Country Fried Murder

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A group of people gathers for a songwriters’ retreat in the Rocky Mountains in the mid-2000s. Their “mentor” is an abrasive, charismatic country singer/songwriter named Kyle Samperson. He humiliates some for their songwriting, personally offends some and clashes about politics with others. By the time Kyle turns up dead in Act Two, everyone has a motive for killing him. Snowed in, without internet or phone, the other characters size each other up and wonder whodunit.

Judy Klass, Playwright, A. J. Campbell Producer Katy Blake, Director Clint Aphin as Brice Laurie Canaan as Roberta Lane Wright as Charlie Jack E. Chambers as Kyle Kathy Kerns as Martha Sophia Sutton as Tiffany Judy Jackson as Denise Alyssa Borg as Liz Robert Beard as Ed

Judy Klass Bio:

Eight of Judy’s full-length plays have been produced onstage, including Country Fried Murder. Another full-length murder mystery of hers, Cell, was in a mystery festival in Kentucky, got nominated for an Edgar and is published by Samuel French/Concord:

Most of her plays are dramas and comedies. Thirty-six of her one-act plays have been produced onstage, many with multiple productions, all over the US, and a few have gone up in the UK and Ireland. Three will be produced in Canada in 2022. Three of her short plays are published, each as a stand-alone script, by Brooklyn Publishers. Others have appeared in magazines and in anthologies like Seven Hills Review and The Art of the One-Act. During the pandemic, Judy got involved more with podcasts, Zoom plays and streaming platforms; two of her short plays, A Different Kind of Strong and Tourists in Dystopia, are on The Shelter Plays platform: Judy is from NYC and New Jersey, and she now lives in Nashville (since, like the characters in this play, she does write country songs!) and she teaches at Vanderbilt University.

Author’s Note: I wrote this play with a mystery festival in mind, but that festival disappeared during the Recession, and mystery plays can be hard to place. I am delighted, ten years later, to see Country Fried Murder produced at last, here at the Shawnee Playhouse. I have made it into a period piece, set in 2006, since it is of that moment – but there are parallels and connections between that moment and this one. I have one request to make of audience members. As with any mystery – after seeing the play, please don’t tell people whodunit!

About the Quarantine Players

Produced by A. J. Campbell, Quarantine Players
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We can all sit around and list off the problems with modern theater so I won’t bore you with a recitation of facts we all largely agree upon. The Quarantine Players are a scrappy theater start-up that is in a position to break all the rules. We were told we can’t put out new work all the time. Yes, we can you just have to treat playwrights like they matter, make them part of the process, and value our input. We are your source for new plays from amazing playwrights. Each week we choose a new play to read for you. We are different because we involve the playwright in every step of the process. Most of our writers will attend all the rehearsals and provide feedback along the way. We don’t just honor playwrights by waiting till their work goes into the Public domain so we don’t have to pay them. We prefer our playwrights to still have their pulse.

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