Frequently Asked Questions About Privately Hosted Murder Mystery Events
How many guests do we need to have at our party for a private show?
The number of guests needed in attendance for a successful Murder Mystery Private Performance is 8 or more guests . Any amount less than 8 guests in attendance will not meet the suspect role\ requirements for the performance.
Do you offer shows without a murder?
Yes. If you would like to have a murder mystery performance that does not involve a murder, The Murder Mystery Company offers a show theme called ‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t’, where the mystery revolves around solving the crime of a missing Diamond! You and your guests will be able to solve ‘who-dun-it, how, and why?’ without anyone being murdered at all!
Are there all male / all female shows?
We do offer a show theme with either all male or all female roles! The show theme is called, ‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t!’ and it can be adapted to all male or all female suspects accordingly for your event. Please refer to The Murder Mystery Company’s show theme list for further information on the theme, ‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t!’
How graphic does your content get?
All of our shows are comedies and can range anywhere from G to R rated content at your choice. The written show materials do NOT contain graphic, explicit, or derogatory content in anyway. An ‘R rating’ on a show simply means additional comedic innuendo of an adult or sexual nature from your actors (not unlike what you would find on TV shows such as ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘Family Guy’). Your actors will, in no way, get overtly graphic (blood, gore, etc) with ANY of our shows.
Are your shows appropriate for all ages?
While all of our shows are comedies, and do not get overtly vulgar or derogatory, some theme material may not be content appropriate for younger audiences. To ensure any content miscommunication is avoided, The Murder Mystery Company provides a standard rating system that ranges from G to R ratings with all shows which will assist you in selecting a theme appropriate for the age group(s) in attendance at your event. If you have any questions or concerns about the rating system and/or content with our show themes, contact us directly at 1-888-643-2583 (option 2 for the Private Events Department) or contact your crime scene consultant at email@example.com.
Do you offer shows for children / young audiences?
Yes we do! The Murder Mystery Company currently has 4 show themes available that can be adapted for children’s parties and/or young audiences: ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Of Sound Mind and Dead Body’ , ‘Murder at the Masquerade’ and ‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t’. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these show themes, contact us directly at 1-888-643-2583 (option 2 for the Private Events Department)or contact your crime scene consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org
How many suspect roles are there?
There are anywhere from 8 to 12 featured suspect roles to be played by your guests for a murder mystery performance. One of these featured suspect roles will be revealed as the killer at the end of your performance! Team “groups” are also included for every show theme, ensuring that everyone is guaranteed to play along (groups such as “Lexi Lady’s Fan Club, The Billionaire’s Club, and The Banana Hammocks).
Can you shorten the show?
Yes we can. If need be, the show can be condensed to a run-time of about 1 hour and 30 minutes to accommodate any scheduling restrictions from your venue or guests. This does not include the pre-show mingle time, or set up/clean up times. If you need your performance altered from the standard 2 hour duration, we must know at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled performance date.
Are the actors local?
Yes. All of the actors cast on your show are professional performers from the local Murder Mystery troupe, closest to your area. We pride ourselves in providing skilled, specially trained actors to bring you the best murder mystery experience possible. If the actors at your show give you an absolutely exceptional performance, and you’d like to have them back for another murder mystery event in the future, you can even specifically request those actor’s services again (if they are available)!
Can I add an additional actor to my show?
You may absolutely add actors to your event package experience; however, there are some specifics to be aware of when adding an actor to your show. If you would like to add additional actors, your representative must know at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled performance date. Adding another actor to your show does come at an additional fee.
Do you provide music?
The Murder Mystery Company provides sound systems as an inclusive feature in the following packages: The Perfect Crime Packages (4 Actors), The Crime of The Century Packages (6 Actors), and The Case of a Lifetime Packages (8 Actors). All of our show themes have specially designed soundtracks, which accompany all packages inclusively featuring sound systems.
If a sound system is not an inclusive feature in your event package, you have the option to purchase sound as an add-on feature for your event. If your show is meant to be kept on a smaller scale, and you would not like a sound system but are interested in creating atmosphere for the show, we can always provide a few music suggestions to better accent your event theme.
Can we use our event location’s sound system?
If you would rather utilize your location's sound system, your actors can accommodate this request; however, this is not always the best option for your event, even if it seems like the easiest available solution. When using a venue location’s sound system:
- Your actors will not be able to adjust the quality of the sound throughout the show. This will require a sound technician provided by the venue to operate the location’s sound system for the 2 hour show run time.
- Your actors may be able to bring back-up microphones, or any other emergency sound equipment for correcting sound issues during the performance, however the equipment may not be interchangeable. Your venue’s sound technician should provide you with the sound equipment specs prior to your show date so that you may speak with the actors regarding any back up equipment.
