Mystery dinner theaters to benefit area libraries

Wendy Byerly Wood Content Manager

October 14, 2013

Yadkinville resident Lisa Drum has created one of two plays being used in the coming weeks as part of the Northwestern Regional Library’s fall fundraiser Mystery Dinner Theaters, the first of which is planned for Friday in Yadkinville.

Yadkin County Branch Librarian Malinda Sells said Drum own Blue Sky Studios at the Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville.

“When our downtown business association had three mystery dinner fundraisers, Lisa wrote the plays for them,” said Sells, explaining how Drum got involved with the library fundraiser and where the Yadkin Mystery Players group, who will perform for two of the library events, began. “This group kind of came together and had a really enjoyable time, and so they’ve continued as Lisa has written more plays.”

Drum’s play, “Books are Murder,” will premiere Friday at the Lone Hickory Arena at 6:30 p.m., with a second showing Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Mount Airy.

Two other mystery dinner theaters are planned at the VFW Hall in Sparta on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Galax, Va.-resident Vicky Town’s play, “The Fourteenth Annual Genealogy Society Meeting: a murder mystery,” will be presented by the Alleghany Community Theater group.

Sells said the dinners are casual to dressy, with the Yadkinville event featuring chicken Alfredo, salad, bread, a cobbler, and cheese and cracker appetizers; Mount Airy will include wraps and other munchies; and Alleghany will be spaghetti dinners.

“The regional management is trying to have regionwide fundraisers twice a year to supplement things shared by all of us,” explained Elkin Public Library Branch Librarian Martha Smith. “eBooks are open to everyone, so you can’t direct it toward one specific library.”

The cost of the ebooks purchased by the region is $12,000 annually, so the mystery dinner theaters will aid in paying that bill. An earlier fundraiser, Ride for Readers held in June, raised $9,000 of the amount needed.

“Anyone in the region can access (the ebooks),” Smith said.

She said the Northwestern Regional system, serving Alleghany, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin, also shares ebooks with the Appalachian Regional Library, which serves Wilkes, Watauga and Ashe counties.

“The ebooks we purchase, their readers can access; and the ebooks they purchase, our readers can access,” she said.

While ebooks are not the most used resource at the libraries, Smith said last year the regional library system circulated 9,000 ebooks.

“It is certainly being used by people who enjoy the convenience of an ereader,” said Smith. “Libraries are in a real period of change with the shifting format of books and access to smart phones. Libraries are trying to find how we still can be of value to the community.”

Sells said there are about 50 seats to fill at the Yadkinville dinner theater, with plenty of tickets still available.

Tickets for all of the mystery dinner theaters are $20 each and are available at all of the NWRL libraries. For more information, call a local NWRL branch or visit www.nwrl.org.

Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at wbyerly-wood@civitasmedia.com or at 835-1513.