The students of Bob Jones University have been cordially invited to witness a murder.

On Oct. 30 and 31 at 8 p.m., the Theatre Arts department will present A Murder Is Announced in Rodeheaver Auditorium.

A Murder Is Announced promises to be an enjoyable experience including all the complicated  twists and turns that one can expect from an Agatha Christie story.

The play ties in with the theme that the University’s theatre arts program has selected for its first ever official dramatic season with a coherant theme, which is titled The Outer Shore: A Season of Creative Women.

Kaitlyn Chisholm, a first-year theatre arts graduate student, will play Miss Marple, the elderly spinster detective, as part of her degree requirements.

She encourages students to attend the play because of its timeliness and entertainment value.

“It’s a murder mystery happening on Halloween weekend,” Chisholm said. “I mean, who doesn’t love that?”

Nate Young, a senior communication major who plays Inspector Dermot Craddock in the production, thinks the audience will be intrigued by trying to figure out who committed the crime.

“There’s just something entertaining about a murder mystery,” Young said.

Since it is a mystery, the audience should be prepared for many twists and turns. “There are many times when you think you know what’s happening, but the complete opposite turns out to be the truth,” Young said.

The production will be the result of approximately seven weeks of  preparation and rehearsals .

According to Young, those seven weeks were filled with hard work as the cast and crew worked not only to memorize lines and construct sets, but also to build relationships.

“It’s been a great family experience with a lot of the cast members helping with everything,” Young said.

The play is directed by Lydia Stewart, a BJU grad who completed her bachelor’s degree in creative writing in 2009 and her master of arts in dramatic production in 2011.

Stewart taught theatre at Northland International University in Wisconsin from 2011 until the university’s closing in 2015.

She accepted an invitation from Ron Pyle, a theatre arts professor, to direct A Murder Is Announced.

This year’s specially themed dramatic season will take advantage of the large number of women students in the theatre arts program to produce plays that focus on strong women as lead characters.

Miss Erin Naler, an assistant professor in the department, addressed her colleagues and students earlier this semester about the  focus of the season at the Theatre Arts department’s opening gala.

“Our purpose in defining this theatre season with a focus on the theatre art written by and for women, as well as directed by and performed by our own women in the theatre department, is to acknowledge that wholeness is found in the unique vocations we all serve in the Body of Christ,” Naler said in her address.

Naler said the season not only aims to bring women in theatre into focus, but also to relate theatre to other elements of the University.

In addition to plays, the season will include films about theatre, art shows by faculty and students that will be displayed in the recently remodeled Performance Hall lobby and lectures about the productions from faculty outside of the theatre arts department.

Tickets for the play are available for $7 online at bjutheatrearts.com and on the University events page.