The Spring Haven lodge in Springville, Utah, will take on a darker role as it hosts BYU student leadership events team murder mystery dinners Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15.
Spring Haven Lodge traditionally serves as a retreat for BYU faculty and other university-affiliated groups.
Five interactive dinners last over the course of the two days. Each show lasts around two and a half hours. Ticket prices vary from $16 for a single person with a BYU I.D. to $29 without an I.D.
“I understand. I too am a cheap collegiate,” said Rachel Schwartz, a BYU senior and murder mystery cast member. “However, if we put it into a Cafe Rio index, one date at Cafe Rio will cost you around $22. One date at Spring Haven Lodge (which is a massive General Authority hangout), with catering from Apple Spice Junction and one of the most entertaining groups of people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting, costs $29.”
Blake Myer, a junior from Idaho who attended a previous murder mystery dinner, said he enjoyed the entertaining dinner and the fun actors. “The environment they provided was realistic, and it was a long drive in the wild, so that was spooky,” Myer said.
Once audience members have wended their way up the mountain trail to the lodge, table-specific tickets designate participants as dignitaries of different countries. Murder mystery cast members then set the scene as they announce the death of an important world leader.
Audience members will have the chance to interact with improv cast members during the course of the meal as they cross-examine suspects, read alibis and make accusations as to who committed the murder. The winning group will receive a gift basket.
The production is bound to be a few levels higher than an average game of mafia played with roommates. Many cast members have years of acting experience.
“I did a lot of improv and theatre in high school but didn’t have time to dedicate to being a part of BYU’s theatre productions,” Schwartz said. “It’s been a perfect theatrical fix for me, allowing me to tap into my creative cray-cray while being able to balance school.”
Cast members have no previous knowledge as to what questions the members of the audience will ask, which makes each murder mystery performance unique.
Todd Bean, a 22-year-old cast member from Lindon, enjoys the group-bonding experience. “The chemistry in the cast is what makes this show fun and enjoyable for the audience. It’s fun to see what you get when you put a bunch of different people in a room in unique roles,” Bean said.
Friendships forged through murder mystery dinners last longer beyond the curtain drop. “The memories you will create at Murder Mystery are priceless,” Schwartz said.
Tickets to any of the murder mystery dinner shows can be purchased online at murdermystery.byu.edu.