SAN FRANCISCO MURDER MYSTERY FAQ's

For private parties and corporate events looking for entertaining options, we provide a variety of fun approaches for San Francisco murder mystery dinners across Northern California for various groups and gatherings. We have choices that range from using participants in the show to strictly using our actors. Below you will find some of our more frequently asked questions for shows in Northern California.

SAN FRANCISCO MURDER MYSTERIES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


A San Francisco murder mystery dinner show for your private parties, banquets, corporate events and charity fundraising customized for you has proven to be perfect for entertaining groups of all kinds. So exactly what is a murder mystery dinner in the Greater San Francisco area and what does it entail? To answer this and more specific queries, we have assembled a list of frequently asked questions here, along with appropriate answers.


Q: Do you perform public shows?

A: While most of our shows are private parties and corporate events, often the restaurants, country clubs and golf clubs that we work with sell tickets to their shows. This means that the show may be a public event. From our side, however, we consider it a direct relationship where we are contracted to produce the event. For all intents and purposes it is a private event for us. That being said, when it is public the people in the audience don't know each other and it becomes more important for the entertainment to reflect that fact. Therefore, our private parties and public shows can look quite different.

gala murder mystery

Gala Murder Mysteries

The classic format for very large groups with all kinds of added elements. This includes shows for charities as part of our Justifiable Homicide program and are catered to high society. These meet even the most particular of guests.

straight murder mystery mugshot

Straight Murder Mystery Dinners

The industry standard bring 4-7 actors interacting with your crowd leading up to a murder and a comedic investigation. Meet and talk with the crazy cast of characters, witness a crime and then work together to solve it!

ambush

Ambush Mysteries

We create a scenario where the audience is unaware that a murder mystery show is taking place. Up until the dead body hits the floor, they think it is really happening. The relief lets them break loose and have a great time!

mix and mingle

Mix and Mingle Mysteries

With both Clue Parties, where everyone at your party is a character, and Cambridge Solution Mysteries, where we use roughly one participant from your group per table, we have great interactive mysteries to get your people directly involved!

wedding mysteries

Wedding Shows

People are often looking for new ways to have their nuptials. A mystery evening is a great way to have a unique and memorable experience with friends and family. We do REHEARSAL DINNERS and RECEPTIONS.

frick and frack

Frick & Frack Shows

More of a stand-up comedy routine, this involves one or two detectives investigating an improvised whodunit while directly involving your audience members in the crime. This creates a personalized show that could never be repeated!


Q: You say that you customize shows, how customized are they?

A: For our full shows or galas, every script is unique and written for the show and group involved. There may be certain elements that have been repeated over the years, but we tailor directly to you. Additionally, all of our performers have years of improvisational training and public performances under their belt. This means that their improv skills are fully taken advantage of and can react to the situations around them. Literally, we could not perform the same show twice even if we tried. For smaller events such as the Cambridge Solutions or Clue Parties, these may be very similar to past shows, but even these are customized some to the group involved.


Q: What makes a THEY improv San Francisco Murder Mystery different from others?

A: We stand out in the murder mystery business in The Bay Area in a lot of ways. The most obvious is that our cast is comprised of some of the top improvisational comedy talent. This means that the show not only has a great interactive experience for the audience, but that the entire cast adjusts to the changing needs and comedic energy of the group involved. Secondly, we never forget that the emphasis is on entertainment, not on mystery. The show is designed to entertain the audience more than perplex them. To that effect, we push the murder back in the plot allowing for a larger amount of audience interaction and fun prior to the murder and a shorter interrogation time. In some shows the detective is the star. In ours, the comedy is. Remember, we are THEY improv. The shows are not about us, they're for the enjoyment of our audience. It's about what THEY need. Thirdly, some murder mystery companies try to beat the audience and not even give out the prizes. We guarantee that someone will have been correct in their solution of the murder mystery for our full shows, unless our client doesn't want it for some strange reason. There are a lot of ways we're different. The best way for you to find out how is to contact us for a show and see for yourself!

covid-19 coronavirus social distancing

WE LOOK OUT FOR YOU We have a variety of techniques that we can use to promote social distancing and safety during our shows. We can discuss these items with you and develop a strategy to work at your location in a relatively safe environment.

WE CAN THEME YOUR PARTY
We have many themes and can customize to just about any other that you can think of. Some of the more common themes include: The 1920's or 1930's for a Prohibition Era party, A Millionaire's Mansion, A Movie Mogul, Mobsters, A Wedding and many others. We have conducted San Francisco murder mystery dinner shows with everything from the Versace Mansion to Gilligan's Island. If you want to have a particular theme, just let us know!

themes

Q: What is interactive as opposed to immersive?

A: Generally, when someone refers to a show being interactive, it means that the performers will talk to the audience, either to get input or a reaction. Because interactive is a term used and understood in the industry, we tend to use the term incorrectly. Our shows are more accurately referred to as immersive. An immersive performance is where our actors fully participate in the audience experience and can be mistaken as audience members. Some audience members can also be confused with performers. This immersive experience enhances the entire event and increases the involvement of the audience members to the point of maintaining full attention.

MORE FAQ's

Younger or more sensitive audience members should have no problem enjoying a night of fun and clean comedy when we takes the stage. We are predisposed to performing clean comedy shows. If, however, we are requested to become more lively in our performance, we may do so. After all, our murder mysteries are custom-tailored for the audience involved. If you have more than just a couple of children but are instead throwing a gathering for a group of kids, we have specific themes written for children. To ensure a great evening simply inform us at the time of contracting for the show.

