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Red Bay’s BTCPA presents murder mystery comedy

There’s nothing quite like falling wholeheartedly into a good comedy, and folks will soon have an opportunity to do that right here in Franklin County.

Red Bay’s Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts has announced its first production of the 2022-2023 season, “Murder Me, Murder Me Not,” a comedy written by William Springer and directed by BTCPA acting veteran and board member Molly Thorn, who makes her directorial debut with this production.

“This is the first play I’ve had the privilege of directing, and I’m really excited about it,” explained Thorn. She said all the cast members have significant roles with a lot of lines to learn. “They’re all doing really well,” she added, noting two of the cast members are new to the stage.

The play will be presented Nov. 10-12 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Weatherford Centre in Red Bay. A meal will be offered for the Thursday night and Sunday afternoon performances, but it must be paid and confirmed in advance.

With less than a week to showtime, Thorn said they’re in full swing running through the play and perfecting their performances.

“I’m very proud of all of them,” Thorn said. “They’re all working really hard. I can’t wait for everyone to see them in action.”

This is Clint Sikes’ fourth play with the group, and he’s portraying Father Joseph Bentley.

“Every play has afforded me the opportunity to meet and interact with great people and have a lot of fun,” Sikes said. “We perform comedies exclusively here, and each crowd seems to find different parts funny. This play in particular is a sophisticated comedy, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with everyone.”

Jeanmarie Moore will play the role of the maid, Alice.

“This is my eighth production with the BTCPA,” Moore said. “My character has a sort of ditzy and bubbly personality. I’m looking forward to performing for our audiences, and I can’t wait to hear them laugh and see their reactions as the story unfolds!”

According to the play synopsis, following the murder of Randolph Gaston, everybody is after the insurance money – including the deceased. Additional characters include a grieving widow, the girl next door, the family maid, a French inspector and a confused boyfriend – but not everyone is who they seem to be.

Through a series of double and double-double crosses, mistaken identities, fake accents, hidden bodies and phony mustaches, playgoers are sure to be in for an entertaining and intriguing evening of murder, mayhem and misdirection, with plenty of laughs along the way.

The cast also includes Theron Struzik, Dominic Rogers, Sara Jane Hattaway and LaManda Johnson. Zephra Rogers is the stage manager.

Tickets went on sale Oct. 31 at the Weatherford Centre in Red Bay and are available weekdays from 2-4:00 p.m. Go by or call 256-356-9829, making sure to leave a message if nobody answers. Contact Beth Hammock at 256-668-0045 for information on group sales.

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