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Tigard's Mask & Mirror Community Theatre opens its latest murder mystery play on May 3.

PMG PHOTO: JANAE EASLON - Donna Haub and Steve Koeppen perform in Mask and Mirror Community Theatre's 'The Butler Did It!'Mask & Mirror Community Theatre in Tigard are known for making what they have work.

The actors and director Meghan Daaboul are rehearsing for their upcoming show "The Butler Did It!" in the uncanniest of spots — a warehouse behind a chair store.

Gary Romans, Mask & Mirror's founder, said the unusual digs are no problem. The actors are in it for their passion for the art, he said, not because

they need a fancy space to work.

Romans and his wife started two other theater companies before Mask & Mirror. After they retired, they started the nonprofit performance group in 2011 as a way to bring community theater to Tigard and Tualatin, Romans said.

"It began with a reading at my house, and at the end, we asked if there was anyone interested in starting a theater and six other people raised their hands," he said. "They were all serious adults who have done this before. We were lucky — we were looking for a space to perform, and Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard had an underused stage."

Mask & Mirror is always evolving, Romans said. It attempted its first musical last year, beginning with "Singing in the Rain," and with its success, the company hopes to perform another one in the upcoming season.

PMG PHOTO: JANAE EASLON - 'The Butler Did It!' opens on Friday, May 3, created by Mask and Mirror Community Theatre in Tigard. While the church is not always available to use as many days as the company would like to practice, its newfound warehouse space allows the Mask & Mirror's cast and crew to meet up anytime and prepare for their upcoming show, opening on May 3.

Written by Tim Kelly, "The Butler Did It!" explores murder, mystery and spoof and parodies several English mystery plays.

"It is a light-hearted comedy," Daaboul said. "There is so much reference to 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'The Thin Man,' 'Agatha Christie's Miss Marple' — a lot of people will be able to pick up on that."

A large cast of 10 will fill the small stage, each with their own unique character trying to solve the whodunit tale, Daaboul said.

Performances begin Friday, May 3, and run through Sunday, May 19. Shows open at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

The shows will all be staged at Calvin Presbyterian Church, located at 10445 S.W. Canterbury Lane in Tigard.



By Janae Easlon
Features Editor
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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