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WVWC presents murder mystery dinner theatre

Submitted photo ‘The Case of the Dueling Hypnotists,’ from left, Loren Keene, Jeffrey Vandall, Allison Dempsey, Jade Parrish and Jacob Martin.

BUCKHANNON — The Department of Theatre and Dance at West Virginia Wesleyan College will perform a murder mystery dinner theatre at the Buckhannon Opera House, “The Case of the Dueling Hypnotists” on Sept. 27 and 28 at 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Uptown Event Center in Clarksburg.

When two world-class hypnotists square off to see which is the better, the insults start flying and the mind-bending becomes deadly! A fun-filled and hilarious murder mystery dinner theatre for all ages as the Amazing Moodini and the Great Justini vie to be recognized as the greatest hypnotist of the moment by hypnotizing audience members–though one of the people on stage will not be going home.

“Murder mystery dinner theatre shows offer something for everyone, and that’s why they’re so popular,” said Gregory Mach, associate professor of theatre at Wesleyan, who wrote and directed the murder mystery. “There are people who get into the mystery, and bring notebook and pens to write down all the clues, there are those who like to interact with the characters and have fun trying to trip up the suspects in their lies, and there are those that just want to sit back and laugh at the antics of the actors.”

Mach added, “This show has an extra layer of fun, as there is not only a mystery to solve, but we delve into the world of mind-control as our hypnotists work their magic on audience members. It’s a very funny script, and a little creepy, too. People don’t like to think they’ve lost control of their minds, but here it is happening right in front of them.”

The cast includes Wesleyan students Allison Dempsey of East Bank as Tavash; Loren Keene of Bluefield as The Great Justini; Jacob Martin of Nicholas County as The Amazing Moodini; Jeffrey Vandall of Charleston as Sparky; and Jade Parrish of Buckhannon as Kitts. Also appearing are Sinead Tobin of Fairmont and Kari Conaway of St. Marys. Music by Bryce O’Laughlin and the stage manager is Mikayla Dahlager.

Mach teaches advanced acting, directing, theatre history, stage makeup, voice and movement, and humanities. A professional actor, director, and playwright when he is not teaching, he has performed everything from Shakespeare to mime at numerous theatres throughout the southeastern United States and on television, and has directed extensively for the commercial, university and community stage.

For Buckhannon Opera House showtime tickets, call 304-472-8369. For Uptown Event Center in Clarksburg, call 855-882-8588. The ticket price includes dinner. Tickets may be purchased at the door. The Opera House shows will have a cash bar. For additional information about the murder mystery, contact Mach at mach@wvwc.edu.