Community to put on first ever dinner theater in New England

There’s nothing like a dinner theater production to get a community excited about going out on the town for a lovely evening.

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By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

There’s nothing like a dinner theater production to get a community excited about going out on the town for a lovely evening. It doesn’t hurt that the production is going to benefit a facility used by the whole town.

For the past few months, Ruth Fitterer has been applying for various grants in an effort to get an elevator installed at Memorial Hall in New England. Trying to get creative with some fundraising methods, residents of New England will put on a production of ‘Murder Can Be Habit Forming,’ a murder-mystery with a large amount of comedic relief.

Proceeds from the show will go to match funding for the elevator project.

For the better part of the past decade Stacey Miller, along with Donald Nordy, have been putting on the annual dinner theater event in Amidon, so Fitterer talked to Miller about putting on a production in New England.

Miller discussed the subject with Nordby and in late August he agreed to direct a show, after his involvement with the talent show in Amidon was completed. Miller assists with the production wherever she is needed.

Though they haven’t directed a play in New England, Miller knew there was interest.

“I knew there were people in the New England area that had shown interest in participating in the one [dinner theater] in Amidon if we ever needed them.” Miller said.

The cast has been rehearsing since early September.

This show is filled with New England residents, a fact that Miller said is an important part in drawing in an audience.

“I think it’s important for this [production],” Miller said. “People like to come and have that association with the people up on stage.”

Overall there are 14 members to the cast, and they all come from different facets of the community.

The selection of the show, ‘Murder Can Be Habit Forming,’ was an easy selection. After flipping through various play books, they found this one and read the synopsis and knew they had a gem for New England.

The play takes place at St. Mary’s Convent, which is an obvious resemblance to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New England.

“Some of it’s been streamlined back into the area, and the New England community,” Miller said.

Show times are Oct. 25 and Oct. 26. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the audience will be served hors d’oeuvres. The show will begin at 7 p.m. and then dinner, which features prime rib as the main course, will be served between the first and second acts of the show. Finally, audience members will be served a dessert at the conclusion of the play.

Though this is the first time New England has had a dinner theater, Miller said they will wait to see how this show goes before deciding on future events; she did say they are open to it.

“If they’re [cast member] willing, it can certainly be an annual event,” Miller said. “It would be nice.”

Tickets can be purchased at American Bank Center in New England, and the cost is $40 for one ticket or $75 for a pair. Only advanced tickets will be available.

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