Library hosts mystery dinner fundraiser

The Wood Place Library Mystery Dinner Theater Director Tiffany Brown, far right, with cast members.

The Wood Place Library Mystery Dinner Theater Director Tiffany Brown, far right, with cast members. Photo by David Wilson.

A mystery dinner theater on Friday, May 10, was the first major fundraiser for the Wood Place Community Library. The event was held at the United Church of Christ friendship hall.

The murder mystery "The Death of Dr. Pepper" was performed during the dinner, of either brisket or chicken, by the California High School Drama Club directed by Tiffany Brown. The non-cast members of the drama club served the meal.

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"Keep on eating," Lt. Blunt (Taylor Kuttenkuler), far left, advises the diners as the body of Dr. Pepper (Alexx Lewis) lies on the floor after the murder. Peter Pepper (Dakota Harris) stands on the left.

According to Librarian Connie Walk, the event brought in $4,555 which will be used to replace the awning on the front of the library.

The mystery began with a list of the cast, but with the audience expected to figure out which of three women was actually Dr. Pepper's wife Petunia, and his murderer.

Alexx Lewis portrayed Dr. Pepper. His nephew and lawyer, Peter Pepper, was played by Taylor Kuttenkuler. Investigator Lt. Blunt was Dakota Harris. Petunia was Mrs. Pepper, but since she was dressed the same as Violet and Lily, and they constantly switched hats and handbags, determining who was who was not so easy.

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Petunia Pepper turns a weapon over to Lt. Blunt near the end of the dinner mystery play. From left are Peter Pepper (Taylor Kuttenkuler), Violet (Ashley Davis), Lily (Ashley Douglas), Petunia (Jordan Simmons) and Lt. Blunt (Dakota Harris).

As the mystery began, each of the three women roamed among the diners. All acted as Petunia, asking if anyone had seen her husband. After an off-stage gunshot is heard, Dr. Pepper staggers out and falls to the floor, shot in the chest at close range. As the investigation proceeds with the bloody body lying on the floor, the diners are advised to stay seated and "just keep eating," while the body was checked out, covered with a tarp and removed with the help of a furniture dolly.  

After the mystery is worked out, Jordan Simmons turns out to be Petunia Pepper who killed Dr. Pepper. Her friends Lily - Ashley Douglas - and Violet - Ashley Davis - work to help her cover it up.

As the arguments rise in tenor on the stage, Petunia shoots nephew Peter Pepper. Violet then pulls out a gun and shoots the nephew.


It appears the conspiracy was because all three women want to go to prison together to be in a singing group.

At the end of the meal and the theater event, Director Tiffany Brown was presented with flowers as it was announced she will leaving California at the end of the school year.

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