Library director turned to MHS grads for research
She’s done it again.
Mustang Library Director Desiree Webber has written a new play and it will be presented in a mystery dinner theater next month by Mustang High School drama students.
The event is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at Town Center, 1201 N. Mustang Road.
Webber previously penned Sand Trap and with the help of high school drama teacher Emily Farnham, the play was performed last year to a sold out crowd for a fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Mustang Library.
The “Friends” non-profit organization is once again hosting the dinner theatre event which will feature the same buffet menu as before prepared by Catering by Regina, Webber said. This includes imperial chicken, pork diane, green beans, sinful potatoes, rice pilaf, tossed green salad, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes, Ramen slaw, carrot cake, turtle cake and peach cobbler.
“The murder mystery dinner is really going to be a great event,” Friends President Brett Jones said. “Desiree’s plays are so clever, and I know the audience will be very entertained. We take 100-percent of the proceeds from this event and invest it back into the library either through new equipment or programs. We want this library to continue to be a treasure in this community.”
Dinner theater tickets are $30 each and must be purchased by Tuesday, Nov. 1. They can be bought in person at the Mustang Library or by calling 376-2226. There is a $3 processing fee.
Jones, event chair, said Webber’s new play is set in 1996 at a small Oklahoma high school.
“Basketball is king and so is Elvis,” Jones said. “The high school principal is an unpleasant person who rides rough shod over everybody — the teachers, the school librarian and even the students. Finally, someone has had enough of Principal Shoddy and takes matters into hand.”
Jones said the audience members will have a chance to see if they can discover who the murderer is during this fun romp through high school.
Attendees are encouraged to take a step back in time by coming dressed in their favorite 1960s shirts, dresses and white Go-Go boots.
Webber said Farnham approached her to write a mystery dinner for her students to perform. From there, Webber got to work, setting her sights on a 1960s theme and then interviewing graduates that still live in Mustang like Carole Ann Hanna, Shirley Williford and Teela Lewellen, and James Elliott, who resides in Edmond now.
Webber also looked at Mustang HS yearbooks from the 1960s and discovered the school’s first one was made in 1966.
“I did this more to get a flavor of what people were interested in at the time,” Webber said. “It was kind of fun to research the times. To find out what music, movies and what kids did on the weekend.”
Once she understood the time period, Webber said she got to work on the plot, which had to include a “bad person.” “If they get murdered, you don’t care,” she said. “Then you need someone who did the murdering.”
Farnham’s advance drama students are performing the play and the set design is by James Grigsby. Webber said the made some changes to the fit the number of students she has but said, “it all worked out.”
The play will take place in the middle of the room, Webber said, and there will not be a stage so everyone can see. There will be a backdrop painted to look like bleachers and other props.
Webber expressed her gratitude to Farnham for helping her in the play-writing process. She said the two met one afternoon on the weekend to go over the play.
The HS drama program is currently working on their musical, which they perform every two years. “This is the year they do the musical so for her to do this too, I really tip my hat to her,” Webber said.
Also, the library director said another performance of Sand Trap also might be in the future since Webber said people have asked to see if again or for the very first time.