Twin Cities Rotary to Hold Member-Made Murder Mystery Dinner

·3 min read

Mar. 18—Is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than chowing down some Bonanza BBQ and witnessing a murder?

The Twin Cities Rotary Club, at 1 p.m. on April 3, will host a live action murder mystery dinner at The Juice Box at 216 S. Tower Ave., Centralia. Attendance costs $40. Guests can eat barbecue, watch and interact with actors, guess the murderer and possibly win a raffle prize if they correctly deduce the identity of the perpetrator.

Rotary members Jake McGhie, immediate past club president, and Catherine Cleveland, public image chair, wrote the live action mystery presentation to be loosely based on the show Game of Thrones. They're calling their mystery dinner "Game of Murder." It usually lasts about 40 minutes, Cleveland said.

"The long and short of it is it's dinner theater. There's a nice lunch or dinner. In this case it's Bonanza BBQ," McGhie said. "And the murder mystery is all the suspects debating among themselves, trying to figure out who the murderer is."

Over the course of several months, McGhie and Cleveland developed a plot and characters, all with motivation to murder, then sprinkled in clues along the way to make it possible for audience members to figure out which character committed the crime.

"It's a lot of just intrigue and guessing and mystery," McGhie said. "An immersive experience."

In this upcoming event, the setting will be a castle called the House of Guy. Characters include Lord Guy, with wife Ima and daughter Goldie, Sir Prance-a-lot, who is engaged to Goldie, a bard named Ariana Barday and a wizard named Merlin the Magnificent Magician. Other surprise characters will also be involved.

The characters will have gathered for the wedding of Goldie and Sir Prance-a-lot when a murder unfolds, leaving the remaining characters and audience searching for answers.

"When people are eating dinner the actors are just going to be wandering around and you can ask them questions," Cleveland said. "We'll give everybody a little notepad they can write their clues on. I think that's going to be a lot of fun."

All the actors in Game of Murder are amateurs, but Cleveland has had her fair share of acting experience leading up to this, including on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum's murder mystery dinners and at the Evergreen Playhouse. McGhie also gained acting experience in college. Both Rotarians have polished their role-playing skills in Dungeons and Dragons games.

The two are young for Rotarians. Their creativity and spirit for service motivates them to be active in the Twin Cities club. Both talked about having a desire to serve their community that Rotary satisfied, and noted that the murder mystery writing offered a fun creative outlet.

Proceeds from the upcoming event will go to the Twin Cities Rotary Club's scholarship for Centralia College students, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and to the club's ongoing effort to build wheelchair accessible ramps for local homes.

Tickets to the murder mystery are available online at or in person at The Juice Box and Book 'n' Brush in Chehalis. Ticket sales will end on March 31 or before if the event sells out. Space is limited.

For more information, visit the Twin Cities Rotary Club Facebook page.