The Oak Street Playhouse is one that isn’t given as much attention as it deserves. It’s an intimate and unassuming space that is part of First-Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Chattanooga on Houston and Oak street.  Built in 1978 as an extension of the church services, the theatre grew from a puppet ministry and drama ministry with few resources. Supported by loving friends and family, church members, and the growing number of fans of the theatre, it continued to develop into a family friendly space, and began producing more ambitious plays.

I admit, it had been a while since I had watched one of their productions. With a wealth of great options for theater in Chattanooga, the Oak Street Playhouse is one too often overlooked. With a cast of local theatre legends, and directed by the talented Maria Chattin-Carter, Oak Street’s production of Audition for Murder caught my attention. I knew that the talent involved in this production signified that there was something special about this play, a title that I personally had never heard of.

I went in with a willing suspension of standards, not sure what to expect. Murder Mystery, though a guilty pleasure of mine, also evokes thoughts of thoughtless cliches and greasy meatballs. But I already had a suspicion that this particular take on murder mystery would be anything but cliche.

Not only was my suspension of standards unnecessary, Audition for Murder far exceeded them and and in fact raised a bar. Maria Chattin-Carter has done an amazing job directing a fantastic show with an extremely talented ensemble cast of actors.

Without giving spoilers, the play is brilliant in how it is written. It truly takes theatre as a whole and twists it like a sponge, taking you as an audience on a wild ride with tongue planted firmly in cheek. By the end of the production my sides hurt. Filled with hilarity and especially some of the more subtle inside jokes that those who have been actively involved in community theatre will get, An Audition For Murder was one of the most fun and exciting theatrical experiences I have ever had.