Everyone’s a suspect in Kent Theatre Guild’s ‘Design for Murder’

From left, Cecilia Granger played by Terri Thompson of Magnolia, David Granger played by Evan Jackewicz, 18 of Magnolia and Martha Brand played by Amy Bill of Smyrna

From left, Cecilia Granger, played by Terri Thompson of Magnolia; David Granger, played by Evan Jackewicz of Magnolia; and Martha Brand, played by Amy Bill of Smyrna react to a death in the house in the Kent County Theatre Guild production of “Design for Murder.” (Delaware State News photos/Dave Chambers)

DOVER –– A good old-fashioned murder mystery will debut at the Kent County Theatre Guild this weekend.

The production, entitled “Design for Murder,” focuses on a complicated family, the Grangers, living in a mansion on the Hudson River. But things between the family and its friends only further complicate when the maid is killed.

Everyone is instantly a suspect.

“When I read this play, I loved it,” said director Steve Caporiccio of Dover.

“There are a lot of twists and turns and I thought it’d be a good story for the actors and the audience.”

Mr. Caporiccio has been involved in theater for more than 40 years and with the Guild since 2010.

“I moved here and was looking to get involved in theater again and auditioned for a part here and have been involved ever since,” he said.

Mrs. Hamilton, played by Edy Makarius of Dover, gives Moreno the Chauffuer, played by James Muzzey of Smyrna, a piece of her mind.

Mrs. Hamilton, played by Edy Makarius of Dover, gives Moreno the Chauffuer, played by James Muzzey of Smyrna, a piece of her mind.

The position of director isn’t anything new for him. He was a drama teacher in Texas.

“It’s not about being in charge. It’s about bringing a group of people together and making a great final product,” he said.

But not everyone in the show has as extensive a theater resume as Mr. Caporiccio.

Three of the 10 actors –– Amy Bill, James Muzzy and Edy Makariw are all relatively new to the stage.

“I hadn’t acted since I was in school and just decided to come out and audition about a year ago,” said Ms. Bill of Smyrna. She plays the role of Martha Brand, a close friend of the Grangers.

“You can’t go wrong with a murder mystery, and luckily it isn’t my character who’s getting murdered,” she said.

Mr. Muzzy, like Ms. Bill has been acting for about a year but his character, the chauffeur Murano, isn’t as lucky as Ms. Bill’s. He’s the second character to drop dead in mysterious circumstances.

“He (Murano) is kind of a womanizer and sort of a bad guy but I get to portray some of likable qualities too,” he said. “The play definitely keeps you guessing the whole time.”

And the guessing especially disturbs the matriarch Celia Granger, played by Terri Thompson of Magnolia, who is unable to even move away from the mansion she shared with her deceased husband despite her son’s attempts to drag her away.

Detective Carlin, played by John Muller of Dover, interrogates Cecilia Granger, played by Terri Thompson of Magnolia.

Detective Carlin, played by John Muller of Dover, interrogates Cecilia Granger, played by Terri Thompson of Magnolia.

“She loves this house and living in this little isolated world. Her son gets engaged and will be leaving her alone for the most part,” Mr. Caporiccio said.

“So she’s more terrified than anyone else about the murders because she’s already resistant to change of any kind.”

The only benefit that comes for her in the play is a new love interest in the form of a detective, played by John Muller of Dover, who comes on the scene to investigate the first murder.

But eventually, she’s left alone in her big house as the final events unfold.

“We live in a digital age and this show is just one of many opportunities for people to get out of the house and see a live show instead of something on a screen,” Ms. Bill said.

“Design for Murder” will be performed today, Saturday and April 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday and May 1 at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at kctg.org and are $18 for adults, $16 for students, seniors and military and $10 for kids 12 and under.

The Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 E. Roosevelt Ave. in Dover.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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