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Library Program: Nifty 50s Mystery Party

This past Friday, July 27th, teens gathered at my library to solve a mystery set in a 50s diner. This was the first time I had bought a mystery party kit online from host-party.com. I would highly recommend using their pre-made mystery games. The price is good (only $30 in most cases), they have lots of choices (all settings and for all age groups), and you get everything online. This means you can print your kit immediately, email invitations out to everyone, and post pictures before and after the party.

The Nifty 50s was a scripted play. I had teen actors I found from both my TAB and a comedy improv workshop I held back in the spring. The mystery was so cute. John E. "The B" Good is going steady with Peggy Sue, who is having a birthday today. But John seems like he is more interested in the car he is driving, a 1957 Shavy El Domino. When the car ends up missing, John interrogates everyone in the diner, including Maybelle Lean, the waitress, Miss Molly, the high school etiquette teacher, Mack the Knife, the local bad boy, Moana Leesa, the beatnik, James Steen, the shop teacher, and Mary Lynn Mudrow, the blonde bombshell with some awful good hotwiring skills.


We had a local 1950s style diner donate the food, and they also loaned us materials for our set. The set was two card tables, oilcloth tablecloths, and table decorations, such as napkin holders, mustard/catsup bottles, salt and pepper shakers, and restaurant menus. The set called for milkshakes, and we created them with mashed potatoes and food coloring. 45 people attended and had a fabulous time.


First we had an informal gathering time where our guests met the cast:

Then we had a 1957 trivia contest, with the winning team getting a prize.

Last was the play. Just a few shots:


Comments

Erin said…
That looks like a BLAST.
alexgirl said…
Oooh, that looks so fun! What a cool activity.
A friend of mine hosted a mystery dinner party once. We all dressed up as the diff characters. It was a vineyard mystery, and I was Marylin Merlot, famous movie star. Haha.
Good times.
Keri said…
Wow! Your teens really got into it. I did a murder mystery party a few weeks ago and I had trouble getting the kids to read character descriptions or talk about evidence. What a cool party!
zee said…
Yes it was a lot of fun. I'm sorry you didn't have better success. You really just have to find the right group of teens to be the actors. Some of these people don't really go to the library much, but they like acting. It was a good way to meet some new faces. My co-worker was doing a making movies class with teens and that's how I met some of these guys. Maybe contact the local drama teacher to get some drama-types for your next go at it.
Brian Mandabach said…
cool. reminds me of when I read the Outsiders (really '50s-ish, even though it's the early '60's) and we had '50s day as school. ONly nothing this fun!
eisha said…
What a good idea! I love it.

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