Done to Death

by  Fred Carmichael

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  8m, 8f

Once-famous mystery writers involve the audience as they apply their individual methods to solving various murders.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 8f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Once-famous mystery writers involve the audience as they apply their individual methods to solving various murders. They include a couple who write sophisticated murders, a young author of the James Bond school, a retired writer of the hard-hitting method, and an aging queen of the logical murder.

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Reviews

"Ingeniously packed into the script is a parody of every mystery plot, hero, and villain created in the past fifty years. The story alternates between reality and imagination as five mystery writers wrestle with the problem of writing a television mystery series. All around them murders occur." - Glens Falls Post Star

"Carmichael plays a skillful and fast paced game of guess again with the audience [...] Clever and rewarding." - Bennington Banner

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Setting: A television studio, Vulture's Vault - an island in the Caribbean.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

8m, 8f
JESSICA OLIVE - an extremely attractive and sophisticated woman in her middle to late thirties. To her, everything is a joke with a reason to laugh. She and her husband are the epitome of the rich, devil-may-care type of characters who used to be so prevalent in mystery stories and they play their characters to the hilt.
WHITNEY OLIVE - a few years older than Jessica, he matches her in wit and sophistication. Always the perfect gentleman, he might well have walked out of the pages of Esquire.
MILDRED Z. MAXWELL - a large woman, folksy in a way, but a very determined and opinionated. She often has a sharp way of speaking, although she is a friendly soul. In her late fifties or early sixties.
BRAD BENEDICT - he is much younger than the others, and, consequently more mod in his dress, but by no means "hippie." Actually, he is a very shy and retiring person, quite the opposite from the characters he writes. He has a quiet sense of humor which manifests itself in a small grin when he has been amusing, but usually he takes a back seat and admires the others.
RODNEY DUCKTON - the oldest of the five authors, but he is extremely vital and constantly interested in everything that goes on. There develops a small rivalry between him and Mildred and a small generation gap noticeable between him and Brad. He is dressed impeccably in a suit and is always full of boundless energy and enthusiasm.
JASON SUMMERS - a man in his thirties, efficient-looking right down to his horn-rimmed glasses which he occasionally removes to emphasize a point. He wears a neat, Madison Avenue suit. He is enthusiastic about the project before him but terrified it will go wrong and he will lose his job; hence he has a nervous air about him, plus an always-eager-to-please everybody attitude that makes him seem on the verge of collapse.
STAGEHAND - unimpressed by anything that happens around him.
JANE - she is an eager, young, and pretty maid but one suspects, for a time, that her naivete is not all pure.
GREGORY - he somehow looks remarkably like a Dracula character with his dark, penetrating eyes and deep widow's peak hairline. When he speaks, it is in a deep, Middle-European accent.
GEORGE - about thirty. He speaks in a very soft and sophisticated voice which almost purrs his villainy.
MAN - dressed the same as George. When he speaks, it is with a tough, staccato voice.
MARTHA - typical of thirties movies. Her hair is done in a sever style and she speaks with the voice of a hardened woman of the world.
GIRL - the epitome of the twenties ingenue. Her eyes are widened to their fullest circle of pure innocence. Her hair is a mass of curls and when she moves it is in the manner of the early movies.
MONSTER - should look as horrible as possible. Possibly he wears one of those rubber "Frankenstein" masks and rubber claw-hands.
STEPHANIE MILDAUR - a beautiful girl in her late teens. Although innocent, there is a certain woldliness about her which has come from her life surroundings.
SECRETARY - as modern as they come. She speaks with a slight foreign accent and is breathtakingly beautiful.
BOX OFFICE GIRL (or house usher) - exactly as the audience sees her (or him) when they enter.
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

Doubling of some of the roles is possible and is up to the discretion of the director.

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Authors

Fred Carmichael

Fred Carmichael

DONE TO DEATH was first performed at The Dorset Playhouse in Doreset, Vermont by the Caravan Theatre Summer Stock Company on August 5, 1970.  Directed by Patricia Carmichael.

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