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5 Murders staged in Fort Lauderdale theater

Staff Writer

Roughly every 10 minutes or so, a homicide will be committed.

That’s the idea behind Wednesday night’s (July 23) Murder Mystery Festival at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale. The free-and-open-to-the-public staged reading of five 10-minute playlets was created by Barbara Fox, who has made a killing in the mystery-theater business.

“There are so many 10-minute play festivals going on, but nothing that was specifically detailed like murder mysteries,” Fox says from her Hollywood home. “I have a theater company that produces interactive murder-mystery plays. I’ve been doing it since 1986. I thought I would just do one or two, and it just grew and grew.”

Fox says after she put out the call for short mysteries on theater websites, she received more than 50 submissions.

“I was looking for varieties and plays that got to the point quickly and had a minimum of stage direction,” she recalls. “I narrowed it down to four, and then decided at the last minute to include one of mine in a shameless act of self-promotion. Actually, I thought five was the perfect number. We do three, and then have intermission, and then two more.”

Murder Mystery Festival will begin 8 p.m. Wednesday at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive, in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 786-683-6078 or go to

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