Calling all sleuths.

April 11-21, "Murder! at The Strand II: Dark Matters," written and directed by Corey Bradberry with game design and additional story by Jeremy Ledbetter, kicks off the Strand’s 2019-20 season.

The interactive murder mystery immerses audiences in an exciting criminal adventure.

“Murder at the Strand is an interactive, immersive play that also has elements of games, puzzles as well as a story in the murder mystery itself. You, as an audience member, come in and play the investigator. You go around interrogating witnesses, solving puzzles, and gathering clues to try to understand the motives behind the murder that takes place,” said Bradberry, a Chicago resident who is formerly of Marietta. He graduated from Lassiter High School in 2005.

When scientific experiments at the Strand go wrong, a team member on the Wilson Project dies.

“Your job as the investigator is come in and fix the device and find out what happened in the murder,” Bradberry said.

Experience the play with friends or by yourself. “We tried to create an experience in the theater that’s custom tailored for each person that walks through the door. As a director and theater artist, I’m always interested in finding new ways the audience can interact with the traditional boundaries of the theater, especially with the Strand being such a beautiful, art deco space,” Bradberry said.

Murder at the Strand breaks the boundaries of traditional theater.

“This isn’t something you just come in and sit down and watch like normally happens at the Strand. This is something where you get to see the guts of the building. It’s a chance to explore the Strand in a completely new way and also, a chance to have a lot of fun with a murder mystery,” Bradberry said. “You take control over your own experience. You can go through this play in a different way than the person who walks in before you. We put the power of the storytelling in the hands of the audience. For that reason, it has a very different joyous effect that you don’t always experience with more traditional types of theater."

The show is a one-of-a-kind experience.

“You come and actually interact with the actors. By the time you get through it, you’ve had so much stimulus. You’ve had so many games. You’ve had so many people to talk to that you really feel like you’ve been through an entire experience. The thrill of being able to solve a mystery in real time is something the audiences responded to positively last year,” Bradberry said.

The show is unique to the Strand.

“Jeremy Ledbetter and I have tried to find another show in the country like this and we haven’t found anything quite like it that gets you the level of interaction, the level of personal control. It’s very different. It’s really experiencing a story from beginning, middle and end. It’s a completely new type of theater that blends these wonderful categories like video games, murder mysteries and other things together into one package,” Bradberry said.

Multiple shows most days. $45 per person. Online ticketing fees can be avoided by purchasing at box office over the phone at 770.293.0080 or in person at 117 North Park Square Marietta 30060. For show times and tickets, visit https://earlsmithstrand.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S1N000008tw5VUAQ.

Sally Litchfield is a longtime Marietta resident. She has written for the MDJ since October 2000. Send Sally news at sallylit@bellsouth.net. Call Sally at 404-713-7318.

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