Feb. 27, 2014. Get ready for a different kind of night at the theatre! The Lees-McRae Performing Arts Department is proud to present Mystery of Edwin Drood, a murder-mystery in which the audience chooses the culprit! The production will premiere in Hayes Auditorium on the campus of Lees-McRae College on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and run through March 2. All performances are open to the public.
“Charles Dickens died before he finished writing Mystery of Edwin Drood,” said Dr. Michael Hannah, director of Mystery of Edwin Dood and associate professor of performing arts.
“So how can we have a musical that tells the complete story? It’s simple – set nearly everyone up to be a murderer and let the audience choose their favorite! Our musical version of this production takes us back in time to a lively, fun-loving 1880s British music hall, first to enjoy a wonderfully theatrical take on Dickens’ last novel, and second to actually take part in the production by letting the audience vote on the whodunit. Audience participation is key to Act II as the music hall cast presents several possible – and all likely – murderers and asks the audience to choose. The cast then has to spin into action to make the audience’s choices make sense. This is a challenging show for our students and a ton of fun for the audience. You could attend every night and possibly enjoy a different conclusion each time.”
This wildly warm-hearted theatrical experience deals with John Jasper, a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster who is madly in love with his music student, the fair Miss Rosa Bud. Now, Miss Bud is, in turn, engaged to Jasper’s nephew, young Edwin Drood, who disappears one stormy Christmas Eve, leading to the audience driven question: has be been murdered and, if so, whodunit?
“Each of the principal cast members – each a potential murderer – has to learn his or her own version of the murder confession,” said Hannah. “Every possible option is provided by the musical’s creator. Once the audience makes its choice, the cast makes the appropriate adjustments and the chosen murderer comes forward to explain his or her motives for the crime. The audience even gets to match a pair of lovers for the obligatory happy ending. The whole evening is irreverent and raucous as the Music Hall Royale’s actors vie for the audience’s favors. You never forget you’re in a theatre as you watch one of the funniest portrayals of (possible) murder you’re ever likely to see. But everything is not always as it seems, so wait for the very last song when we reveal the moral of our story.”
Performances will be held Feb. 27 and 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on March 2 at 2 p.m.
All performances will be held in the Broyhill Theatre of the Hayes Auditorium on the campus of Lees-McRae College. Adult tickets are $12 and student and child tickets are $5 including NC sales tax. Seating is general admission only, no reserved seating, and tickets are only sold at the door. The Box Office opens one hour before show time and can be reached at 828-898-8709.
For more information about the performing arts at Lees-McRae, visit www.lmc.edu/pa.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 850 students hailing from 35 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation an experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.