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Student-written 'Business is Murder' makes debut at CCHS this weekend


February 13, 2008
If "Business is Murder," then Crawford County High School seniors Chase Smith and Beth Hammond hope the play they have written and directed by that name makes a killing this weekend.

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Crawford County High School will present "Business is Murder" Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The play was written by seniors Beth Hammond and Chase Smith, who also serve as co-directors. Above, Curtis Walker, Kaelin Baize and Jordon Hines rehearse a scene last week. (Photo by Chris Adams)
The dark comedy "who-dun-it" will be presented Friday and Saturday nights at 7 and Sunday afternoon at 2.

While practice has been going on since January, work on the play began much longer ago. The manuscript for the play began as a joke board game, similar to Clue, but quickly took its theatric form.

"Most of these characters are based, in small part, off actual people," Smith said, noting a few exceptions, such as the mistress.

As a twist, only the victim of the murder-mystery, Jones, has a name. The other characters are referred to by their occupation or character, such as General, Doctor and Judge.

While Jones is killed early, the remaining characters spend the rest of the play learning about a connection they have from several years earlier. What they — and the audience — learn about that connection will help unravel the mystery of who killed Jones.

To keep things fresh, the three presentations of the play will feature a different killer. While that has proved to be a bit of a challenge during practice, it has been worth it, Smith and Hammond agreed.

The "Business is Murder" cast is: Jones (Ryan Davis), Mother Superior (Sara Vaught), Nurse (Kayla Goodson), General (Ben Napper), Doctor (Kyle Campbell), Mistress (Stephanie Beaver), Mademoiselle (Kaelin Baize), Lady (Jordon Hines), Judge (Travis Prator), Gentleman (Curtis Walker), Reverend (Travis Tolbert), Alma the maid (Leslie Scott) and Narrator (Rebekah Baxley).

Stage managers are Jessica Johnson, Jessica Boggs and Courtney Byrd.

"We couldn't have a better cast," Smith said.

Tickets for "Business is Murder" will cost $5 and can be purchased at the door.

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