The Forensic Science Student Club at VCU will have their fifth annual participatory murder mystery dinner on April 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballrooms.
The event will feature a show where members of the club will engage the audience in trying to unravel a murder. There will also be a raffle, prize giveaways, food and dessert. In prior years the dinner has almost always sold out.
“Basically the idea is that it’s the 10-year reunion for the fictional Opossum State College class of 2004, but one of the alumni, Simon Clint, has passed away and he was really into aliens,” said Kenner Fortner, a senior forensic science major and president of the club. “The story unfolds from there and when you bring all kinds of enemies together, things start to go down.”
The show is produced and scripted entirely by the members of the club, and there are twelve actors partaking in the event. Fortner said that the group has been rehearsing for about a month, but the process of planning and putting everything together started almost a year in advance.
He said the club doesn’t hold auditions, but instead have interested students participate in various activities to see who suits which part.
“We’re going to call on the audience to interact, and we pick people randomly to participate,” said Matt Goldstein, a second year forensic science graduate student. “The audience is also going to be looking at the evidence to question us, and there’s also breaks in the script to have them participate spontaneously.”
Goldstein is one of two graduate students who is acting in the production.
“It’s kind of like a Jamestown experience,” he said.
The dinner itself will be catered by Apple Spice Junction and includes vegetarian options as well. The club is also selling T-shirts to promote the event, which is put on to bring attention to the department.
“Everybody always has such a good time, it makes it worth it,” said Leigh Incheck, a junior forensic science major who is participating in the show for the second year in a row.
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at breakpoint in the student commons for $10 until April 11.