By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — The Art Blast at the Port Angeles Library will begin looking much like the other free art parties.
Jazz songbird Sarah Shea and her band Chez Jazz will be waiting to take the stage with guest vocalist Starr Rising, who's about to make her debut.
Then things will get weird.
A motley bunch from inside the library and out in the community are involved in a murder. In fact, some of these characters are prominent people in Port Angeles.
Nevertheless, they have consented to appear in “Framed at the Art Blast,” a murder-mystery play to start at 6:30 p.m. today at the library, 2210 S. Peabody St.
For the first half-hour, guests will have a chance to do the usual Art Blast thing — and then some.
The Art Blast is the opening party for the library's new display of works by local artists Peggy Wesley, Scott Erickson, Dee Colores, Randolph Foster, Sky Heatherton and Jeff Becker. Snacks and drinks will be laid out.
And while they're mingling and sipping, guests can also find clues to the mystery.
Seven clues will be scattered around the library, and correctly identifying even one of them enters the finder into a prize drawing.
Patrons need not worry about the clue hunt if they just want to enjoy the performance, added Margaret Jakubcin, Art Blast orchestrator.
Jakubcin, who is assistant director of the North Olympic Library System, has brought together the characters in the mystery play. Among them are a local businesswoman, a park ranger and a talent scout. And then there's the nerdy event photographer, Otto Phocus.
As the jazz concert unfolds, so will the theatrics.
Guests may well recognize Shea's mellow and sultry songs, along with the actors: Bunny Cornwall, owner of Olympic Day Spa; Karen Hanan of Arts Northwest; Olympic National Park employee Emma Bolin; Port Angeles Fine Arts Center director Robin Anderson; and Phil Lusk, Port Angeles' deputy director of power and telecommunication systems.
Library staffers also will appear. As for their identities and who portrays whom in the whodunit, that's part of the mystery.
“Framed” will run about 90 minutes with a refreshment break, and at the end, audience members will be asked to cast votes for who they believe is the guilty party.
Murder mysteries like this have played out in libraries around the country, and there were scripts available for purchase, but Jakubcin and her staff didn't care much for them.
“They seemed to offer such a shallow view of the library world,” she said, “so we decided to write the script ourselves.”
Staff wrote script
The Port Angeles Library staff developed the “Framed” story, and Jakubcin is eager to see it come alive.
It's “a customized, fun, farcical, tongue-in-cheek view of the Port Angeles Library and the local community,” she said.
For lots more information about “Framed” and other activities, phone the library at 360-417-8500 or visit the North Olympic Library System online at www.NOLS.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.