How To Perform Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

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Performing Murder Mystery Theatre

Producing or performing a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre?

This website offers detailed advice and recommendations to help make your production successful, effective, fun, and profitable.

Why produce this kind of play? Mystery Dinner Theatre performances continue to be among the most popular form of live theatre in this county. The audience's great affection for this unique theatrical experience is easily understood.

Audiences crave involvment in the theatrical event; watching theatre offers enjoyment; however participating in the performance inspires a "dangerous" excitement.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre performances, in which the cast performs in and among the audience members and spontaneously interacts with audience individuals, puts the spectactors "onstage" and allows them to experience the magic and energy of the theatre event without having to shoulder the responsibility of rehearsing, memorizing, or risking performance failure. They're allowed to experience the thrills without all the work.

Little wonder that Murder Mystery Theatre continues to attract and satisfy audiences; little wonder that professional, educational, and community theatre groups are "cashing in" on the popularity of this theatrical form.

In planning the event, the first and most important decision to made is: improvised theatre event or fully scripted event. Without a doubt, selecting a fully scripted event is the most effective choice.

Why? Consider Saturday Night Live and similar TV programs; these improvised skits can only sustain about 30 to 45 seconds, unless you're Robin Williams or Adam Sandler - then maybe longer but only because the audience ins't watching the skit, they're watching Robin Williams or Adam Sandler.

For amateur actors to believe that they can improvise comedy sequences that last for the whole two hour performance is sheer hubris at best; at worst is uncomfortably unfunny for the audience.

Like any other theatrical performance, successful Mystery Murder Theatre demands consistency, pacing, timing, control. The genius of great performances is in the rehearsal and polish; not in that elusive "inspiraton of the moment."

Select a "real play;" a fully scripted play that anticipates specific audience reactions; a play that has structured dramatic action; a play that has a beginning, middle, and end; complete with exposition, complications, discoveries, a crisis, climax, and resolution. offers a wonderful selection of well constructed and effective scripts.

Next, and certainly equally important is the planning. Planning is everything. Effective planning insures no surprises for your audiences or for your budget. And foremost in your planning is selecting the venue or where you intend on performing this Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.


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