The Plot Thickens

LSE’s fall play has mystery, murder and… improv


This year’s fall play, which is set to run Oct. 6, 7 and 9, is unlike anything Southeast High School has seen before. A murder mystery, “The Plot, Like Gravy, Thickens” includes an improvisation section in which the audience will have a chance to participate in the show. 

“The plot is very, very silly. It follows this alter-ego of the playwright, named Walter, as he creates the perfect murder mystery on stage,” said Tyler Lambley, the Theater Director at Southeast. 

With a cast of only 14 people, every person plays a lead role in the story of Walter, who also appears as the very wealthy Edward Worthington II. In the play, Worthington, played by senior Dawson Dynek, gathered his friends, family, acquaintances and house staff to celebrate his 50th birthday. While there, he declares that he has a secret that he will disclose and that the information is in a sealed envelope. At the end of Act I, the lights go out and come back on to reveal that someone has died. 

During Act II, the characters investigate the murder. At this point, the audience is encouraged to interact with the actors. The audience will be allowed to interrogate characters they suspect could be the murderer, and the actors will have to improv based on the accusations the audience makes.

“This is rather unusual for a written script,” Lambley explains. “Improv is usually something where skills are learned and then applied to situations in written scripts.” 

It is Lambley’s sixth year directing shows here at Southeast. He believes that the biggest difference between The Plot, Like Gravy, Thickens, and other shows he has produced, is the size of the cast.

“The smaller cast is definitely the biggest change. The script did not allow for an ensemble or extra characters to be added, so the casting process with Ms. Frankforter was exceptionally difficult,” Lambley said.

Despite the small cast, there are many ways to be involved with the production of the show backstage. Students can help build the set and assist with many different aspects of the show, such as costumes, lighting, props, sounds,makeup and working in the box office.  Lambley encourages students who are interested in being involved in theater productions to join the Drama Club Google Classroom to learn more. The code for the google classroom is wgghfdd. 

The Plot, Like Gravy, Thickens, will have three performances in the Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Performing Arts Center at Southeast High School. On Oct. 6 and 7 there will be performances at 7 p.m and on Oct. 9 the performance is at 2 p.m. Students can buy tickets online at or at the box office.