By Jesse Bertel

Take a journey into the mind of a murder mystery author. A play that brings the storyteller into his own story, “Out of Sight, Out of Murder,” opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA), in the PCA Cabaret Theatre, 208 N. Marina St.

The story revolves around an author, Peter Knight, who is grinding out a murder story in an old mansion where another author was murdered years before.

“Peter Knight is writing his next murder mystery and his agent thought it’d be a good idea to do it in a mansion in Vermont,” Director Brandon Gabaldon said. “There’s an author that wrote a story there before him that died under mysterious circumstances. So, it’s kind of just to give him some inspiration.”

While he is working hard to write a story that will revive his career, a weird electrical storm creates a cosmic energy that makes the author’s characters come to life.

“As he’s writing this story, a lightning strike happens and all the power goes out,” Gabaldon said. “When it comes back up, his characters have come to life and they’re only seen by him.”

There’s the lovely ingenue, the trusty butler, a feisty character woman, a dauntless hero, a fascinating “other woman,” the always pregnant serving girl, and the wily lawyer waiting for midnight to read the will.

“The majority of the characters in this show are the characters and aren’t real people,” Gabaldon said. “There’s another real person, Minna, who’s the housekeeper. There’s a fun scene where she comes in and Peter and her are interacting. She can’t see any of the other characters and there’s a lot of fun physicality and things like that where they’re talking to Peter, but she can’t hear them.”

Knight loses control of his characters and there is a murder. The intended victim is Peter. More murders follow and the culprit is among the characters who, having also worked for other authors, know a great deal about the subject.

“There’s a lot of references to other authors, like Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and, you know, these characters have worked for those authors before because these characters, when they work, they are in the author’s head,” Gabaldon said. “These characters, whatever we want to call them, are hired from this agency that’s like in the sky and they come in and work for authors to help them tell their stories.”

Can Peter find the killer before the killer gets his author? Is romance with the ingenue leading anywhere? Where is the fortune mentioned in the will? All is solved ingeniously with romance, suspense and cosmic wit.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.pca-az.net, or call 928-445-3286.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Facebook @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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