Upstage Productions scheduled to give SIUC killer entertainment

By Gus Bode

Special Programs, Center Events to sponsor Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

With the Halloween season approaching, Special Programs and Center Events has decided to offer SIUC students and Carbondale community members a chance to answer the question, “Who dunnit?”

Upstage Productions will perform a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater in the Student Center. It will take place in the Renaissance Room Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The event will offer the audience a chance to be involved in solving a mystery while being served a menu of fine foods.


The production “Went with the Wind” involves two main characters, Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Butler is convinced O’Hara is to blame for the unexplained deaths of her many ex-husbands.

“Will Scarlet survive Rhett’s wrath?” Upstage Productions website noted. “Frankly, my dear, you’ll have to see for yourself.”

Susan Coriasco, the assistant director of the Student Center, said tickets for the event are currently on sale but are limited.

She said the Student Center would only sell 150 tickets for the event. Coriasco said that if students are interested in attending the event, purchasing tickets in advance would be a smart idea.

Tickets can be purchased at the Student Center Ticket Office and cost $20 for SIUC students and $30 for the public.

Argus Tong, a graduate assistant for SPACE, is expecting the show to be sold out due to the popularity and success of the last year’s murder mystery. The event is offered with the goal of having a safe Halloween as well as for entertainment.

“With the history of SIU’s Halloweens, it will offer students a good and safe alternative,” Tong said.


He said SIUC is privileged to have Upstage Productions performing on campus.

“We were very persistent in having them perform,” Tong said. “Even though there won’t be a profit for the University or the company, they agreed to come.”

Tong said the company typically performs at local wineries, which are inaccessible to underaged members of the student body.

“I think it is great,” Tong said. “It gives them [Upstage Productions] an opportunity to be exposed to the student body.”

Kevin O’Brien, an actor and comedian for Upstage Productions, wrote all 28 of the murder mysteries the company offers. He and the other performers have traveled worldwide and have done performances at military bases in Korea and Australia.

The show consists of two acts and a full feast provided by Student Center Dining. As the guests arrive, they are given slips of paper that tells their characters’ names and motives. Guests are encouraged to mingle with one another and become familiar with the characters’ names and identities. Once all the guests arrive, the second act begins.

The mystery unfolds during the second act when accusations make suspects out of all of the audience members. The show is a combination of scripted and improvised entertainment. Whoever solves the mystery wins the game.

Coriasco said SPACE decided to schedule the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater because there are not many events happening for Halloween.

“We always like to bring different events to the Student Center,” Coriasco said. “And I think this will be a nice event and dinner.”