Setting the stage

Rogers County Historical Society President Patrick Deaver and local playwright Mark Ogle ready the stage for this weekend’s performances of “The Secret of the Book” at the Belvidere Mansion. Proceeds from the performance go to benefit the Rogers County Historical Society, which is dedicated to preserving the heritage and landmarks or Rogers County, such as the Belvidere Mansion

While this weekend’s murder mystery play may be entitled “The Secret of the Book,” it’s no secret that historical landmarks and buildings such as the Belvidere Mansion rely heavily upon such events to keep them going.

“We’re solely dependent upon donations and fundraisers like these murder mysteries for our operational costs — utilities, etc. — as well as for any repairs or renovations, some of which we’re currently in the process of,” said Patrick Deaver, president, Rogers County Historical Society. “We’re going to paint the entire outside of the building, and repair the old wood windows, put carpet in the two front parlors — with the Pink House coming in and making their own renovations to the first floor, we’re temporarily closed to the public, so now’s a good time for us to be making some long-needed renovations, but they’re rarely inexpensive.”

Deaver said each production has the potential to raise as much as $6,000 (excluding costs for the dinners served to ticket-holders), so each event is “extremely important” to the historcial society.

“We’re fortunate that (playwright) Mark (Ogle) has helped us (RCHS) for the past four years in the writing, direction, and assembling actors for these (plays),” Deaver said. “Each show requires a lot of volunteers and man-hours to get ready, but in the end, the benefit to the historical society, and as such, to the Belvidere Mansion really can’t be understated.”

“The Secret of the Book” original murder mystery play was written by Claremore man Mark Ogle, and will be performed this Friday and Saturday at the Belvidere.

“The Secret of the Book” is directed by Claremore woman Jessica Ammons and features local actors.

“There are only two performances, so tickets go fast and almost always sell out, the week leading up to the shows, so if anyone wants to go but hasn’t purchased their ticket yet, we’d encourage them to get one now, before they’re all gone,” Deaver said.

For ticket information, call 918-688-0651.

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