- Your actors may not be able to utilize their specialized theme soundtrack. Most venue locations are unable to accommodate our Company Ipods; however, if the venue location’s technician is willing to learn the sound cues, and can provide all needed conversion equipment to connect the Company Ipod into their sound system, then our actors will work with the sound technician.
What kind of space do you need provided?
We normally require at minimum, a space roughly the size of a pool table (8 x 4 ft) for the performance itself; normally in a centralized area of your room or performance space. As long as your actors have room to move around and interact with your guests in attendance, have the mobility to make sure everyone is interacted with, and can access our adjacent area where they may make a costume change during the performance, spacing should not be a problem. We recommend private dining rooms, living rooms, den spaces, banquet halls, or conference rooms.
Why should my performance not be a surprise for my guests?
We always recommend letting your guests know about the murder mystery performance they will be attending for a few reasons:
- Informing your guests about the show beforehand, not only prepares everyone for the type of entertainment they’re going to experience, but it also gives them the opportunity to get excited for the event and their interaction in the performance!
- Sometimes, your guests may be a little more timid or shy in regards to attending an interactive performance. We have found that it is better to make your guests aware of the nature of our entertainment style scheduled for your event, which they will be attending, so that they aren’t unpleasantly surprised by the interactivity during the performance (especially if they are chosen as a suspect).
- The main reason a host wants to hold a surprise murder mystery is the “gotcha” moment. While this can be fun for the individual or individuals planning the event, is it not fun for the guests. It comes across to some people as insulting. Also, as there are many activities that take place before the murder in our show, there is no realistic opportunity for the "gotcha" moment. The minimal amusement in surprising all of your guests with the mystery is outweighed by the fun and excitement that will be had if they are on board with the concept before they walk in the door.
Who do I call or contact if I have a problem or more questions?
If you have any more questions or concerns regarding your show, or in general regarding the performance, you may always reach out to us on our main line; 1-888-643-2583 and select option 2 for the Private Events Department. You may also contact your ‘crime scene consultant’ by email at email@example.com for further information, questions, or concerns regarding your show.
How do I make my final payment?
You have a couple of options when it comes to making your final payment for your performance; whichever option is most convenient for you and your event.
- You can make your final payment by following the link in your initial booking email.
- You can request to have the credit card that was utilized for your deposit payment charged for the remaining final payment balance.
- You may pay your final payment the day of your show, once your actors arrive prior to the performance, via a credit card or check.
If you are booking an event for a University, or Government Agency, then your Representative can discuss other means of completing your deposit and final payment.
What time will the actors be arriving?
Your actors are normally scheduled to arrive an hour before your guests are slated to arrive. This is so they have enough time to set up, get into costume and character, and take care of any last minute details or concerns you may have for them. On the day of your event, your actors will make a confirmation call to the phone number you have provided us as the primary contact number for the day of your event (please note, if you have requested this number to be a different contact other than yourself, your requested contact will receive the confirmation call the day of your event). Your actors will make their confirmation call roughly between noon and 3pm on the day of your event, prior to leaving for your location. If your show is scheduled between noon and 3pm, or earlier in the morning, your actors will make their confirmation call the evening prior to your event day.
Will you bring costumes for the guests?
We do not bring full costumes for all of your guests attending the performance; however we DO bring costume pieces and props for your guests that will be assigned to the primary suspect roles that evening. These costume pieces will accentuate your guest’s assigned character role (hats, fun glasses, feather boas, etc.). Your guests may use these prop pieces to fully become and depict their character as much as they like, until we collect them again at the end of your show.
What kinds of props do you provide?
We bring a variety of prop pieces for use by your guests who will be playing the featured suspect roles of the night. The props we provide will range anywhere from; fun hats, wigs, feather boas, jackets, glasses, and/or additional pieces that will accentuate your guest’s assigned suspect role that evening. Each suspect is given one featured prop piece to use for playing their character as they see fit during the show. Your actors will collect all of the prop pieces again after the performance.
Do you bring awards / prizes?
Yes we do! The standard Murder Mystery Company awards brought to every show for your guests are: 'The Detective of the Night Award' (for the team who guessed who-dun-it, how, and why), 'The Best Actor’ and 'The Best Actress’ Awards (for the guests who performed their suspect role the best), ‘The Best Dressed Award’ (for events dressing up, this award is for the guest whose costume was the best executed for the theme), and 'The Dead Last Place Award*** (for the team who got nothing right what so ever!). If that isn’t enough, we can give out additional custom awards for your event (‘Best Patsy Award’, ‘Smells Like Team Spirit Award’, ‘Best Death Award’, etc.).
Please keep Dead Last Place a secret from your guests! It’s a fun and funny surprise!
Are we supposed to dress up in costume?
