It all started as an ordinary night at Hamilton College.
On October 27, students held a classic costume party with feathered masks, Halloween music, and red solo cups of soda. Suddenly, partygoers were startled by a scream for help. A man was found in the hallway—lying dead—with a suspicious bite mark on his neck.
In the Late Nite production of Murder Mystery: Thirst For Blood, audience members and actors came together for an interactive theater experience. The event, a collaboration between the student theater group Untitled@Large and Residential Life, invited guests to participate with the characters in order to help solve the crime.
Exactly one year ago, a mysterious fire broke out at Bates’ Mansion in the city of Devil’s Gulch, leaving three people dead. Since that day, suspicious happenings were reported around the town—sparking rumors of a supernatural curse.
Untitled@Large is Hamilton's student-run theatre company. They stage productions, host workshops, and support student projects.
At the annual Devil’s Gulch Costume Ball, the community came together to move on from the tragedy and raise money for the renovation of the mansion. The night began with casual mingling as actors made conversation at the dinner tables or drifted around the room. But a strange, reclusive psychic was lurking about the party, watching the guests with haunted eyes and whispering a warning: something terrible was about to happen.
Untitled@Large dropped guests into the middle of a sinister plot staged by a colorful cast of characters. Audience members were encouraged to interrogate actors, interpret the clues and ultimately guess the murderer as the story unfolded around them. Everyone was a suspect in this dramatic tale of lies, rituals, murder and even a resurrection of the dead.
“This was the first year we’ve tried anything like this,” said director Angelique Archer’20. “I was so excited to put on this production because it creates a really unique and immersive theater experience. I pushed actors to focus on building character to make it feel as real as possible, like the audience members are participants in this big, unscripted story.”
The full cast included Ashley Huntington ’20, Ndanu Mutisya ’21, Jack Clark ’21, Cally Queally ’20, Jack Martin ’19, Delgada Corcora ’19, Xan Mullings ’20, and Anna Gagliandi ’21.