MRP brings ‘Bone Chiller!’ to Minot stage

Submitted Photo The reading of the Travers' will is interrupted by the sudden and surprising death of the butler in this scene from “Bone Chiller!” Cast members from left are (top row) Kaitlyn Plessas, Justin Anderson, Dorian Garland, May Nash, Ed Montez, Andy Busch; (bottom row) Stephanie Chell, Connor Donovan, Grant Johnson, Casy Charley, Janet Anderson, Brittany Montez and Sinie Beck.

Looking for something different to do on a cold winter evening? Come shiver with Mouse River Players Community Theatre’s production of “Bone Chiller!” by Monk Ferris.

“Bone Chiller!” is a comedy thriller designed keep audiences puzzling their way to deducing the culprit of a heinous crime during the reading of the deceased’s last will and testament.

Show dates are Friday through Sunday, January 27-29 and February 3-5, at the downtown Minot theatre. Friday and Saturday evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for children younger than 12 and $13 for military with ID, students and senior citizens.

Reservations are recommended, and tickets may be purchased at the box office or at www.tickets@mouseriverplayers.com. Due to some use of strong language, show content may not be appropriate for young audiences.

The plot of the show centers on 13 diverse people who gather on Friday the 13th at the Travers mansion in New York for the presentation of Josiah Travers’ will. Josiah, a rich, eccentric puzzle enthusiast, has been murdered in his bedroom in the mansion. The police have no clues to solve the case, but the family lawyer, played by Andy Busch, has been instructed by Josiah’s last directive to call together a specific group of 12 additional participants, consisting of family, staff and a few perplexing outsiders, to read his will. Instead of designating an heir, Josiah offers the estate to anyone who can solve the format of the will: a wall chart rendered in the form of a rebus (a part word, part drawing puzzle) that almost defies solution.

Lights keep going out, suspicions escalate, attendees keep getting murdered, all while the hapless would-be recipients try to untangle the puns, sketches and word-play that make up the chart to determine who, what and where Josiah’s inheritance might be, and perhaps solve the mystery surrounding Josiah’s death. By the final act, revelations are exploding as surprise piles upon surprise and gasps alternate with howls and groans of laughter.

Director Lin Knickerbocker has assembled a cast of both seasoned and novice actors to bring this absurd variety of personalities to the stage. Janet Anderson, Sinie Beck, Casy Charley and Kaitlyn Plessas are residents of the manse. Connor Donovan, Edward Montez and May Nash fill the roles of the butler, cook and parlor maid. Brittany Montez comes in as the family member who has hopes of receiving part of Josiah’s fortune, but no one can understand why a kindergarten teacher (Stephanie Chell), a puzzle creator (Grant Johnson) and a pediatrician (Justin Anderson) are included in the list of attendees.

The last of the mysterious “outsiders” invited to the reading is a police detective who has absolutely no connection to the victim, the family or the murder case. The role of Dan Denton is played by Dorian Garland.

While many of the actors also participate in production creation and assist with lighting and costume design or props acquisition, other members of the creative team include Nancy Pearson, Tim Knickerbocker, Courtney DuPona, Jenna Johnson, Kambria Hall and Logan Longtin.

Mouse River Players has completed its new building façade and the first phase of the renovation of the public area of the building, with new windows, brighter signage and an update to the entrance. Once the next level of funding is reached, the organization plans to open up the lobby foyer and move the current bathroom facilities out of the auditorium while updating the fixtures for the convenience of patrons.

For more information or to contribute to the project, contact www.info@mouseriverplayers.com.


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