Dressing up in costume in accordance to your theme is NOT mandatory in any way, but is encouraged. It creates a more entertaining and fun performance experience, and enhances the environment of your show for both you and your guests.
What do you need from us (the hosts) on the day of the show?
We only need 3 things from your end on the day of your performance, everything else needed for the show is brought along with your actors. We can also address how to add any additional props, costumes or decor items you would like to request onto your original package purchased, along with any additional fees for these extras, prior to your event day.
- A table (fold out tables are suitable), or a large, flat, sturdy surface close to the performance area where your actors may set our suspect binders and any prop pieces needed for the show.
- A private area close to the performance space, where your actors may make a quick costume change sometime during the performance.
- A performance space, at least the size of a pool table (8 x 4 ft), to perform the show in.
How does the show work? What can I expect?
Your murder mystery show will be broken into four segments:
- Setup. During setup, your actors will finalized all prep work for the show prior to your guests arriving. Your actors will get into costume, prepare all props and show materials, and set your guests’ tables. On the tables, the actors will place rules sheets (which include tips and tactics), suspect note sheets and pens (where your guests will take notes about the clues revealed throughout the show), along with MMC money for bribery. If your package includes a sound system, the actors will perform a mic check as well during setup.
- Pre-Show Mingle Time. While your guests are arriving and settling in for the event, the actors will be freely mingling with them. At this time, the actors will explain the rules of the murder mystery to small groups of your guests. Don’t worry, if a guest does not receive an explanation from your actors, whatever the reason, the actors will also do a presentational version of the rules for everyone at the start of the show. It is also during this time that all of the suspects in the show will be chosen from amongst your guests.
- The Show! The murder mystery performance is about 2 hours in duration, and typically takes place around a meal. The performance is broken into 3 acts, and 2 investigation times. The investigation times follow both act 1 and act 2. The murder occurs during act 1, the detective arrives during act 2, and the guests have their chance to solve the mystery during act 3. At the end of the third act, the actors hand out awards and arrest the killer!
- Post-Show. Once the show is concluded, the actors will briefly make themselves available to your guests for photos and any questions they may have. Your actors will then begin the cleanup and tear down process which includes: gathering all show materials and packing them up, getting out of costume, and putting away sound equipment (if applicable). If you plan on feeding your actors, this is the time to do so.
For additional information on what to expect for your murder mystery performance, please follow this link and enjoy our informative video on How To Plan Your Murder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qVqFAnnJSs
How do you determine who plays a suspect?
Suspect roles are assigned to your guests in a couple of ways. If you have specific guests in attendance that would like to be featured in a suspect role, or guests that you yourself would like to see highlighted as a featured suspect for your performance, your consultant will take down the names of those guests and the actors will make sure that those specific people are assigned a suspect role fitting their personality. The second option, which is very commonly utilized, is to leave suspect selection completely up to the actors, so that they may assign your guests the suspect roles at random! While your actors perform their mingle-time as your guests are arriving prior to the show start time, they will interact with your guests, getting to know them, to professionally determine who might be more stage shy, and who might be more excited to be a part of the show. Guests are not required to perform and will not be made to participate if they wish not to.
How do we make teams for our guests?
For groups of 20 people or less, guests will solve the crime individually. For 20-50 people, guests will often play in pairs or in small teams (normally 5 to 10 people per team). We will provide guests with the materials they will need, such as pens and 'Suspect Note Sheets’, in order to follow along with and write down any clues or evidence revealed as to who committed the murder, how, and why. Your guests will need to participate in order to gather all of the suspect’s clues exposed during acts 1, 2 and 3, as well as during investigation time throughout the evening. Once the show is close to the end, your actors will pass out ‘Final Sentencing Sheets’ , where your guests will decide who the murderer was, how they committed the crime, and their motive for doing so. After collecting each teams ‘Final Sentencing Sheet’, your detective will determine which team had the most correct sentencing sheet and will reveal the killer!
Who plays the victim?
The ‘victim’ of the murder mystery show is determined by how many actors you have at your performance. If you have only 1 actor performing at your show, the victim will be selected from one of your guests in attendance (you can request a specific guest to be ‘killed off’ if you so choose as well). If you have 2 or more actors performing at your show, the victim will be played by one of your actors (the actor playing the victim will also be playing your detective).
Who plays the killer?
The killer is the biggest mystery of the evening! You won’t know who the actual killer is until the end of the performance when they are revealed by the detective. It is up to you and your guests in attendance to use your deductive skills and correctly figure out ‘who-dun-it, how, and why’. We can give you one clue… the killer WILL be one of your guests playing a suspect role! Good luck!
How long is the show?
