Plotting Murder

It was sometime in early 2012 when one of the teenagers we knew revealed his plan to host a murder mystery dinner. He had bought a used murder mystery kit for a dollar, and wanted to use it to raise money for an upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic.

“Those are horrible,” I told him. Kelly, who had experienced boxed murder mysteries before, agreed. “Well, it’s what I have,” he told me. My annoying urge for excellence jumped into the conversation. “I’ll write a real mystery for you.”

I decided to write something that would draw an audience, generate some repeat performances, and maybe raise a few bucks for the trip. All murder mysteries need a victim, but I didn’t want some nondescript character that no one would care about. I needed someone whose death would add to the drama. A quick search for names that garnered a lot of attention in the likely audience turned up a result, and thus I decided to plot the murder of Glenn Beck.

Writing the first draft of the script took only a few days. I had a couple of friends proofread it, then did a bit of rewriting based on their inputs. Since it was supposed to be for a murder mystery dinner, I wrote four acts, so that a meal could be served between scenes. By the end of the third scene, the audience would have all the information required to determine the identity of the killer, and (while eating their desserts) could fill out a card naming the person they believed to be the culprit.

I presented the script to our young friend, and he set out to line up actors from his circle of acquaintances. Sadly, that proved harder than he had imagined, and eventually he announced that the play was canceled. The Murder of Glenn Beck was covered up.

A year later one of the original actresses remembered my script and asked if she could perform it as the finale of her acting class. I was delighted to know the script might finally get a performance and lent it to her at once. Unfortunately, the playhouse vetoed its performance, not because of its controversial main character, but because it involved a murder. The Murder was covered up a second time.

Two more years have passed, and by now the play has become quite dated. Its references hearken back to a different age, but I still find some elements of it quite delightful. Rather than leave it to languish in my directory of past writings, I decided to dust it off and present it for your amusement. The truth of the Murder of Glenn Beck must be known.

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