Preparing for ‘Guests’

An original murder mystery comedy play will mark the opening of the season for Webster City Community Theatre.

Tickets will soon be available for “House Guests Can Be Murder,” written and directed by Sally Evans of Stratford. The play opens on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m., with performances also scheduled for Oct. 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and on Oct. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.

The play is the story of five elderly women who decide to move in together after Bertha Johnson wins a sweepstakes and purchases a large old boarding house. Unfortunately, the local paper incorrectly reports the amount of her winnings as $100,000 when it was really only $10,000. Enter “long-lost cousin” Wilhelmina Jergernsen who raises the suspicion of neighbors Clarence and Jasper.

Cast members include Linda Thomas as Bertha, Karin Yungclas as Hazel, Sharon Helm as Millie, Cheri Daya as Elsie, and Loween Getter as Clara. Pete Neumeister and Al Yungclas fill the roles of Clarence and Jasper respectively. Wilhelmina is portrayed by Jeff Pingle and Paul Wagner takes on the roles of handyman, postman, cable guy, paramedic, and detective to round out the cast of characters.

This is the second play that Evans has both written and directed for Webster City Community Theatre. Her first was “Murder In Black and White,” which ran in 2011. She’s no stranger to the murder mystery genre, having written and directed five of them at the South Hamilton Foundation Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre that the Foundations holds annually. She’s also acted and has been actively involved with Webster City Community Theatre since 1999.

Both writing and directing a play is a lot of work. Evans said that after fleshing out characters and writing dialogue and completing a play over the course of about two months, she then has to plan auditions, get the cast, determine the blocking, get the set and props together and much more as a director.

“When I started writing and directing, I tried to do too much on my own,” Evans said. “Now, I know to get a lot more help with these plays.”

Evans said she thinks the play will be enjoyable to all who are interested. She said the play is a lighthearted look at life in small town Iowa and play-goers will identify with that.

To reserve tickets for “House Guests Can Be Murder,” stop by the theatre located at 1001 Willson Avenue on weeknights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., or Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Tickets may also be available one hour before showtime. The box office will open Oct. 5, or, call 832-4456 or order online at