intermission, you are instructed to decide who committed the murder and why, and pick a table captain to report your choice. Act 2 starts, and then, there’s a break, where the table captains make their accusations. Then the play continues and the murderer is revealed.
The play runs March 3, 4, 10, and 11 at the Tam Valley Community Theater. For tickets and more information, go to tamcsd.org. Tickets, which include dinner and the show, are $40 (plus a $4.50 service fee). Seniors are $30 and children $25.
Hope you can make it.