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The Pacific Repertory Arts Theatre goes behind the scenes and reveals the Myald Manor Mystery Murders.
This spoof on community theater follows the production of a play from auditions, casting, rehearsals and the final production run with details of the backstage antics, romantic flings, and theatrical insights that will tickle thespians and patrons of the arts.
The building was never intended to be a theater. During WWII, it had been a VD clinic for the hordes of military personnel stationed in Panama. Although the GI's did a commendable job protecting the Panama Canal, many of them did little to protect themselves. Following the end of the war, the building was used for a variety of tasks and ended up as a warehouse for the junk the U.S. military couldn't give away.
As the squat one-story building turned 50, it looked older than its age. Condemning the building would have been merciful, but those who had the say, were tongue tied. The clapboard siding was dingy and encrusted with several accumulated layers of cheap, excess battleship-gray paint interspersed with generations of dirt and grime. The interior was equally filthy and the accumulated government property was coated with thick neglected dust.
When the decision was made to convert the building to a theater, no one, including the newly appointed director for the performing arts, could imagine what a monumental task it would be to get the building in shape for a show. The building had been selected as a theater for two reasons. The old theatre had been turned over to Panama as part of the new treaty, so it was imperative to find a new place, and since the building had been a warehouse, it was perfect for storing the props and equipment from the old theater. More importantly, the building was selected because no other organization wanted it. There was a collective sigh of relief throughout the military community when the Buildings Management Office turned over the building to the newly organized Pacific Repertory Arts Theatre, affectionately referred to by its director as PRAT.