For this year’s spring production, Grain Valley High School chose to perform the classic whodunit murder-mystery...

... except with a comedic twist.

The Grain Valley High School Theater Department presents, “You Could DIE Laughing,” debuting tonight at the school’s performing arts center at 7 p.m. The play also shows tomorrow night, April 12 at 7 p.m. as well.

This particular murder-mystery features a wide variety of comedic archetypes, ranging from the bickering odd couple, an impressionist and even a ventriloquist, who find themselves stranded on a deserted island after being bamboozled into accepting an invitation to audition for a television series.

Eventually they begin to vanish one by one and the killer will keep the audience guessing till the very end, says the play’s director and GVHS theater teacher, Tiffany Brown.

“This is not like any other murder-mystery,” said Brown. “It’s purely comedic. The clues and hints left by the killer are so subtle that you’ll be genius to figure it out in the beginning.”

Brown says the students were excited to perform “DIE Laughing” because it was a chance to hone their comedic chops.

“I spent time observing squirrels,” said Matt Heinz, who portrays Corky Evans, the impressionist. He added one scene requires his character to act like the vermin.

“It was great seeing the kids develop their comedic timing throughout rehearsals, too,” said Brown.

With “DIE Laughing’s” cast composed of only 15 characters and mostly sophomores, Brown said it was an opportunity to pick her leads for future productions, considering this is her first year teaching theater at the high school, as well as allowing students the chance to work together to help each other develop their deliveries.

“Every cast member has an equal opportunity to shine on stage and exhibit their comedic prowess,” she said.

And to have a dinner theater spirit, Brown said the school’s Advanced Cooking are preparing refreshments on the night of performances.

“It’s not like anything you’ll expect in the typical murder-mystery.”

If you go

“You Could DIE Laughing” performs April 11 and 12, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. They can be purchased on the night of a performance or by calling the school at 816-847-5000. Grain Valley High School is at 551 S.W. Eagles Parkway in Grain Valley.


Jordan Gehring - Mr. Thorn Carissa Rodgers - Mrs. Thorn Izzy Serrano - Allen Rudolph Ashley Helm - Susan Harrison Luke Viebrock - Dexter Porter/Stanley Levi Springfield - Sammy Salt Maddie Helm - Paulette Pepper Nicky Thayer - Antonio Johnson Matt Heinz - Corky Evans Ansonia Serrano - Zowie Miller Lindsey Kendrick - Helena Hollis Cally Beckman - Cora Apple Michela Fox - Colleen Baker Cody Orth - Joey James Baili Beachner - Lucinda Tate


Tiffany Brown - Director Edwin Whitaker - Assistant Director Colleen Waddell, Cory Nieznajko - Stage Managers Trenton Robinson - Sound Technician Cole Trumble - Light Technician Cory Niezanjko - Follow Spot Technician Colin O’Brien - Videographer Adisynn Foster, Michaela Kuzilla, Sam Brendel - Stage Crew