Main Street Players to hold workshops on mysteries

Local actress/writer Margaret Raether hosts workshops May 7 and May 14

BELVIDERE—Margaret Raether, well-known and respected local actress and writer of mystery plays, will conduct two workshops on the subject of mysteries and then lead a discussion with the cast, staff and crew of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. The workshops and admission to the performance are free to senior citizens. Workshops are May 7 and 14 from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Keen Age Center in Belvidere. Matinee performance is 2 p.m., May 21 at the Community Building.

In the May 7 workshop, Raether will cover various types of mysteries: the whodunit, the howdunit and the whydunit. Participants will discuss the genres that include cozy mysteries like those of Agatha Christie, the hardboiled, the police procedural and the amateur detective like those written by Alfred Hitchcock. Also included will be a discussion of the elements that make up a first-class mystery. Those are the setting, the suspects, the clues, the motive, the danger, the red herrings, and, of course, the solution to solving the mystery.

At the May 14 workshop, Raether and participants will focus on stage mysteries. From William Gillette’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth to the interactive zaniness of Shear Madness, mysteries are enduring favorites in the theater. Questions to be asked and answered during the workshop include what makes for a great mystery on stage, and how the classic elements of mystery are presented within the structure of a play. Dame Agatha Christie’s personal history will be included as a topic as well, including the scandal and mysterious disappearance that made her front-page news in the 1920s.

The workshop participants will then attend a matinee performance of Ten Little Indians produced by the Main Street Players of Boone County at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 21. Raether will facilitate a talk-back at the end of the matinee performance with the cast, staff, director and crew.

Admission to the workshops and performance are free. If needed, free transportation to and from the workshops and performance will be provided for Boone County senior citizen participants. Register for the workshops and performance by signing up at the Keen Age Center, or call (815) 229-4444 and leave your name and phone number.

From the May 4-10, 2005, issue

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