Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, February 15, 2017, Page A4, Image 4

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Brothers Grimm tale
seeks youth performers
Production off ers
opportunity to
shine under the
Tina Ridings looks on while Boyd Sharp tries to shift blame to another character during a
past murder mystery fundraiser for Agape House. A Valentine theme is featured during a
murder mystery dessert Sunday at Agape House in Hermiston.
Love and poison
Community Editor
Love is in the air and poi-
son is in the drink during a
murder mystery event pre-
sented by Agape House.
tine-themed fundraiser of-
fers people a chance to play
amateur sleuths while rais-
ing money for the nonprofi t
Based in Hermiston, Agape
House assists people with ac-
cessing basic needs and life
skills, including emergency
food boxes, transportation
assistance, cold weather at-
tire and shower facilities. In
addition, it manages a shelter
for homeless families.
“‘Til Death Do We Part
... And We Part Tonight” in-
cludes the murder mystery
presentation and an array
of delectable desserts. The
event is Sunday at 2 p.m. in
the Altrusa Room at Agape
House, 500 Harper Road,
Hermiston. Tickets are $15
per person. People should
purchase tickets in advance
as seating is limited.
The storyline centers
around Hanna and Harry
Heart — legends in their
hometown of Amorville,
said Dave Hughes, executive
director of Agape House.
High school sweethearts,
Hanna was an all-star cheer-
leader and Harry was a state
champion quarterback who
went on to play professional-
ly with the St. Louis Lambs.
Purchasing the rights to
present the murder mystery
production, Hughes made
a few modifi cations to the
script. Although he didn’t
make slashing changes, a
knife may be involved in
some way — at least by
Jodene Hughes, Martha’s
House shelter director.
Jodene said she most-
ly helps behind the scenes
during the fundraisers — of-
ten cooking, or in the case
of the dessert event, cutting
the desserts. She said people
will have a choice of choco-
late cake, a red velvet cake
and cheesecakes with a vari-
ety of toppings — pick your
poison, but not in the literal
sense like the victim in the
The dessert murder mys-
tery fi nds the Hearts back in
Amorville for a big soirée.
The audience will have to
fi gure out whodunnit when
Dr. Ador Candyman, a
nerdy rocket scientist, ends
up dead. It appears he con-
sumed a poisoned drink, and
numerous people had access
to his glass.
“There are about four
or fi ve subplots running
through,” Dave said. “Peo-
ple have to fi gure out what’s
going on.”
Dave and Jodene Hughes
enjoy the excited chatter as
people try to piece together
what happened.
“Some of them, they
laugh so hard,” Jodene said.
“It does my heart so good to
hear them having fun.”
Listening to the buzz,
Dave said, makes it clear
that audience members are
having a good time. The
organization hosts murder
mystery presentations every
few months — with each of
them netting about $1,000
for the organization, Hughes
Hughes said Agape
House seems to have found
its niche with a dramatic
fl air, and their success has
intrigued other regional or-
ganizations. Hughes said
representatives from Habitat
for Humanity of Walla Walla
will be on hand to learn more
about putting on a murder
mystery presentation.
“That’s a good fuzzy feel-
ing for me,” Hughes said.
“We can share a fun after-
noon and maybe introduce
the murder mysteries to
Habitat for Humanity.”
For more information
or to purchase a ticket, call
Dave Hughes at 541-567-
Community Editor
A fun and magical sto-
ryline is featured in an
upcoming youth drama
production sponsored by
the Desert Arts Council.
Full of humor and fa-
miliarity, “The Poisoned
Apple” is a spin-off from
the Brothers Grimm fairy
tale, “Show White,” said
director Jenny Walker. The
Hermiston woman said
when choosing the produc-
tion for the drama class,
she wanted to do some-
thing that kids would rec-
ognize and connect with.
But, in actuality, she
said, most kids are just
excited about a chance to
participate in a produc-
“They just like being
on stage and in the spot-
light,” she said. “They
love performing for their
Walker, who got in-
volved with the drama
program a couple of years
ago, shares the same feel-
ing as the kids she di-
rects. A performer herself,
Walker began helping with
the program when she was
registering her daughter
for “Beauty & the Beast”
two years ago. When
then-director Vickie Fos-
ter retired from the com-
munity theater program
shortly thereafter, Walker
stepped into the role.
“The most rewarding
thing for me is to see how
much they blossom and
grow and how much they
enjoy putting on the per-
formance,” Walker said.
Walker said there will be
opportunities to partici-
pate in backstage activi-
ties. Also, she said, as part
of the class participants
will assist with props,
make-up, costuming and
other details that come
with stage performances.
Kids with all skill levels
and experience are wel-
come to participate.
“I just love that each
time we put on a produc-
tion, we have new kids
signing up,” Walker said.
Also, Walker said par-
ents can volunteer as
well — including every-
thing from costuming and
make-up to props and cu-
ing kids where they need
to be. Extra help is al-
ways welcome, especially
during dress rehearsals
and performances.
For more information
or to register, call 541-
667-5018, visit www.
or stop by the recreation
office, 180 N.E. Second
St., Hermiston.
Youths ages 9-18 are in-
vited to participate. From
Feb. 28 through May 10,
the acting classes and re-
hearsals are Tuesdays and
Wednesdays from 5:15-
7:15 p.m. at the Hermiston
Conference Center, 415
S. Highway 395. Offered
through Hermiston Parks
& Recreation, the cost is
$50 for residents of Herm-
iston and $63 for non-res-
idents. The registration
deadline is Friday, Feb. 24.
The program’s grand
finale features a pair of
performances, which are
Thursday, May 11 and
Friday, May 12 at 6:30
p.m. at Armand Larive
Middle School, 1497 S.W.
Ninth St., Hermiston. Ad-
mission to the shows are
$3 at the door or $2, if
The program is de-
signed to familiarize stu-
dents with all aspects of
putting on productions.
For students who don’t
necessarily want to be in
the glare of stage lights,
Printed on
Gary L. West | Editor • gwest@hermistonherald.com • 541-564-4532
Tammy Malgesini | Community Editor • tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com • 541-564-4539
Jayati Ramakrishnan | Reporter • jramakrishnan@hermistonherald.com • 541-564-4534
Jade McDowell | Reporter • jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com • 541-564-4536
Jeanne Jewett | Multi-Media consultant • jjewett@hermistonherald.com • 541-564-4531
Shannon Paxton | Offi ce coordinator • spaxton@hermistonherald.com • 541-564-4530
Audra Workman | Multi-Media consultant • aworkman@eastoregonian.com • 541-564-4538
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Herald, 333 E. Main St., Hermiston, OR
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