GAITHERSBURG — Rockville Little Theatre is Montgomery County’s longest continuously running community theater company, having produced plays annually since it was formed by six friends in Rockville in 1947. This month, the company will host a fundraiser in a new format to support future efforts. For one night only, on Saturday, May 30, at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, RLT will present “Murder at the TonyLou Awards,” an interactive murder-mystery comedy.
The production is set at the fictional TonyLou Awards, where various colorful personalities have gathered, such as gossip columnist Constance Gables, foreign actor Monty Carlo and washed-up stage diva Lorna Lush. During the first act, a murder will be committed, and the audience will be invited, via observation and interaction with the cast, to attempt to determine the murderer and the motive.
Before the curtain rises at 8 p.m., a cocktail hour will be held where patrons are invited to sample complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres and also to meet the cast (in character) and search for clues. The name of the award ceremony is a synthesis of the names of the piece’s two authors, Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose.
Laura Andruski, vice president of RLT’s board of directors, is organizing the production. Since joining the board, Andruski has encouraged RLT to explore alternative revenue sources beyond ticket sales to its regular-season shows.
“Before last year, we’d never even gotten a grant,” Andruski said. The company received a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council to support its production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” earlier this year, which Andruski directed.
“I hope this interactive murder mystery fundraiser will become an annual thing and lead to something spectacular for our 70th anniversary in three years and for our diamond jubilee five years after that,” Andruski said.
Tickets for “Murder at the TonyLou Awards” are $40, and seating will be limited to 99 people. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.rlt-online.org or call 240-292-9735.