The murder mystery show "Framed at the Fix" performed in a living room
“We wanted a way to bring theater to everyone,” says founder Sophia Naylor. “And to keep Silicon Valley a cultural hotspot.” Naylor and her co-founder Mylissa Malley have over 45 years of show business background between them, and they love live entertainment. “Theater should be accessible,” says Malley. “It shouldn’t be limited to a black box. It can happen anywhere, even in your own living room.”
Murder mystery shows are the ideal example of theater for everyone. They can take place anywhere: restaurants, offices, boats---and of course, living rooms. And accessibility doesn't only mean versatile locations. The Clue Collective's murder mysteries go one step further; the audience is part of the show. Theater doesn't have to be sitting in a dark room watching other people perform. Theater can include everyone.
"I love theater that makes the audience more than silent witnesses," Naylor says. In the Clue Collective's shows, the audience gets to be part of the action. Audience members play suspects, the victim---and even the killer. This participation is straightforward, and lets the audience run wild with their imaginations.
Around 65% of children have imaginary friends, and those children have "pretend play" (or what we adults astutely call "acting"). Once someone is an adult, they may not have an imaginary friend anymore, but that doesn't mean they don't still have an imagination. Pretending to be someone you're not is playful for play's sake. And who doesn't want to be a famous billionaire for an evening? Or maybe a professional adventurer. Or maybe a genius scientist. Or maybe a movie star.
This is what immersive and interactive shows mean for the Clue Collective. Because the Clue Collective's murder mysteries are driven by the audience, each show is exactly what that audience wants out of a murder mystery. Theater for everyone doesn't only mean theater everywhere. It also means that shows are imaginative, engaging, and fun for everyone.
And of course, murder mystery shows aren't just fun for the audience: "I like to play Southern detectives," says Malley. "The accent is my favorite part."