Dinner theatre began in 1982 and has become a popular entertainment venue in the nation. It's popularity rests largely on the perceived value for the entertainment dollar expended and the excitement of audience participation. There is also the element of 'solving the mystery' which cannot be understated. Solving the mystery is not only challenging, but rewarding. The successful sleuth gets his/her ticket price returned to him/her as a reward for their effort.
Dinner theatre is very different for our actors as well. Being on a theatrical stage is vastly more comforting and 'safe' for many actors than being in and amongst our audiences. Venturing out to the audience is somewhat of an acquired taste. Dinner theatre does not appeal to every actor. It takes a higher degree of skill since the actor is always 'on' while in the presence of the audience. Improvisational skills and the ability to focus are required and necessary tools in the actor's tool bag to successfully participate in the dinner theatre venue.
Our audiences have a vastly different experience than when attending a stage play. Having the actors up close and personal is a new experience for those who have not previously attended dinner theatre. The ability of the audience to interact with the actors, asking questions, probing the mystery and getting to know the characters is all part of the enjoyment of dinner theatre. And the fun really starts when an audience member is selected to participate in the show. You never know how that situation is going to turn out (which is half the fun). Dinner theatre offers an experience that is unique among theatrical venues.
Are you the person who watches CSI, for example, and figures out "who dunnit" long before the show ends? Then dinner theatre may be your next challenge. It's a bit tougher than TV, as we have had several occasions when someone did not solve the crime. Are YOU up for the challange?