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Working for the library is murder!


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The Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC, has been successful in using interactive mystery plays as public programs and as staff team-building exercises.

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Working for the library is murder!

  1. 1. WORKING FOR THE LIBRARY IS MURDER! Tiffany Hayes, Library Training Coordinator Sana Moulder, Local & State History Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center Fayetteville, NC
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES  What is an interactive play?  How to find a script  Casting the parts  Personalizing your script  Find the money  Team-building exercise
  3. 3. WHAT IS IT? • Script is ONLY a suggestion • Cast interacts with the audience and draws them into the action • Dialog changes as the audience becomes part of the event • Audience members attempt to solve the mystery based on the evidence
  4. 4. FIND THE PERFECT SCRIPT Write Your Own  Pros • Less Expensive • Easy to tailor to your group  Cons • More work • Writers inexperienced with the format Purchase one from a vendor  Pros • MUCH less work • Glitches already worked out • Script has been used successfully  Cons • MORE expensive • May not be specific enough
  5. 5. RECRUIT YOUR CAST  Recruit the most outgoing  Consider ALL staff  Use staff from outside agencies  Consider family and friends of staff  Use a local drama club
  6. 6. GUIDELINES FOR CAST  Allow staff to choose their own character, if possible  Need to “create” the character  One read-through and 4-6 rehearsals  If you make changes, give them to EVERYONE
  7. 7. PERSONALIZE THE SCRIPT  Be sure to mention (and thank) your funders and your administration  Mention library events  Include local landmarks  Be aware of the sensibilities of your community
  8. 8. FIND THE FUNDING  Friends of the Library funded ours  Adapt script to reduce props  Cast uses their own costumes or borrow from a theater group  Sample budget • Script: $25 • Props/costumes: $40 • Refreshments: $40
  9. 9. PUBLICITY & PROMOTION • Advertised in our Monthly Calendar of Events • Posters, signs, and fliers posted in all of our branches • Heavily promoted on Facebook using cast photos • Televised segment on our monthly cable PSA
  10. 10. TEAM BUILDING PORTION What Worked What Didn’t Work  Assigning teams randomly;  Clarity; we should have staff loved working with people explained what we expected and that were unknown to them not relied on them to read it  Script was rewritten to be  Timing; we didn’t allow library and cast-specific enough time for set-up  Zombie concept was popular  Teamwork; no debriefing
  11. 11. THANKS FOR COMING!  Questions?  Comments?  Tiffany Hayes ( • (910) 483-7727 ext 1306  Sana Moulder ( • (910) 483-7727 ext 1363