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Dinner Theater Author - Nancy Bond
Read about author Nancy Bond.

 

To Order/Preview a Mystery Dinner Drama Script go to:

 PREVIEW

 ORDER


Previews are FREE

 With orders, you can pay with a credit card over the phone OR choose to receive an invoice by email to pay with a credit card online at PayPal.

After payment is received, you'll get the script as a PDF Document by email. 

PLUS you'll receive lots of extras to help you have the best event possible!

Printable doc with script overviews and  Ordering Details.


Mystery Dinner Theater and Christmas Scripts Mystery Dinner Theater and Christmas Scripts Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Scripts


Home
 
Dinner Theater

 
Mini Mysteries

 

Getting Started
 
Comments/Ideas
 
Pictures

 
FAQ'S
  
Copyright

 
Nancy Bond
 
Schedule Sample

 
Christmas Dramas
 

Bible Promise from Psalms
 

See Pictures at Facebook!


Dinner Theater Author - Nancy Bond
Read about author Nancy Bond.

 

To Order/Preview a Mystery Dinner Drama Script go to:

 PREVIEW

 ORDER


Previews are FREE

 With orders, you can pay with a credit card over the phone OR choose to receive an invoice by email to pay with a credit card online at PayPal.

After payment is received, you'll get the script as a PDF Document by email. 

PLUS you'll receive lots of extras to help you have the best event possible!

Printable doc with script overviews and  Ordering Details.


Mystery Dinner Theater and Christmas Scripts Mystery Dinner Theater and Christmas Scripts Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Scripts

 

RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR A MEMORABLE EVENING!

COORDINATE ASSIGNMENTSRecruit team leaders for each major area so that one person is not bombarded with too much.  Here are tasks to consider - though it will be common for one person to be in charge of more than one area:

Overall Food/Serving Decorations/Tables
Drama Presentation Props/Staging Ticket Sales/Seating
Sound/Lighting Registering/Greeting Guests Advertising/Pictures

BRAINSTORM WITH OTHERS:  Get together with your team and brainstorm fresh and creative ideas for your menu, decorations, games, props, publicity, prizes, ...  Don't forget to involve people who are not involved in other ministries!

PLAN DECORATIONS:  The look of the room should match the theme of the drama.   When decorating, consider colors, back drops, table cloths, plates/napkins, centerpieces, wall decor, signs, etc.  Remember to add an extra touch with thematic music in the background!  Start working well in advance of the big night!  Many times you can save money by making items yourself or matching prices at local stores or on the internet!

Note: Determine the number of people that can fit in your room and make a document showing the room layout.  Attractively decorated tables made the room look great.  Don't put them too close together.  Pull out chairs to see that people can walk between chairs easily.

MAP OUT SEATING PLANS:  Plan table numbers in advance with a chart mapping where each table is located.  Then, when selling tickets – mark off the number of seats.  That way, you’ll know when a specific table is full or has seats available.

Especially the first year, save one empty table for unexpected guests.  People often think that they can bring a friend or two who will "squeeze in" at their table.  One option to prevent this problem is to number each chair at the tables.  Then write on the tickets the table number and seat number.  (At the event, just put a small sticker on the back/top of each chair.)

Do not put the actors / actresses at tables because they help with serving and mingling and can eat later!  (Don't forget to set meal plates aside for them!)

Seating plans can be difficult.  Be flexible because the final week several changes will need to be made.  Many people will either change their minds, invite extra guests, call last minute to request tickets ...

DESIGN TICKET SALESSet a ticket price by considering expenses such as:   food, script, props, costumes, lighting, decorations, baby sitters, etc.  Also, decide if the goal is to break even or to make money as a fundraiser.  Especially the first years, there are often unexpected costs such as pots/pans, tables, chairs, new microphones, ...

Remember - the higher the cost of the ticket, the greater the expectations will be for the food, service, decor, atmosphere, props, and acting skills.  Some organizations charge higher prices for those desirable first-row tables!

Sell tickets in advance (start about 4-6 weeks prior) so that you can better plan the amount of food and seating you will need.  When people see that tables are filling up, they'll get excited and want to purchase tickets!  Normally there are no ticket sales at the door.  However, there may be a few unexpected guests who arrive.  They will need to understand that their seats may be located in the back of the room.

ARRANGE SOUND:  Unless you have actors who can project, then all the characters need wireless mics.  Be sure to involve your sound team early on so that sufficient plans can be made!  It's very disappointing and frustrating to work so hard on memorizing lines and rehearsing when the audience can't hear or feedback interrupts!!  (If needed consider borrowing or renting extra mics.)

CAST THE CHARACTERS:  Finding the ideal cast will be extremely important.  If you are part of a larger organization, plan auditions.  For smaller churches, you can select your cast members by asking them directly.  As needed, find cast members that are outside your organization.

Be prayerful and consider carefully who will receive each role.  Every script contains a few key characters that carry the bulk of the lines and the action.  If possible, have a director who is not part of the cast.  Don't forget to cast the important role of the host, who does not have to be at every rehearsal.

PRACTICE THE SCRIPT:  After selecting your cast you should pass out the scripts.  Allow characters one or two weeks to get familiar with their parts before rehearsals begin.  You'll want at least 6-7 weeks of practice - meaning you should order at least 8 weeks before your performance date.  (Churches and other groups have certainly been successful with a shorter time frame by doubling practices per week or by reading the scripts rather than memorizing the lines - though memorization is best considering the audience has paid to see a production.)

For the cast, make a practice schedule that lets them know which scenes will need to be memorized by which practice.  Be realistic!  It's normal for cast members to think that they have memorized their lines and then to forget most of them at practice.  This process helps them to see where they need to put in more effort.  Require them to drop their scripts and ask for a "line" when they need it.  (If the cast is struggling, have memorization gatherings to only run lines.  Record them for individuals to practice when alone.)

