Murder Inn

by  Howard Voland, Keith McGregor

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 8f

"Features wonderful dialogue, a colorful, kooky cast of characters and a good dose of humor." - Everett Herald

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 8f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

The first Grace and Doris Mystery Comedy is perfect for Halloween, or any other spot in your season. This delightful comedy features a cast of zany characters, a near-sighted, knife-throwing poltergeist, a Ouija board of doubtful veracity, thunder and lightning, screams in the dark and a satisfying body count.

Murder Inn is set in New England, at the Barnsley Inn, a dilapidated eighteenth century inn, which is supposedly haunted by Marco, a knife-throwing poltergeist. A group of tourists, on a tour-Ghosts and Ghouls of New England-is forced, by a storm, to make an unscheduled stop at the Barnsley. What looks to be an unpleasant and uncomfortable detour soon turns into a night of mayhem and madness as knives begin to pop up… in the most unexpected places. As the storm builds and the body count rises, the survivors try to figure out who done it. And even more important- who’s likely to have it done to them next?

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Reviews

“Murder Inn…features wonderful dialogue, a colorful, kooky cast of characters and a good dose of humor. Plus, it appears that everyone involved is having a grand time, judging from last weekend’s opening performance...Murder Inn was written specifically for community theater, and this production’s mix of talent-experienced actors and several first-time performers-works well...Two of the characters who delighted the audience most were Grace and Doris, the gray-haired, energetic senior citizen duo of the tour. Believers in the ‘when I grow old, I can say just about anything I want’ school of behavior, they do just that. Whether bickering back and forth, or coming back with a purse full of knives after scouring the manor, their astute and quirky observations of every situation could give Seinfeld a run for his money.” – The Everett Herald

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    The play takes place in the sitting room of the Barnsley Inn, a dilapidated eighteenth century inn somewhere in New England. The furnishings are old, worn and stained. The plaster is cracked and has patches that are discolored and flaking.

  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 8f

JAKE TALBOT – (Mid to late 20s) Son of the owner of the Barnsley Inn. A sturdy, no-nonsense young man who takes care of the place for his mother. In good physical shape.
MARTHA TALBOT – (In her 50s) Owner of the Barnsley; cantankerous, short and plump with gray hair.
AGNES TATE – (Middle Aged, 40-50+) Meddlesome, antagonistic, sarcastic, inconsiderate. Everyone’s murder victim of choice. Dressed expensively, but not in the best of taste.
CAROLYN PICKETT – (In her 20s) Niece and traveling companion for Agnes; attractive, unassuming, and smartly dressed in slacks, blouse, and jacket.
ELLEN HALSEY – (Late 20s to early 30s) The tour guide, attractive and professional.
MURIEL LAMPMANN – “Middle Aged (40-50+)” Petite and…ethereal. A true believer in the occult. An airhead of sorts, but very sweet. Traveling alone.
PATRICIA SIMPSON - (Middle Agedm 40-50+) Reserved, nervous, always tense. Traveling alone.
TODD CURRIER – (In his 20s) Congenial, intelligent and well dressed in a casual way. He’s traveling with his father.
LAWRENCE CURRIER – (Mid to late 50s) A college professor on sabbatical, doing research for a book. Widowed in the last couple of years. Distinguished and intellectual.
GRACE SHARP – (60+) A retired school teacher; she’s petite and “fluffy,” and she looks helpless, which is by no means the case. Traveling with her longtime friend, Doris Brooks.
DORIS BROOKS – (60+) Retired nurse practitioner. Matter of fact and sarcastic. Traveling with Grace.
DONALD SCHULTZ – (In his 40s) The van driver. Physically either heavy or very thin. Morose.

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Martha, Agnes, Muriel, Patricia, Lawrence, Grace, and Doris all have a good bit of flexibility as to age, as long as they work as a group. Grace and Doris are older and wiser. Lawrence is distinguished…and he is of an age that Muriel, Patricia and Agnes would find attractive, especially since he is available. He also has to be old enough to be Todd’s father; and Martha has to be old enough to have a son Jake’s age — or if you want to take her older, she could be Jake’s grandmother with minimal script changes.

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Authors

Howard Voland

Howard Voland is the co-author with Keith McGregor of the Grace and Doris Mystery Comedy series written for community theatre and featuring an ensemble cast and simple production values. Murder Inn is the first in the series, was firs ...

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Keith McGregor

Keith McGregor has been involved with theatre all of his adult life. He earned his BA in English and Fine Arts from Rice University in Houston and his MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Houston. In addition to collaborating on the Grace and Doris Mystery Comedies for Community Theatre (whi ...

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Murder Inn was first produced in Spring 2000 by Off the Wall Theatre, Monroe, Washington.

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