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Drama and culinary arts students at Estacada High School team up for murder mystery dinner theater event

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - In Estacada High School's production of Cafe Murder, the audience will be able to cast their vote about who they suspect as the purveyor of the crime.

Attendees of an upcoming dinner theater event at Estacada High School just might become part of the show themselves.

The high school's drama and culinary arts programs are collaborating on a production of Nathan Hartswick's "Cafe Murder," scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Estacada High School Cafeteria, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave. Admission is $35 and includes a three course meal prepared by the school's advanced culinary students. Tickets can be purchased at

"Cafe Murder" takes place during Rosemary Saint-John's (Elizabeth Smith) birthday celebration with her sisters Melanie (Gavin Rex), Marjorie (Luci Wainman), Volleny (Irelynd O'Neill), and Valerie (Emma Gillett).

It might sound like a pleasant evening, but Rosemary is convinced she is allergic to water and makes enemies everywhere she goes. When she goes missing and is presumed murdered, the audience members must cast their vote about who the culprit is.

"The audience gets a chance to solve the murder. They can interrogate the suspects," said Estacada High School theater teacher Jordan Collins.

The cast of "Cafe Murder" also includes Adelia Jeppeson as the maitre'd, Julien Purvis as Detective Harris, Ayla Zallee as the chef and Kyra Milliken as the waiter.

Students are looking forward to the production.

"I've never done an interactive show before," said Rex. "I'm excited to go around and interact with the audience and utilize my improv skills."

Zallee appreciates that her character speaks in a French accent.

"I really like doing accents," she said. "This is a very different character."

Jeppeson also enjoys her role.

"I like leading everyone around. It's kind of like being a narrator," she said.

The setting of the show is just like your typical restaurant, with a few exceptions.

"It's a really fancy and high class restaurant. It just so happens that someone dies there," Purvis said.

Collins noted that the story will keep audiences on their toes.

"There's a twist within a twist," Collins said. "There's more to it than you would expect."

If you go

What: Cafe Murder, a dinner theater event presented by Estacada High School culinary and theater students

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8

Where: Estacada High School Cafeteria, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave.

Cost: Tickets are $35 per person and available at

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