'Murder Can Be Habit Forming' on stage Friday and Saturday
WELLSVILLE — Getting ready to share their seventh theatrical production, the Starlight Theatre Company is fast becoming the premier theater troupe in Wellsville.
Three years ago, the Starlight Theatre Company made the old Christian Temple building their home base, and after seven productions ranging from comedy to drama, the place is beginning to look like a theater with backdrops, scenery, false doors and more.
At 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, the troupe will present the mystery comedy 'Murder Can Be Habit Forming' by play write Billy St. John, and interestingly enough the play hits pretty close to home.
Producer Ryan Keib explained, "This play was written in the 90s and it takes place south of Buffalo, NY in the countryside where an old manor house has been turned into a convent. Fittingly a bus full of passengers gets stranded at the convent during a snow storm."
"It is kind of a cross between 'Nunsense' and 'Clue' that is family friendly and full of laughs," said Heidi Mangels Lawton, who is not only directing her sixth production for the group, but who is also preforming one of the lead roles.
"It wasn't planned that way," she explained, but after the lead performer had to drop out do to a family illness, Lawton was pressed into service.
The play has the largest cast yet of Starlight's productions. There are 15 thespians treading the boards this time around.
"People are beginning to know our name and what we do and they're coming to us wanting to be part of the group. We've grown with every production," Keib added.
Cast members come from Dansville, Nunda, Andover and Wellsville.
Lawton says the larger cast is a reflection of the growing popularity of community theater.
"With each production we've had people come up to us afterwards and want to help with ticket sales, advertising, work behind the scenes or on the stage," Lawton said. "Wellsville seems to be looking towards the arts in a positive way to reach out to the community and to attract visitors."
As a bonus, theatergoers will get a chance to guess which of the actors is the murderer. When they enter visitors will see photos of all the cast members, and after a few clues in the first act and before the end of intermission, they will have the chance to cast their vote for who is the murderer.
At intermission attendees will also be treated to refreshments and dessert.
"They can skip dessert after dinner and have it with us," Lawton said.
"When you feed them, they will come," Keib joked.
The cost of the show is $5 admission and donations for the snacks will be appreciated. The doors will open Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. opening scene. The theater is located at the old Christian Temple Church located at 99 Maple Ave., in Wellsville or, a right turn off Main Street onto Fassett Street (across from the new green space) to the end of the street.
Performing in the production are Lawton and Keib, McKenzie Osborne, Shirley Mangels, Bella Wenslow, Leon Black, Benjamin Lawton, Felicity Morrison, Seth Tinder, Ethereal A. Dagget Clow, Eryn McDowell, Garrett O'Kelly, Kim Carter, Aydrianna Weimer and Nick Davis.
Jamie O'Kelly is in charge of scenic design and execution and props along with Jaime Osborne. Dakota Silsby is in charge of sound and lighting. Amy Thomas is in charge of costumes and Emily Schweigart is the production assistant. Emma McDowell is in charge of programs and audience services are being provided by Bob Mangels, Richard Mangels and Linda Baker.
If you are interested in joining the Starlight Theatre Company contact them on Facebook or call 585-610-9238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org