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Murder mystery comes to Pequot Lakes this spring

Pequot Lakes High School will present its spring play, “Mandate for Murder,” Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, in the high school auditorium.

Billed as an “audience participation mystery comedy,” the shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a matinee performance at 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be available at the door and are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Children preschool age or younger are free.

Written by Pat Cook, “Mandate for Murder” takes place on a mayoral election night, where friends and supporters of candidate Matt Kensington are gathered to throw him a surprise birthday/campaign party in the living room of socialite Dolores MacDonald.

The group is about to experience a surprise that no one suspected however; one of Kensington’s aides is stabbed with a cake knife.

Clues seem to point toward one of the candidate’s supporters, but which one? Perhaps Estelle, whose shifty past and biting commentary draw suspicion. Or maybe Macauley, a local newspaper editor, who discovered unseemly information he’d rather not drudge up.

With clues and suspects aplenty, this political satire will keep the audience at the edge of their seats, pondering who they can — or can’t — trust.

Campaigners will interact with the audience, polling them on whom they would vote for. The audience will also have the opportunity to question suspects, and the ending of each performance will change depending upon which candidate gets the audience’s vote.

High school English teacher Kristen Maas directs the play, and Tim Leagjeld will assist with set design. Emma Schommer is the stage manager and student director, and Megan Johnson is the technical director.

The cast list is as follows: Adam Glenski as Macauley Tarleton; Gabe McBryde as Billy Jack Hopkins; Christian Kurilla as Professor Monroe Lafferty; Henry Liedl as Commissioner Doggerty; Jack Friday as Matt Kensington; Makyla Thomsen as Dolores MacDonald; Jessica Nies as Joan Sedgewick; Sarah Najjar as Eileen Lafferty; Danielle Rollins as Millie Kensington; Emma Fitch as Estelle Murchison; and Sheridan Wilson as Kathleen Donovan.

Chelsey Perkins
Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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