Theatre troupe to perform at ’80s-themed dinner, murder mystery

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

Students and family members will have the chance to attend an ‘80s style dinner and murder mystery at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the University Ballroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The Central Illinois Stage Company will be performing the event in five acts with dinner taking place between each act.

Audience members may also be asked to take part in the performance, with members of the theatre troupe giving them scripts to read and such.

Attendees are encouraged to come in ‘80s themed costumes as well.

The performance will mark the second time Eastern has hosted a dinner and murder mystery.

Tanya Willard, the director of new student family programs, said because she is new to Eastern she did not get to see the last murder mystery dinner is looking forward to seeing how the event will play out.

Beth Dunahee, the assistant director of new student family programs, was a graduate assistant when the last murder mystery dinner took place.

“We’re both seeing this in a different way,” Willard said. “Looking at it from the perspective of a graduate assistant or a student is different from having to look at it from the perspective of a full-time staff member.”

As well as looking forward to seeing the dinner and murder mystery, Willard said she is excited to see some of the families she met at orientations over the summer.

“I’m hoping I get to see some of those family members and reconnect with them,” Willard said.

Because the first event was successful, Willard said she and Dunahee chose to do another murder mystery dinner.

“We had really good feedback from this event last year,” Willard said. “People who attended it had a really good time. It was really popular, so why not bring back something that’s popular and successful and people really enjoy?”

According to Dunahee, attendees should expect the unexpected regarding the performance.

“Last year’s performance was a lot of fun and just quirky,” Dunahee said. “I feel like it’ll probably be the same dynamic.”

Of the performance itself Dunahee said she is looking forward to seeing the new theme.

“Last year was a murder at a saloon,” Dunahee said. “It was like a wild west theme. This year it’s the ‘80s style so it think it’ll be a different twist on it.”

Willard said the event will sell out, so she encouraged students to purchase tickets as soon as possible.

For more information about family weekend events students can see the family weekend website at

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].