Detective Vic Torious is called to Pine Valley Church by their secretary, Barb Dwyer who reports the church’s historic, antique grand piano missing! Key members of the congregation (aka suspects!) arrive at the request of the detective. Was it Barb Dwyer herself, who may or may not be a piano player and perhaps may want to frame someone else? Or maybe it’s the new pastor, Rev. Oliver Sudden. Little is known about him.
Perhaps it was Frieda Livery, a truck driver who makes deliveries almost daily, or Anne Tickwitty, an antique dealer whose great-grandfather had a connection to the instrument.
Xavier Money, the frugal church treasurer, has been looking for ways to raise money -- was this his idea of a fundraiser? And let’s not forget Jess Churd, the youth group drama team leader who is upset there is no drama in the upcoming Christmas program.
After the suspects have been questioned, the audience will cast their votes for the most likely guilty party during intermission. Then the true culprit is revealed. But wait! There are multiple endings for multiple shows! Or you can simply select your favorite conclusion.
An optional actor may serve as the mistress of ceremonies and lead the audience through the process, even singing a couple of Christmas carols with them.
with Playwright Brian Sylvia
What inspired you to write this play?
My wife is a big fan of mysteries (from reading Agatha Christie to watching Hallmark Mystery Channel), I most enjoy writing over-the-top comedic scripts, and our theatre department needed a Christmas script. That combination led to the development of Mystery of the Kidnapped Keys. It also provided a platform for my dad joke skills to be performed!
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
By far, my favorite part of both writing and producing this script was the optional multiple ending element. It was so fun to watch the few audience members that attended multiple nights of our four-show run as they realized that the post-intermission show shifted a bit at the very conclusion. And our actors loved playing that as well.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
Though most characters I write are somehow linked to a real-life experience, this crazy bunch was a collection of various personalities all rolled together. The ensemble gathered together was a lot of fun to direct.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
Simply engagement of the audience with a family-friendly holiday script. And it definitely seemed to work.