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Suffolk’s PAO plans to give students a deadly night out in upcoming performance
October 16, 2019
A night of food, outer space shenanigans, murder, theater and… dinner? These four very different elements are what the Suffolk Performing Arts Office (PAO) will be presenting this year in “Enterprise: Deep Space Murder,” their annual dinner theater show. The performance will run from Thursday, Oct. 17 to Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Samia Center Cafe.
The 2019 show is written by Suffolk alum Gustave Cadet and marks the 10th anniversary of the first student-written dinner theater show performed at Suffolk, which was also written by Cadet.
The plot blends Star Trek and murder, following the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise spaceship as they prepare to unveil a new, more powerful transporter that can zap someone across entire galaxies in mere seconds. After hijinks ensue, the crew must work together with the audience to unravel the mystery at hand.
“As a crew, we have to bond together to try and figure out whodunnit, in some cases more than others,” cast member Bronwyn Crick, a freshman politics, philosophy and economics major who plays the role of Cadet Gustavi, said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “In other cases, it’s just pointing fingers.”
The cast and crew will be acting, mingling with the audience and serving up a three course meal as the evening progresses. According to Associate Director of Suffolk Performing Arts Kathleen Maloney, several Star Trek themed dishes will be provided by Sodexo Food Services.
The first course will be a Vulcan salad, which is a garden salad garnished with cranberries and a balsamic dressing. For the main course, guests have a choice between Lurian chicken and Sinteel pasta. The chicken will be herb-roasted and topped with a sundried tomato cream sauce with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and broccolini. The pasta will be composed of fusilli noodles topped with a pesto oil, roasted peppers and roasted onions.
To round out the meal, there will be a Ktarian Black Hole Cake for dessert, which is essentially a chocolate bundt cake. Guests will be able to choose their entrees when they purchase tickets and are encouraged to mention any dietary restrictions that the kitchen will be sure to accommodate.
The cast, crew and director have been hard at work since rehearsals began on Sept. 16, attempting to navigate the nontraditional setting of dinner theater while fully developing their characters both onstage and in mingling with the audience.
“There’s a lot of adapting what you know and figuring out how to play with that because it throws a lot of the rules out the window,” Maloney said in an interview with The Journal. Maloney has directed dinner theater at Suffolk since 2004 and has a lot of experience with the unconventional elements of the show.
There are a total of 12 cast and five crew members in the show who are looking forward to trying their hand at the intricacies of dinner theater.
Sophomore theater major Madison Ashworth, who plays Ambassador Ducath, said of the rehearsal process, “It’s really interesting to make connections with people and then translate that into our characters in terms of banter onstage and with the audience.”
Overall, the dinner theater family, as Maloney, Crick and Ashworth refer to themselves and the rest of the team, is excited to perform “Enterprise: Deep Space Murder” for the Suffolk community.
“I don’t think you have to ‘get’ theater to enjoy yourself and have a good time, and that’s kind of what this show is about. It’s about interacting with each other and having fun and having a place to be goofy,” Crick said. “I hope the audience really participates. Just enjoy it and make accusations with us, sing along, ask us questions and really be a part of the story.”
Tickets can be purchased in the Performing Arts Office, on the third floor of the Sawyer building. They cost $10 and include admittance to the show and dinner for the evening. Students can purchase tickets with a meal plan, Ramcard or cash.