PEORIA — Corn Stock Theatre is kicking off 2019 with its first-ever murder mystery, “Out of Sight … Out of Murder,” which opens Jan. 11.

The comedy by Fred Carmichael combines romance, suspense and wit.

The mystery begins as young author Peter Knight, played by Nathan Apodaca, is grinding out a murder story in an old cabin in Vermont where another author was murdered years before. A weird electrical storm creates a cosmic snafu, and his characters come to life.

The cast of nine also includes: lovely ingénue Kay, played by Kerri Rae Ryan; trusty butler Cogburn, played by Paul Gordon; a feisty character woman named Fiona, played by Kristin Whitaker; dauntless hero Dick, played by Ricky Hawkins; a fascinating "other woman" Lydia, played by Megan Pulley; pregnant serving girl Addie, played by Rachel McCrae; wily lawyer waiting for midnight to read the will, Jordan Dillingham, played by Paul Arbisi; and in the real world, the mansion’s caretaker Minna, played by Mary Kaye Harlan.

Peter loses control of his characters and there is a murder; the intended victim is Peter. Other murders follow, and the culprit is among characters who, having also worked for other authors, know a great deal about the subject. Can author Peter find the killer before the killer gets the author?

“Out of Sight …Out of Murder” brings many familiar faces back to the Corn Stock stage. Apodaca returns for his third show in the last year, having been cast in “Camelot” and  “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” Hawkins is also returning, having participated in all three of this season's winter shows. Currently serving as a Corn Stock board member, Whitaker makes her return to the stage after a 15-year hiatus, while 20-year theater veteran Erika Poch makes her directing debut.

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11-12 and 18-19, and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 13 and 20. Tickets are $10/students, $14/adults and are available online at or by calling 676-2196.