A murder mystery dinner theater in the home of Dr. Kevin and Nicole Lowe in the historic McCray mansion on Kendallville’s Mitchell Street launched the new year for Kendallville’s Gaslight Playhouse.
More than 50 people attended the fundraiser on Jan. 19. A few people could not make it due to the winter storm that created bitter cold and hazardous roads.
But inside the McCray mansion it was warm with friendship and enthusiasm.
“The murder mystery was wonderful!” said Josh Ogle, a board member of Gaslight. Ogle is the director of theater at East Noble High School, where he teaches theater arts and the stage craft classes. He got his start with Gaslight Playhouse in 2003 as an 8-year-old in the Children’s Theatre workshop.
“The planning committee — Nicole Lowe, Bonnie Koontz and Andrew Canaveral — planned an excellent event,” Ogle said. “Gaslight Playhouse is very grateful for the Lowe family for opening up their household to the community.”
Cast members were guests among the party and improvised their characters. Ogle added that one of the highlights of the evening was Kendallville Mayor Handshoe playing the character of Mayor Paula Evans.
Gaslight Playhouse will have auditions for its first show of the 2019 season — “Voice of the Prairie” — Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the office of the Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce in downtown Kendallville.
The play is based on the hit TV and book series, “Little House on the Prairie.”
“Voice of the Prairie” will run March 8, 9 and 10. Other shows planned for 2019 are “The Wizard of Oz,” June 28 and 29; “An Evening with Gaslight Playhouse Musical Revue,” July 26, 27 and 28; “Caught in the Net,” Aug. 9, 10 and 11; “The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays,” Nov. 8, 9 and 10; and “Holiday Spectacular,” Dec. 13, 14 and 15.
More information about “Voice of the Prairie” and the entire 2019 season is online at gaslightplayhouse75.com.
Kim McCutchan is president of the Gaslight Playhouse board of directors. Other officers are Jo Drudge, vice president; Lee Ann DePew, secretary; and Bonnie Koontz, treasurer. Craig Munk is the founder.
“People seem excited with our choices,” McCutchan said about the 2019 season.
“Our summer program which is a Children’s Theatre Workshop always has a lot of interested kids looking to do a musical over the summer break,” she added. “This year’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ should draw an even bigger group as it is a much loved show and workshop director Jo Drudge’s favorite.”
McCutchan said “Caught in the Net,” a Ray Cooney comedy, is a sequel to last year’s sold out “Run for your Wife.”
“Don’t worry if you didn’t see it last year,” she said. “You won’t be lost if you see ‘Caught in the Net’. But we suggest getting your tickets early so you don’t get caught without a seat as we anticipate another sellout as the main characters return for this show and will offer more laughs and a great evening out.”
Season tickets make great gifts, McCutchan said, adding that volunteer director spots are still available.