Don't forget to make practice fun!  Laugh at yourselves and enjoy getting to know one another!  Bring treats once in a while.  Always say thank you to the cast and let them know what they're doing well!!

PUBLICIZE THE EVENT:  It’s crucial!!  Publicize with your church at least 6 weeks in advance. 

Use announcement time and the bulletin but don't forget to make eye-catching handouts.  Handouts can be taken and passed out to friends, family, and co-workers!  Personal invitation is great! Well structured emails with logo are an easy way to send an invitation!  People can see important information such as date, time, place, phone numbers, attire, etc.

Some churches do a short dramatic sketch on Sunday morning that really gets people's curiosity and interest up!!

Find ways to publicize outside the church as well.  Hang posters in store windows, announce on the radio stations, send news releases to local papers, use an outdoor sign, etc.

STEER DRESS REHEARSAL:  Don't assume everyone knows what's in your head and what you're planning!  Tell them.  Give them outlines to follow.  This includes the cooks, stage crew, sound team, cast, and everyone who is helping!!  Mistakes will occur during dress rehearsal but try to keep it moving!  Note - it always takes longer than you think.  Again - have fun!!

CREATE HANDOUTS:  Make a playbill to hand each guest as they arrive.  (Examples are provided with purchase.)  For proper etiquette, always include the author's name with the title of the script.  Include information such as names of those who have helped, people in the cast, how the evening will flow, information about your group or your church, the plan of salvation, etc.

At minimum - put character descriptions on the tables for guests to read.  Also, have the “Who done it?” ballots and the itinerary on the tables.  Provide pencils and paper to encourage guests to take notes.

PROVIDE NAME TAGS:  Everyone in the cast and all the guests should wear name tags.  These help the guests to notice who each character is.  Also, it's a great way for guests to interact with one another without being embarrassed for not knowing someone's name!  Name tags can have fun, thematic decor on them by using stickers or printing them out on your computer using colorful pictures!

OFFER GAMES:  To keep the evening flowing and fun, offer simple games that correspond with the theme.  Have guests answer trivia questions or identify pictures/decorations around the room or guess how many fish are in a bowl, ...  Guests can write their names on the back of the tickets and turn them in for a door prize. (Examples are provided with purchase.)

FURNISH PRIZES Select prizes for the games, door prizes, crime solvers, and the Clueless Award.  Prizes should reflect the theme of the evening.  They do not need to be expensive.  People simply like to win and be recognized.  Candy or food is always a great option for all ages and genders.  Don't go overboard with giving prizes - it can make an evening drag out.

SNAP PICTURES Don't forget to get lots of pictures of the crowd, the cast, the cooks, decor, ...  They'll be fun to look at later, post on your website, FACEBOOK, and use to encourage people to come to next year's program!

You want pictures that are not dark or blurry.  To prevent blur, use the "motion" or "sports" setting.  For lighter pictures, get as close as possible to the action or try using the "nighttime" setting.  Hint:  Some of the best cast pictures come from dress rehearsal night.

PRAYERStart every planning time with prayer!  Bathe rehearsals in prayer!!


The Big Night!

WELCOME!When your guests arrive, they enter a different world.  Every actor is in costume and in character. They answer only to their stage names. They are scattered around the room ready to interact with the guests.  At first, it may be somewhat confusing to the guests, but they'll quickly catch on and enjoy "playing" along!

This get acquainted period should last about 30 minutes.  During this time, guests mingle, snack on appetizers, read through character descriptions, play interactive games, ...  Remember - guests arrive HUNGRY!

Drinks, cups, ice should be located at a separate table to give the guests an excuse to get up and walk around and mingle a bit more.  Hors d’oeuvres located on the tables are a nice way to make them feel welcome.

HOST:  Find a great host who can guide the audience through the evening.  The host should explain what the audience needs to do at each stage of the game.  Remember, for many of your guests, this will be their very first dinner theater experience!  It's best for the host to be friendly, informative, but brief.

PRESENTATIONUse the suggested schedule that comes with your script purchase.  Do be flexible!! 

Each script contains a crime.  (Some are murders.)  The audience gets involved by trying to determine who committed this crime.  Allow the audience time to question the suspects before they complete their ballots.  After ballots are turned in, the final scene is presented.  This scene will reveal who did it, how they did it, and why!

BASIC SCHEDULE

Mingle, Play Games, Eat Appetizers
Present Scene I
Eat Dinner and Complete Table Game
Continue Drama Presentation (A Crime will Occur.)
Eat Dessert and Discuss thoughts with others at table.
Complete the Ballots and Turn them in to be Reviewed for Winners
Present Final Scene which Solves the Crime
Announce the Winners
Say Thanks

BALLOTS:  After questioning the suspects, each audience member individually completes his/her ballot.  They are turned in before the final scene is presented.  As this final solution scene is presented, the ballots are reviewed back stage.  Winners are selected by identifying those who answered all questions correctly.

WINNERS:  If you have more than one winner, then announce all the winners.  If there are too many winners, simply draw the grand winner from the pile.

CLUELESS AWARD:  A MUST DO at every dinner theater.  Tell the guests ahead of time that they could win the "Clueless Award"!  It goes to the person who is the furthest from guessing the correct suspect and/or reason for the crime.  There are some characters in the audience who will enjoy having fun with this one!  One example at our last dinner theater a gentleman - whose wife had been selected as a volunteer - wrote that his wife committed the murder.  She did it with her killer eyes.  The way he knew was that she had used them on him before!!  Our prize was a compass to help him find his way!

THANKS:  Write down the names of everyone who was involved and thank them.  Chances are, if you don't write the names down, you'll leave someone out!!