Home News Roundtown Players debuts campy murder mystery this weekend

Roundtown Players debuts campy murder mystery this weekend


Trish Bennett, Editor

Rhonda (Laura Driesbach, left) is shocked when Hap (Gary Gillen) discovers a ring belonging to a murder victim in a small community theater, but Helen (Brenda Newsom) remains suspiciously quiet. (Photos by Trish Bennett)

Small-town policeman Rory Toppman (Peter Graybeal) struggles to connect the dots during a conversation with Grace (Laura Aume).

Rory (Peter Graybeal) fumbles through his investigation with Rhonda (Laura Driesbach) and Margo (Rachael Lynch).

CIRCLEVILLE – Roundtown Players will take a playful jab at themselves this weekend as “Audition for Murder” opens Friday on the stage at Memorial Hall.

The comedy, written by Howard Voland and Keith McGregor, centers on a small community theater where the players are stranded during a winter storm and a murder occurs in their midst.

“I really picked this show in general because it was about the community theater and all the silly people who are involved in it,” said Jenny Rhoads, director. “These are people who spend too much time together to the point they know everything about each other. It’s been fun to have the actors be making fun of themselves.”

Rhoads said the production is very campy in tone, and the actors really play up the melodrama.

“The sound effects are corny, that’s on purpose,” she said. “And those pregnant pauses, those dramatic pauses – it’s just all been very fun.”

The play is the sequel to “Murder Inn,” a production Rhoads also directed several years ago. She said it is a fun show and not really scary, so it is suitable for all ages.

A Chinese auction will be held during intermission at each performance, Rhoads said, featuring several donated items including a couple of prints by local mural artist Eric Henn. The winners of the auction will be announced during the final performance of the show, and winners will be contacted.

The public also is invited to attend the opening night after-party Friday at the Mitchell House. Admission for that event is $5 per person and will include a wine sampling from Manchester Hill Winery.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Oct. 2, 3, 9 and 10, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.


Grace Sharp – Laura Aume
Doris Brooks – Randi Morgan
Hap Miller – Gary Gillen
Rhonda Benson-Smith – Laura Driesbach
Margo Benson Stevens – Rachael Lynch
Peter Grogan – Drew Herman
Jeff Benson – Tyler Corceran
Helen Benson-Grogan – Brenda Newsom
Rory Toppman – Peter Graybeal
Bernice Sharp-Squash – Lori Mohr

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal