“Daylight is rumored to be the most reassuring. It brings light, warmth, and life to the world. But as sure as anything could be in this universe, Earth will rotate, causing daylight to shrink and lingering shadows to grow and stretch to the distant horizon. When the sun sinks into slumber, that last fiery burst of light is our final glimpse of serenity before night and the horrors that wait within feed upon our tensions, our insecurities, and our fears. And sometimes…the hungry horrors rise from within our very souls. Take this scenario: Two actresses in the twilight of their careers will learn what happens at sundown when the golden light of glamour fades and the deepening darkness begins to ooze out on this very unique episode of Sundown…”
For our next Master Mystery Production, we are looking for performers to join us on a journey to 1960’s Hollywood and the early days of television, where famous and fading movie stars are caught in a vicious web of blackmail, lies, and murder. From the creator of classics such as Goodbye Hollywood, Ode to Agatha, Anonymous, Exit Prima Donna, and Famous Last Words comes a new interactive murder mystery that promises to deliver the trills and the chills as a part of Ridge Writers’ Weird Weekend 2018. We’re holding auditions, and we need YOU to help us put on this show!
WHAT HAPPENS AT SUNDOWN
Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, 2018
from 5 to 7 p.m. at Red Rock Books
(206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.)
What Happens at Sundown is a two-day show over the course of Ridge Writers’ annual Weird Weekend celebration, which saw the performances of past mysteries like Hello Out There, Pauper’s Grave, and The Silent City. We’re celebrating our area’s unique history of Hollywood filming with an ode to a bygone era in cinema. Tying in to Weird Weekend’s Indie Film Festival and Weird Storytelling Contest, What Happens at Sundown is an exciting drama filled with secrets, scandals, and shocking revelations. The show calls for five female roles and two male roles with a number of non-speaking roles for “production staff,” the crew of the television show who will react to the action onstage. To date, it’s our favorite script. Show dates are Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church.
The opening narration leaves a chill running down your spine as you prepare to travel through time and space to the 1960’s and a television program telling tales of dread and terror called Sundown. But this is a unique episode. The actors and production team have traveled to the Mojave Desert to film on location a story about two sisters, both actresses of a bygone era, whose antagonism escalates beyond control in their isolated surroundings. But when a cameraman is murdered on set, fantasy becomes reality in all-too frightening ways as evidence points to the two lead actresses, former studio darlings themselves. And the story they were going to tell seems to seep into their souls when the minds of the characters start to worm their way into their own. Inspired by 1960’s classics What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and The Twilight Zone, this original tale of twists, turns, secrets, scandals, murder, and malice will push sanity to the brink and challenge audiences to discover a truth stranger than fiction. What happens at sundown? Only the brave know for sure.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
HELENA ROTHSCHILD — Acclaimed Oscar-winning actress (Death of an Unwanted Man, 1942) from the 30’s and 40’s who is trying to rebuild her career after several disastrous marriages, a health scare, ageism, sexism, and the rise of television, shaking the core of her career in film. Although she despises the medium, she takes the role on the television show Sundown under the maxim of “better the devil you know.” She has been the recipient of several mysterious and frightening notes including a creepy message left on her dressing room mirror in lipstick. Tense, on edge, and keeping intense focus on the production, Helena is desperate to hold on to all the moving pieces of this ill-fated episode before it spirals out of control and devastates everything she has worked for…and kept secret. She plays Charlotte, one of the isolated sisters, in the episode they’re filming.
KIM HYATT — Two-time Oscar-winning actress (Dove’s Last Stand, 1938; Crumbling Mansions, 1941) who had a severe breakdown in 1942 after being trapped inside a studio fire that killed three people and left her hands disfigured with burns, forcing her to wear gloves for any future jobs. Traumatized by the incident, Kim has spent over twenty years in isolation in a hospital. Sundown is her first major job and her comeback to the world of acting. While constantly concerned about fire safety and just a little fidgety whenever someone lights a cigarette, Kim is warm, welcoming, and gracious, always wanting her fellow cast and crew members to be comfortable and treated fairly. However, she is disconcerted by Bob, one of the cameraman, claiming he is always watching her. She plays Lulu, one of the isolated sisters, in the episode they’re filming.
ELIJAH SAMSON — Actor in the ill-fated Sundown episode playing the role of a handyman who shows up to maintain the house the sisters live in. Elijah has worked as a supporting and character actor in Hollywood for years and has developed a world-weary, highly pragmatic view of the fantasy of Tinseltown. He sees Hollywood as a business and himself as a model employee. He’s rather disparaging about actors who try to break contracts for better opportunities. What he lacks in ambition, he makes up for in serious commitment to his characters. He spent three months working as a handyman in the Los Angeles area to prepare for this role. However, his style of method acting may have gotten him in more trouble than he’d like to remember.
VICTORIA CAMDEN — Actress in the ill-fated Sundown episode playing the role of the handyman’s wife who shows up at the sisters’ house after he vanishes. Victoria is a young actress struggling to get into the industry. Despite her parents being both studio crew (cameraman and costume designer), producer consensus seems to be she should stick to sewing rather than stagecraft. Depressed, she’s started to exhibit early signs of alcoholism which led to rumors that she may have hit and killed a producer’s son while driving drunk. Sundown is her first major acting role and her big chance to prove herself. During the production, she displays tension and high-strung nerves around one of the leads in particular.
BOB THE CAMERAMAN — Cameraman for Sundown, filming the episode. Bob is mostly silent and watchful, a background character with the presence of a ghost. When he makes his presence known, everyone feels it. He is described as a bit of a “magpie,” attracted to glamour, shimmer, and shine. But through it all he wears a disquieting sneer. A man of few words, it is difficult to gauge exactly what Bob is feeling. He is murdered by a knife to the heart during a blackout on set. Even though he is dead, he reappears often as a malicious thought in the suspects’ heads, mocking them, frightening them, urging them, and telling terrifying truths.
MADAM — A Rod Serling-esque host and narrator who also serves as the writer and director of the episode Sundown is shooting that day. Cool, calm, collected, she is referred to only by a polite form of address throughout the show, an intensely private individual who will reveal nothing about her past or present. Sundown is her baby, a product of her unique mind and creativity. Most of the cast and crew of the show treat Madam with extreme respect and a little trepidation. When tasked with why she kept Bob on the crew so long, Madam replies “There’s a saying that starts with ‘Keep your friends close,’ and Bob is no friend of mine.”
MISS LOCKWOOD — Madam’s browbeaten assistant, who is glued to the safety of her clipboard. Fidgety, detail-oriented, obsessed with perfection, Miss Lockwood does very good work, but it is hampered by Madam’s authoritarian behavior, as Madam always pushes for bigger and more. There’s a bit of hero worship regarding Madam, as Miss Lockwood harbors secret dreams of being a director in the male-dominated Hollywood world and Madam has managed to bridge the gap. But even Madam is disparaging of her requests of more creative control. Despite her henpecked exterior, Miss Lockwood harbors a desire for power that boils just beneath the surface.
Additional production staff. Non-speaking roles.
Rehearsal schedule will be arranged after auditions to accommodate actor availability. We plan to meet twice a week. If you are interested in auditioning, but cannot make the audition dates, email us at email@example.com or message Master Mystery Productions on Facebook to schedule a private audition.
So please come join us at auditions on June 15 and 16 and start your journey to 1960’s Hollywood and beyond with Master Mystery Productions.
Visit Master Mystery Productions on Facebook to learn more about the show.
We hope to see you at auditions and later at What Happens at Sundown!
–Master Mystery Productions