The standard Murder Mystery Company event normally takes between 3-4 hours, depending on the structure of your event. Your actors will arrive 1 hour before your guest arrival time, so that they can be sure to be in costume and fully set up prior to your guests arriving. Your actors will start to mingle with your guests upon their arrival, and this is considered traditionally to be the “social” or “cocktail” hour; which should last roughly 30 minutes. The show runs in duration of about 2 hours. It is comprised of three 30 minute acts, with two 15 minute ‘investigation time’ intervals in between the first and second act, and the second and third act. Following the conclusion of your performance, your actors will require roughly 30 minutes post show clean up time.
Do the tables need to be set up any certain way?
Your tables should be set up in the way that is most convenient and accommodating for your performance space while allowing your guests to be seated comfortably, and still be able to see and hear the performance. Our actors are very adaptable, and as long as we have full mobility to move around and interact with each of your guests in attendance, along side your guests being able to move around and interact with one another, your actors will adapt accordingly to your preferred setup. The tables should not be too far apart that tables cannot hear or see others interacting during the show, but also not so close as to inhibit your guests’ ability to get up and investigate the mystery.
Will it be a problem if we are eating during the show?
All of our shows are tailored for a dinner theater experience, so eating during the performance is not a problem, and is indeed encouraged! We will gladly work with you to create an optimal time line for your event that both you and your actors can work from, in order to keep the evening flowing smoothly.
Do guests need anything? Paper, pens…etc.
We provide everything your guests will need to follow along and submit their deductions at the end of the show (e.g. suspect note sheets, pens, clues, final sentencing sheets etc.).Your guests will need a few things for a successful night of murder mystery fun. First, they will need to be ready to have a killer time. Second, they’ll need to have their detective skills thoroughly sharpened to be able to correctly solve ‘who-dun-it, how, and why’. And lastly, they’ll need to have their bragging rights ready if they are successful in solving the crime!
Do we have to tip / feed the actors?
Tipping or feeding your actors after the show is in no way mandatory, but it is encouraged. If you feel like your actors gave you a truly killer performance, feel free to tip as much as you’d like! Most people will tip the actors between $20 and $50 apiece, and your actors greatly appreciate the gratuity. Another acceptable form of gratuity is to feed your actors after the performance. If you are planning to feed the actors, we have two requests:
- Please notify the actors upon arrival if you plan to feed them. The actors would hate to pack up and leave following the performance, missing the wonderful food that was saved for them!
- Many actors have unique diets, so in order to avoid uneaten food, please be sure to check for any dietary restrictions when your actors arrive on site.
What is your cancellation / refund policy?
If you cannot reschedule your show date and need to cancel your performance, the Murder Mystery Company will refund half of the Deposit IF the Client cancels the Performance twenty-one (21) days or more BEFORE the original Performance date, as listed in the Murder Mystery Company private performance contract. The Murder Mystery Company reserves the right to retain the entire Deposit if the cancellation occurs after the twenty-one (21) -day window. Reducing or minimizing Client's selected package twenty-one (21) days or less before the scheduled Performance is considered a cancellation of service.
If I cancel my show, will I get my deposit back?
The Murder Mystery Company will refund half of the Deposit if the Client cancels the Performance twenty-one (21) days or more BEFORE the original scheduled Performance date. The Murder Mystery Company reserves the right to retain the entire Deposit if the cancellation occurs AFTER the twenty-one (21)-day window. Any Performance that is cancelled after 10 AM EST three (3) days or less from the scheduled Performance date is to be held responsible for the Total Cost in its entirety. Reducing or minimizing Client's selected package twenty-one (21) days before the scheduled Performance is considered a cancellation of service. Client may reschedule to a mutually agreed upon date and transfer the full Deposit to the rescheduled Performance date so long as the rescheduling is more than seven (7) days before the original Performance date. Client is allowed one rescheduling, which is not subject to a refund. The Deposit is not transferable if the Performance is rescheduled less than seven (7) days prior to the Performance date, as listed in the Murder Mystery Performance Agreement contract.
Can I reschedule my performance?
The Murder Mystery Company will allow one rescheduling of your performance to a different date from your original show date absolutely free. If you need to reschedule again after rescheduling your show date once, we will need to have manager approval for additional rescheduling, and there will be a rescheduling fee of $50 applied for the additional rescheduling. We understand that life happens, and we will work with you to make sure that you and your guests have a truly killer event!
A prop was left behind. What do I do?
If a prop or costume piece was accidentally left behind by one of your actors, don’t fret! You may contact your show representative at the Murder Mystery Company via phone (1-888-643-2583, option 2 for the Private Events Department) or by email ( firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to let us know specifically what was left behind, and we will contact our Local Director. The Local Director will work with our Logistics Department in order to provide a few options on how we can recover the mysterious missing piece from your crime scene location!