Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This Friday evening Mary Lyons dormitory will be the scene of a crime when it hosts Swarthmore’s first ever Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.
Early in the year the ML RAs, Jen Roth ’07, Genevra Pittman ’08, Scott Storm ’08, and Ethan Deyle ’08, decided to eschew the traditional Halloween party due to increased logistical issues and repeated problems with nearby residents and the police. They decided instead to throw an alternate event that would showcase the true spirit of the dorm and, as Deyle put it, “not just bring Paces down to Harvard Avenue.”
The group decided that putting on Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre was a good way to accomplish all of their objectives: to host an event that was new and innovative, would attract a large crowd, and would be well situated to ML. Once the plan was set, the RAs divided up the work and started to prepare for the evening.
Storm, who was put in charge of the play itself, wrote out the script from scratch with the help of Diana Pozo ’09, James Robinson ’10, and Erin Martell ’09. Katie Bates ’08 was acquired as director and auditions were held in the dorm. The enthusiastic cast, including Dean of Student Life Myrt Westphal, memorized their lines over break and are holding final rehearsals this week.
Pittman has been working hard, finding cooks and talking to Dining Services, in order to prepare a three-course vegetarian dinner for over 100, while Roth is coordinating the technical aspects of the show. Finally, Deyle has been responsible for publicity and transportation. Noted Storm, “We have all been working hard, but because the work has been spread out among several people, it hasn’t been too overbearing.”
The show begins with a speech from Ms. Gwendolyn Swabbe (played by Westphal), CEO and heiress to the Cotton Swab fortune. Ms. Swabbe is then tragically murdered, and it is up to the seven remaining actors to determine who among them committed the crime. The audience itself participates at the end to find the criminal.
The Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre opens this Friday, October 27th, with hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by contacting edeyle1, or by coming to the top of Sharples during dinner tonight where the RAs will be tabling.