For one night only, Live Oak Theatre will host a presentation of a murder mystery play directed and produced by a Live Oak veteran–a seasoned performer who, day in and day out, balances his theatrical duties with homework.
This special production, a Murder Mystery Theatre performance of Body of the Play by Eileen Clark, is produced and co-directed by 13-year-old Jude Mys (with classmate Ely Walters), a student at Gulf Coast Academy, and Live Oak Theatre member. All proceeds from this production will benefit the Hernando County chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Performances will take place Saturday, Nov. 27, at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm at Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville.
This production was indeed homework for Mys, who undertook the project as a part of a classroom exercise called the Pay It Forward project at Gulf Coast, in which students undertake creative fund-raisers to benefit favorite causes.
“I have classmates with mental health issues, and I wanted to help,” he said. “I thought this was perfect for Pay It Forward.”
And a thespian project was perfect for Mys, who already has accrued six years’ experience as an actor at both Live Oak and Hat Trick theatres; also studying directing at Live Oak summer camps.
“I once struggled with shyness–and if it wasn’t for Live Oak, I’d probably still be the quiet kid sitting in the back of the class,” said Mys, whose roles have included Michael in Peter Pan and who also appeared in The Wizard of Oz and Waiting for Godot. He’ll next appear in the Live Oak production of Newsies.
Directing, Mys finds, presents special challenges.
“When I watch a play, I think of things I would have done in directing it,” he said. “I think, I would have moved this here, I would have done this, I wonder how this would affect the story, etc.”
Mys and Walters auditioned the cast of Body of the Play, a murder mystery, and have been assuming full directorial duties for the production, which involves cast members aged child to senior.
“It’s a play within a play,” he explained. “Things start to go wrong, and then somebody dies.”
Things only promise to go right for Mys, who plans to continue his thespian career well into adulthood. To see his premiere public production, reserve your tickets now by writing [email protected] or call (352) 428-2197. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children, with the purchase of an adult ticket. All ticket sales are at the door, but reservations can be made by emailing [email protected]
“I’m at my best when I’m on stage,” Mys said.