"Solve A Mystery With Stage West, Your Own Box Of Clues And Actors"

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Art & Seek | Therese Powell | Jan 4, 2021

Are the family board games getting a little stale? Does the idea of another puzzle sound unappealing?

Mystery in a Box: Manhunt is a chance to add intrigue and excitement to game night. Think of it as a mash up between the game of Clue and that great ’70s detective show, Columbo.

Stage West and the Adirondack Theater Festival have teamed up to bring you this virtual sleuthing event that works like this:
You buy a ticket. You’re delivered a box. Inside the box, you find a variety of objects, along with an invitation to solve a mysterious puzzle. Once you accept the invitation, you are connected online to a detective who needs the clues in your box to start connecting the pieces.

“It’s essentially like an escape room,” said Stage West’s Executive Director, Dana Schultes. “Time-sensitive events will happen – imagine being locked in a room knowing a bomb is going to go off and all the patrons have a short time to figure out how to disarm the bomb! It’s exciting escapism.”

Schultes says that everyone gets to pretend they are a detective in training–one that’s suddenly been thrown into an active murder case. Participants have 70 minutes to solve the case by entering their ideas and guesses into the private chat while the clock counts down.

“And like an escape room that has somebody who’s watching you and commenting, Mystery in a Box has actors. You log on to the experience and they take you through the game. They tell you which objects in your box to pick out and then they give you some back story as to how we got to this place.  They fill out the story with some fun details.”

Since the experience is virtual it’s perfect for social-distancing reunions.

“You can do this with a group of friends from around the country. Everyone can buy their own box and can be there on the same night logged on,” said Schultes. “You can have a little reunion on line and you try to solve puzzles together.