Categories: General
      Date: May 15, 2009
     Title: Murder at the malt shop solved
Members of the Dalhart Junior High School drama class solved a murder mystery Thursday evening, May 7th.  The murder occurred in a 1950’s malt shop in Craig Sodaro’s play entitled “The Nifty Fifties Malt Shop Murder.”  Director and drama teacher, Kathryn Bassett, guided the 6th, 7th and 8th graders through a stellar performance.

By Robin Scott


     Members of the Dalhart Junior High School drama class solved a murder mystery Thursday evening, May 7th.  The murder occurred in a 1950’s malt shop in Craig Sodaro’s play entitled “The Nifty Fifties Malt Shop Murder.”  Director and drama teacher, Kathryn Bassett, guided the 6th, 7th and 8th graders through a stellar performance.

    The story took place at Moira’s Malt Shop located in 1950’s perfect Sunnydale, a small American town full of residents eager to be named, “Small Town USA.”  One obstacle to being named small town USA surprised committee chairwoman, June Seevers, the murder of a stranger to town.  With a few mishaps and even a dance number, June solved the mystery and pointed the finger toward music teacher, Louella Purdy.

    Just before the students took the stage, they joined hands with Ms. Bassett to encourage one another and gain an added bit of courage.  They were filled with excited chatter and a touch of the jitters as the curtains opened and the play began.  By the end, the students had lost all of their stage fright as they invited members of the audience to join them on stage for a brief 50’s dance.  

    Jennifer Quint, the eighth grader who played the part of Moira, proved that acting is definitely one of her many talents.  Kelsey McKay, as June Seevers, also gave an excellent performance.  Many of the students garnered smiles from the audience including Katelyn Starks as she lip-sinked the words, “Why’s everybody always picking on me?”  Kyler Winings, who played the part of June Seever’s son, also caused a ruckus when he came through the set dressed as an alien being with a huge green head.  Skyler Wilt pulled double duty as both Court Clerk George Morgan and the unfortunate murder victim known only as “a man.”  And Robyn Elan-Puttick’s beautiful accent gave an added touch of credibility to librarian Caroline Hackett.

    Other cast members included Karen Lozano as Terri, Ben Allen as Huey Schutt, Josh Dufur as Sheriff Goodhugh, Alison Wheeler as Elaine Sanders, Haylee Hester as Plum Gibson, Jori Fletcher as Rhonda Jame, Kaylee Ledbetter as Magnolia McBee, Karlee Childers as

Linda, Destiny Morris as Vicki Seevers, Hank Scofield as Dr. Ward Seevers, Alex DeJong as Sandra Stiles, Whitney Pyle as Louella Purdy and Emilee White as Darlene.   Mr. Garrett crooned the voice of Elvis.  

    The crew included lights by Dallas Isbell, music by Chyanne Coaly, backstage by Isabel Velarde and programs by Sam Schumacher.  Much appreciation went out to Mrs. Quint and Mrs. Mason who provided much needed assistance to Ms. Bassett and all of the students.  

    Refreshments were served afterward, and Ms. Bassett was given two gorgeous flower bouquets.  During the reception that followed, the play parents, grandparents, friends and students all expressed their enjoyment of the performance to the actors.  The performance marks the last for the school year.