“Is Murder Tax-Deductible?”
Greenfield Playwright Brings Her Second Play to the Stage
By Steve Makovec
The West Allis Players, West Allis’ only live theater organization, will be presenting Katherine Beeson’s newest play, “Is Murder-Tax-Deductible?” in April. The group produced her first show, “In Lieu of Flowers” in 2012.
Beeson, a long-time Greenfield resident, is thrilled to see her work take the stage. As is usually the case with new plays, she is also directing its premiere production.
“Is Murder Tax-Deductible?” is set in an accounting office and involves the murder of a busy CPA. Although the show takes place in 1951, it was actually inspired by Beeson’s own accountant, Brian Dettmering, owner of Riverwest Accounting.
“Our accountant is actually a very good friend, but gets a bit testy during tax season, which should be the highlight of his year,” Beeson said. “I always threatened to write a play exposing his crabby ways, but when I came up with a way I could murder a crabby accountant, I knew that could be an interesting show.”
Beeson found that this play almost wrote itself. “My first play took three years and several rewrites,” she said. “This play was done in three weeks.” While the show is a murder mystery, it contains some humor as well. There are also the classic characters of 1950s Perry Mason-style shows – the hard-boiled detective, the spoiled ex-wife, the sharp secretary.
Like all playwrights, Beeson submits her plays to a workshop where fellow thespians read the parts and then discuss any plot problems, character flaws or inconsistencies with the play. “I always feel that if I can’t defend something I wrote, I have to change it,” Beeson said. “This part of the writing process is very important and my actors challenged a few things that I was able to correct.”
After the show finishes its spring run, Beeson plans to submit her play to a publishing company specializing in plays for school groups and Community Theaters. She is also looking for a literary agent to get her first play published by a larger publishing firm. “Getting my plays to Broadway would be fantastic,” Beeson added, “but I just want my plays performed.”
“Is Murder Tax-Deductible?” debuts at 7:30 p.m. April 12. Other show times are 7:30 p.m. April 13, 19 and 20 and 2 p.m. April 21. The theater is located at 8516 West Lincoln Avenue. Complete show information may be found by visiting www.waplayers.org.
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