How do nuns and reading assignments connect with murder mysteries?
Well, if you went to Catholic school and and despised the first two, it may have led to thoughts of the third, but that’s not how it shook out at all. For me, it was a defining moment. You know, those experiences you have when you absolutely know that something is going to change or define the path of your life? Let me ‘splain how “Pigs is Pigs” + Sister Paulita = Murder Mystery Dinner Party.
Back in the late 60’s our 8th grade reading class worked this way. Some days we did SRAs – little reading cards against which you checked your comprehension. With skill you could rise to the top gold level. I did. I loved reading and was a Reading Geek.
Other days we got out ours reader and followed along with the story as kids read sections out loud. It was okay until you got someone who hated it. Then you plodded along with the petrified kid as he struggled to pronounce even the easy words.
Sometimes it got so boring that as a Reading Geek you couldn’t help but go ahead. wThe trick was to keep an eye on the next paragraph in the event that Sister Paulita called on you next you’d be ready. She’d yell at if you didn’t know where to pick up and she would write a note to your mom. All the other kids would laugh at you. Unnerving for a 12-year-old Catholic girl in 1967.
That day we were reading “Pigs is Pigs,” an excerpt from a short story by Ellis P. Butler. I remember it because it was funny and besides, this was a Defining Moment as I mentioned earlier. Anyway it was my turn, and of course I was 9 pages ahead. Sister sternly directed to the proper starting point. Because I was scared I’d get yelled at, I did my reading with all the enthusiasm I could collect. I changed voices for characters, made the words soft then loud, put in dramatic pauses – the whole nine yards.
At the end Sister Paulita said, “Nancy!” I was really afraid then, and wondered if I could make myself faint to avoid what might come next. Nuns were scary. “Nancy!” she called again. “You belong on stage! That was tremendous! When you are in high school you must be involved in theater!!” A compliment from a nun?! What?! Me in theater? What?! Really?!
Okay, so long story short – that’s what I did. All through high school I hung out with Jana and Doug and Carolyn, and we acted, directed, did stage makeup and scenery. After high school it was community theater. For 24 years my extra-curricular as a teacher was to direct 5th grade plays and middle school plays Unified Arts and teacher plays and talent shows, often with colleague Wendy by my side. Literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people walked across my stages. All because of a nun and a reading assignment.
Now – our very first Murder Mystery dinner theater: “Til Death Do Us Part”
That theater thing doesn’t just go away, you know. I know that Jana and Doug and Caroline are today still engaged in some aspect of performing. Here at the Inn I am beyond excited to direct our guests in our very first Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. I could faint! And not because I’m scared of a nun, but because it’s going to be sooo much fun for guests!
“Til Death Do Us Part” or as I like to say, The Giovanni Wedding will be catered by Rosie’s Tavola. Who else to do an Italian wedding dinner for Becky Giovanni’s betrothal to Stanley Simpson? The wedding cake, of course, will come from The Bake Shop where all our brides go.
In this fun and exiting Murder Mystery, Inn guests take on the roles of Becky, Stanley, the Giovanni and Simpson families and the friends attending the reception. No lines to memorize, but each person receives a character sheet about the person he or she is portraying, ideas about costumes, and how the party runs. It’s a great event until someone takes a hit. Then party-goers try figure out who among them is the murder. Great food, great fun, and great prizes at the end!
Our Murder Mystery Dinner Party, “Til Death Do Us Part,” happens Veteran’s Day weekend, November 11, 2017, which also happens to be my Third Anniversary as Innkeeper of this beautiful place. Space is limited – you know how big the Inn is. Click here to find out how you can RSVP and reserve your spot for The Giovanni Wedding, a night of love, mystery and murder! Can’t wait! PiP + SP = MMDP