Anna Maria Island Players stage a 'Little Murder'

January 17, 2013 

The six-character comedy "A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody," which opens today at The Players of Anna Maria Island Theater, has an interesting history.

James Thaggard, who's directing the production, stated that in 1990, members of a Michigan community theater writing group gathered every two weeks to read their newly-crafted scenes.

Each writer hoped his or her play would be good enough to be produced on their main stage. "A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody" won a slot on the Grosse Pointe Theatre season and would later win the Community Theatre Association of Michigan New Play Competition.

Inspired by screwball comedies from the 1930s and '40s, playwright Ron Bernas liked the humor of "really intelligent people doing really stupid things," according to Thaggard. In "A Little Murder," however, we find "really stupid people doing really stupid things."

Thaggard explains, in his director's notes, that when Bernas began writing this play, he said, "It was going to be much darker comedy, but it ended up much sillier. That was okay, though. I realized that sillier was better."

The cast is Heiko Knipfelberg, Bruce Witton, Peter Ruscoe, Rik Robertson, Moira DeSear, Judy Glynn.

Bobbie Berger is the stage manager.

Details: Jan 17-Feb 3, The Players of Anna Maria Island Theater, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Tickets: $20. Information: 941-778-5755 or www.theislandplayers.org

--Wade Tatangelo

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