Northwestern Fine Arts to present ‘The Act of Murder’ Feb. 16, 17, 18

January 30, 2023

The Act of Murder 1

Nearly 30 people have been in rehearsals, building set and getting costumes and stage props ready as the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Reichenberger Fine Arts Department prepares for “The Act of Murder” scheduled for Feb. 16-17 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium on the Alva campus.

Tickets are available to purchase online at $10 for general admission, $5 for Northwestern employees with a current Northwestern employee ID, and $3 for senior citizens and students with a current student ID.

Patrons may purchase tickets in person with cash or a check at the door starting 30 minutes before each performance.

“I am having a lot of fun with the cast developing their characters,” Kimberly Weast, professor of theatre arts and Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts chair, said. “Since this is a ‘who-dun-it,’ and the audience will be able to ask the actors questions, our actors are working on their improvisation skills. We have done a lot of laughing with and at each other. I hope the campus and the community will come see this talented and somewhat over-the-top group of performers.”

According to the Eldridge Plays & Musicals website, the following is part of the show’s plot:

“Lt. Kenneth Paris must discover who poisoned TV actress Linda Parker during the final dress rehearsal of the play in which she was to star. But this play has as many laughs as it does suspects! When the actors and crew repeat their backstage movements at the same time the ‘on-stage’ actors perform the very melodramatic "Kisses to Die For," the whole play turns into a farcical three-ring circus! Almost everyone had good reason to want to kill Linda, but which one had the opportunity? With so much action on stage, it won't be easy to tell. Paris enlists the audience's help by allowing them to question the suspects, come onstage to inspect the scene of the crime (optional), and fill out ballots naming the one they believe to be the killer.”

Weast is serving as the director and lighting designer of the production while Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre and Herod Hall facilities manager, has created the set/prop design and is working on costuming. Lisa Turner of Alva, speech and theatre junior, is the Stage Manager while Maegan Holson of Waynoka, sophomore psychology major, is serving as the Assistant Stage Manager.

“Patrons who are fans of Agatha Christie novels, Noir films of the 1930s, and screwball comedies of the 1940s will delight in this experience,” Jordan said.

"The Act of Murder" is set in the mid-1950s, and the play-within-the-play -- "Kisses to Die For" – is a 1930s drama.

“This unique setting has provided students with the opportunity to research two very different periods of fashion and creatively design costumes for the cast,” Jordan said. “For example, students have learned the difference between ‘black tie’ and ‘white tie’ events using vintage etiquette books as a resource and noting how styles have changed through time. Tailcoats vs tuxedo jackets, evening wear vs day dresses, and there has also been a big debate among the students on what clothing stage crew members wore in the 1950s, and when wearing black clothing backstage became the industry standard. ‘The Act of Murder’ is a dark comedy that audiences are sure to enjoy!”

The Act of Murder 2

Members of the student campus organization Castle Players will be serving as the House Management team. Theatre production class members have helped build the set and prepare lighting and audio.

“I love that I get to be a part of this play because it is something that I haven’t done,” Alan Garcia of Beaver, junior biology-health science major, said. “An interactive murder mystery is a much-needed challenge that has helped me grow closer with my cast members and has brought my joy for acting to a new level.”

Students involved with this production include the following:

Archer Bohlen of Ringwood, junior computer science major; Gabriel Bussinger of Woodward, sophomore speech and theatre major; Jade Campbell of Woodward, freshman instrumental music major; Ashland Crites of Hennessey, sophomore English major; Chancie Davidson of Alva, freshman instrumental music major; Sam Grinder of Sayre, senior vocal music education major; Kylee Harzman of Alva, senior criminal justice-law enforcement major; Kevin Jaquez of Enid, sophomore vocal music education major; Fernando Nunez of Laverne, junior psychology major; Bethany Towns of Alva, junior psychology major; Rosa Vargas of Lahoma, freshman instrumental music major; Donavan Winkles of Alva, freshman computer science major; Emily Wright of Cheyenne, freshman mass communication major; Garcia, Holson and Turner.

“Honestly, I'm still shocked I got the part of Lieutenant Paris,” Bohlen said. “I am having a blast working with this character, and I am looking forward to seeing how everything looks as the production date is closing in.”

For more information on “The Act of Murder” or the theatre program, contact Weast at (580) 327-8462 or or Jordan at (580) 327-8458 or

For additional information about the theatre program, visit More about all facets of the Reichenberger Fine Arts Department may be found at


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist; (580) 327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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