Colonel Charles Craddock, Kendall Countryman, grabs socialite Elizabeth Hartley-Trumpington before she can race out of the room and leave him holding the bag as the possible murderer in Murdered to Death. Both actors are making their Rose Theater debuts in this funny, funny play. (Photo/Dennis Smith)


Football abounds as the Mary Persons Bulldogs are set for their fourth game this season against Lovett in Atlanta on Friday the 13th. Georgia, Georgia Tech and Mercer are at their home stadiums Saturday. If you don’t feel like travelling or sitting outside in this lingering summer heat, you have another great entertainment option. Watch a live stage play in the cool and comfort of The Rose Theater.

Backlot Players presents “Murdered To Death” starting Friday, Sept. 13.

Agatha Christie set the modern standard for detective novels with the 66 she wrote.  She gave us the amazing, amusing characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She wrote the play “Mousetrap” that holds the record for the longest running stage play. Although “Murdered to Death” is not by Agatha Christie, it is written in the same style that made her and her work so famous.  

“Murdered to Death” is purely British. It is set in a country manor in the 1930’s. There is a Butler, the proverbial British Colonel with a stiff upper lip, a French Art Dealer and his moll, the traditional bumbling local inspector and a local sleuth who seems to attract murder wherever she goes.  

Oh, yes there is a murder…maybe even two. You will find this “who-dun-it” to rival the best of Christie’s work. Peter Gordon, the playwright, did an excellent job keeping the Christie spirit alive.

Elizabeth Hunter, Director, let Monroe Entertains You know that the cast she has assembled will make you think that they are a touring company from London as opposed to some area actors. The accents are flawless and comedic talents of several of them will make you believe that you are watching this play in a much larger out-of-town venue. Elizabeth introduced MEY to two actors who are making their Rose Theater debut.

Kendall Countryman has played the Middle Georgia theater circuit holding roles at each stop—Theater Macon, Macon Little Theater and Warner Robins Little Theatre. He is taken by the British aura and its humor. Kendall easily transitions into the role of Colonel Charles Craddock. This is his first time on stage at The Rose. You will delight in his ability to portray the prototypical stiff upper-lip Englishman. You will find his sense of comedic timing to be on point.

When asked about appearing in his first play at The Rose, Kendall said, “Great reception from the cast. It is like walking into a family that I have been part of for many years.” Kendall is Benefits and Compensation Officer for Bibb County. He and his husband live in Macon.

“Starr” Joyner, the daughter of Armisha Campbell, is a Mary Persons junior. She is hooked on theater, performing arts and fine arts. She acts, sings, and draws/sketches. She is excited to be playing the role of Elizabeth Hartley-Trumpington—a British socialite.

“I wanted a role that challenged me to get outside of me. I got one. I am playing a rich socialite who is somewhat ‘effected’ by her privilege and wealth, and she lets everyone know it,” commented Starr. “And I did not murder anyone!”

Kendall and  Starr are joined by some standout Rose actors whom readers of this column may know… Stephanie Houseal, Judy Hunter, Rick Kmitta, Betty Moon, Joe and Sara Reed, Matt Robichaux and Anita Stephens.  

Both Kendall and Starr promised that you will have a lot of fun at this play. An unnamed cast member suggested you better wear your “Depends.” Make sure you see this extremely funny production. 

“Murdered to Death” has performances Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees on Sept. 15 and 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for Adults, $15 for Seniors, Students and Military. For your convenience, tickets may be purchased on-line and you can make your own seat selections at Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office from 4-7 p.m. this week and Monday through Thursday of next week as well as two hours prior to each performance at The Rose Theater, 23 West Johnston Street, Forsyth

Mary Persons High School Chorus Presents Its Fall Concert Sept. 30.

Don’t miss the combined MPHS Chorus Fall Concert at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30 at the Monroe Fine Arts Center.   

Dennis Smith writes “Monroe Entertains You,” highlighting the entertainment fare offered in Monroe County and the people who make it possible. Smith wants Forsyth to realize and support the riches it has in the cultural arts.