Mystery of the Gold Rush Murders

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Fun to Perform Hallween Play

Two desperate protagonists facing creepy dead people provides the opportunity for impactful performances which your audiences will love.

A Premiere Opportunity

This play has not yet been performed and is available as a World Premiere. It's fun to be the first to do a play rather than a selection everybody else has done many time!

Cast of Characters

Wendell - Smart but poorly socialized. Inexperienced with women.

Val - Former hooker, has kept this from Wendell as she feels he's her last chance at a regular relationship. 

Sophie - Owner/manager of the cabin - arrives with Val & Wendell. Creepily cheerful - Died in 1850. Spokesperson for The Mistress. 

Ann - Housekeeper - wife of hired hand 

Gus - Hired hand - expressionless. Died in 1850 along with Ann.

Helen - James’ wife. They had been trapped there previously and died in 1910.

James - Lover of Helen. 

The Mistress Myra Krouch - The murder victim

Lilith Krouch - Myra's evil twin sister

Setting

This mystery/thriller is set in a single room of a rustic cabin in modern times near the historical gold rush town of Coloma, California.

Set

The set consists of a wood-paneled room with a door downstage left and another on the upstage wall. Windows are small. 

Stage right is a fireplace which must be remotely activated. There is an old dining table at centre.

Sample Scenes

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Sample Scene 1

  Act 1, Scene 1


(Door opens and Wendell and Val enter followed by Sophie.) 


Sophie: Oh my, let's shut this door and keep in the heat. It is rather fresh out there today.


Val: (Looking around) The cabin looks so... so.. dilapidated.


Wendell: I think what Val means is rustic. 


Val: Is that what I meant? My mistake. I thought dilapidated meant decaying and run down. Sorry for the confusion. It's just that this dump looks so rustic, I'd bet it's seen less action than Sophie. 


Sophie: Action? I'm not sure I know what you are talking about but I rarely understand you future generations. Here is the fireplace if you feel chilly. 


Wendell: I am looking forward to chopping down trees or whatever must be done to keep the home fires burning. Do you have any wood chopping literature that might help me learn the best techniques?
 

Sophie: Err… I don’t think so. Most males learn by the time they’re ten or so. You must have been a clumsy child for your father not to have shown you how. Either that or you’re city folk.


Wendell: I'm sure it shows. That's why I am so happy getting away from it all and taking some nature pictures. Photography is a bit of a hobby of mine. 


Sophie: You brought enough equipment to take photographs in your tiny bag?


Val: Sorry to interrupt but it's a bit nippy in here, don't you think? (The fireplace roars to life.) Oh! Oh my, that almost scared the sh... Shinola out of me. Of course, it must be one of those gas fireplaces. Doesn't look it, though. How did you turn it on?


Sophie: Uh... well... 


Wendell: It's obviously on a thermostat. This cabin must have been retrofitted with it.


Sophie: Yes, that's it.


Val: My goodness these windows are awfully small. They don't let in much light. Even a kid wouldn't fit through. Incredibly thick glass, too.


Sophie: Yes. That is so bears can't come in, either. A raging momma bear that gets in your cabin can ruin your whole day.


Val: Bears? Really? Wendell, nobody mentioned there would be bears.

Sample Scene 2

  

Sophie: Hello again!


Wendell: You! What in heck is going on here? Quick! Val! The door! (Val dashes to the door but it is still locked. He confronts Sophie.) You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, Sophie.


Sophie: Of course you’re owed an explanation. This is the only time I could tell you. The Mistress rests at this time of day, around about the time the she was murdered.
 

Val: Murdered? Who was murdered? Who is this Mistress? She rests? If she was dead, why isn’t she resting all the time? What does she do when she’s not resting; spy on people? 


Wendell: One question at a time, Val. Here, let’s all sit down at the table.

 

Sophie: I’ll stand, thanks. The Mistress was a woman named Myra Krouch who had lived here quietly for years before the rush, barely making ends meet. Then she began… shall we say, “entertaining” the goldminers that had struck it rich. With that face, I was surprised she could attract flies but rumor had it she ended up with stashes of gold on her property. 


Wendell: Gold you say?


Sophie: When I found out about it, I wanted to up her rent. She claimed to still be just a poor widow who could barely rub two cents together, which I knew was a lie. 


Wendell: If she had all kinds of gold, why didn’t she just buy the place?


Sophie: I don’t know. I never thought of that. Dear Lord, I never thought of that!
 

Val: So you killed her for her gold.


Sophie: Oh no! Of course not! What kind of person do you think I was? Sure, I would have killed her if she wasn't going to share, but she was already dead when I got here. It was too bad, too. I could have used that gold.


Val: So if you didn't kill her, who did. Gus and Ann? 


Sophie: If only! That would make death so much easier. No, not them, either. They came here for the same reason I did. When the rumour about The Mistress' gold became public knowledge, they decided they deserved a cut of it, too, having helped her out for so long. 


Wendell: You and the other two were killed on the same night? Isn't that a little coincidental?


Sophie: Oh, I don't believe in coincidence anymore. That would just be silly! (She laughs cheerily.)

Sample Scene 3

Val: (Suddenly seeing Gus she throws her body away from him and shrieks.) Oh my God! Wendell! Wendell! He’s after me! Get him away from me!


Wendell: Huh? Wha…? You! Gus! Get away from her! What do you think you’re doing?


Gus: Gus bring your things. They are by the shed.
 

Wendell: Leaving them outside does us no good, man!


Gus: Mistress said. Gus obeys Mistress. Mistress can hurt Gus.


Val: But we need our things! Without food or water, we will die!


Gus: You must tell Mistress what she wants to know or you will join us here forever. Food and water only makes suffering longer. Gus knows. It’s for the best.


Val: Is that what happened to James and Helen? 


Gus: They didn’t know the answer. They deserved to die.


Wendell: That’s rather arbitrary, don’t you think? This is an outrage! Have you no humanity? 


Gus: You will understand when Mistress owns your soul. Do not fight it. You will lose eventually. We all did.

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