Former IBMers write hit musical for Mantorville Theatre Company
Many years ago, two IBM colleagues sat during lunch break and discussed what? Play writing.
The two colleagues were Michael Migliacio and Jeremy Kittleston, who then wrote what is being performed now at the Mantorville Theatre Company. That murder mystery musical is “Not Another Zombie Apocalypse!” and it runs until Oct. 29 at the dinner theatre.
“We wrote it 12 years ago” Kittleston said. “And I can’t tell you how long it took, but it was a lot of fun lunch breaks where we laughed and wrote the script together.”
Presently Kittleson lives in Rochester and Migliacio in Savage. But they’re together again on the stage, overseeing a cast of nine MCT members plus an ensemble of zombies. Those zombies are kids and younger siblings of cast members, Kittleston said, who wanted to be a part of the show.
Migliacio said “Not Another Zombie Apocalypse” started because he, his wife Lisa and Kittleston were ardent Halloween fans. They held murder mysteries at their home for years.
“We had so much fun doing small-scale murder mysteries at our home,” he said. “We pitched it to the Mantorville board of directors to take it to the next level and write one for theater.”
“It took some prodding and convincing,” he said. “There was a space for it in this part of Minnesota. There wasn’t anything like that to celebrate the spooky season.”
This is the 10th anniversary of the musical on the Mantorville stage. When they did the show originally, “we sold out almost every show,” Migliacio said.
“There are no real zombies in the show,” Kittleson said. “It’s a play about zombies and things quickly go off the rails and it’s up to everybody to figure out who done it.”
It’s very much a Halloween-centered musical, Migliacio said, and since he and writing partner Kittleson wrote the original play, murder mystery dinner theaters have become popular.
“With the 50th anniversary of Opera House shows, this is super exciting,” he said. “It’s worth the commute to go down and be part of the show as an actor and assistant director.”
Kittleston credits Agatha Christie novels and the movie “Clue” as influential pieces for creating “Not Another Zombie Apocalypse!” at the Mantorville Theatre Company.
“If you’re looking for something to do in the spooky season, or you’re a fan of Halloween or of good mysteries and good food and just want to have a great time, we’d love to entertain you,” Kittleson said. “And tickets are going fast.”
The meal provided is from the Hubble House. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday at 12:30. Doors open 30 minutes before the show starts. Tickets are $45.
For more information, visit mantorvilletheatrecompany.com or call the box office at 507-635-5420. Tickets aren’t available at the door and sales are cut off 48 hours before curtain.