Smaller groups can get cost-prohibitive for San Francisco murder mysteries, but we may still be able to help. Although our more standard murder mysteries have custom-tailored scripts and 4-8 actors, we do have other options to bring the cost down. This can be even more important for non-profit organizations looking to have a fundraiser. There are two additional approaches we can take. First, is our Cambridge Solution. This is called the Cambridge Solution because we considered it to be Harvard smart when we developed it. It uses 4-10 of your group as characters in the murder. More information is on our Cambridge Murder Mystery Page. For even smaller groups we have our Dartmouth Plan. It's really the Cambridge Solution redesigned to either use everyone as a character in more of a Speed Dating setup or using half of the people as characters. Our second option is what we refer to as Murder Mystery Mayhem or a Clue Party. This is where everyone is a character and they mix and mingle randomly. It comes down to Means, Motive and Opportunity, much like a game of Clue. More information is available on our Murder Mystery Game Show page.

While we prefer the immersive experience, we can perform "Presentational Murder Mysteries." This is performed on a stage or raised area with sound system like a play and with limited audience interaction. This is usually done for much larger groups and is more heavily scripted. This tends to have a higher cost because of the writing involved.

We have a variety of offerings. Some of our offerings are designed as a mix and mingle party that allows your participants to interview each other to try to determine the culprit. Another offering allows some of your people to play the roles being interrogated by our detective and the audience to determine the culprit. But for our signature immersive murder mystery dinners, you want to limit the exposure of your people as performers. Quite frankly, they're simply not professional, and our people are. But we will customize any event to you and follow your lead as to who you want to participate. So the short answer? Yes, but it isn't our recommendation.

We is capable of performing anywhere. After all, we are improvisational. We are used to making do and reacting to what is at hand. Generally we perform in banquet spaces and dining rooms, though we've been known to operate in bars, in patio areas or even out on a golf course. The question usually comes down to an ability to be seen and heard by the audience. The real answer is that you should contact us if you have a venue that you have a question about and we are certain that we can find a way to make it work.

We are happy to help with some publicity. We'll share our graphics and make them available to you and will brainstorm with you to provide fun themes to help get media attention. But we can not take responsibility for the ability to market a show, will not guarantee any level of attendance and will not directly handle any ticket sales for legal reasons.


Q: What is an ambush murder mystery?

A: The ambush is an approach where the audience is unaware that a murder mystery is occurring. We create a situation where our players would reasonably be expected to be in the location. After establishing the legitimacy of our characters, we then create situations that would rarely happen at parties. The 'train wreck moments' are designed to get the audience talking about what's going on around them and attempt to intercede on behalf of our characters. Think of it as an elaborate prank being played on your audience. When the death finally occurs, the audience then realizes that they've been had and are led through the process of determining the culprit. One of the major advantages of this form of show is that the audiences expectations are constantly changed.

EVEN MORE FAQ's

We are one of the fastest growing murder mystery companies in Northern California. Right now we provide San Francisco murder mystery dinner shows in downtown in Chinatown, Civic Center, Filmore District, Financial District, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill, the Presidio, and Union Square as well as Fremont, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Livermore, Menlo Park, Oakland, Pleasanton, the Portola Valley, Redmond, Richmond, SFO, South San Francisco, San Mateo, and Woodside as well as everywhere else you can think of. Most locations do not even have a travel fee associated with it as we have performers all over the place. There are, of course, some places that are more out of the way or don't have a large acting community nearby. This may require some travel, but would be included in any quote that we provide for you.

Because every show is custom designed you have to contact us directly to receive a quote for your banquet. Prices range based on the costs for a show. The more actors, the more props, the larger the event, the more the writing or rehearsal, the higher the cost. When we provide a quote, the prices are usually independent of venue, food and technical equipment such as lights and sound. Contact us for a detailed quote.

Even though we call them dinners, the reality is that a lot of our events take place during the day. Lunch is quite common and it operates basically the same, though often there is no cocktail hour. It can be a great idea to entertain your employees without keeping them after hours. Likewise, an ambush at lunch works well with our people to look like a regular team building group or lecturer. Contact us to find ideas that might work for your group based on your timing.

Generally no, but we work based on our direction from our clients. Based on the desires of the client, we may have gunshots (blanks, of course), stabbings, etc. All such things are usually done to comedic effect and may require authorization of the venue and appropriate security staffs. Likewise, the Client must indemnify us and indicate to potential guests with any conditions the inherent issues or concerns. If you are the one hiring us for a private party or corporate event, then whether there are gunshots is up to you. But as mentioned, we'd recommend not to have them.

We can accept most forms of payment including checks, credit cards, ACH, cash, PayPal and just about anything else that you can come up with. Usually we require 50% up front with a follow-up of the final 50% one-week prior to the event.

Contact us by email at info@THEYimprov.com or call (866) 219-4386.


We provide San Francisco murder mystery shows throughout downtown in Chinatown, Civic Center, Filmore District, Financial District, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill, the Presidio, and Union Square as well as Fremont, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Livermore, Menlo Park, Oakland, Pleasanton, the Portola Valley, Redmond, Richmond, SFO, South San Francisco, San Mateo, and Woodside and anywhere else you can think of. This includes in the big cities, the suburbs, or further outside the urban areas. We do not provide the food or the venue. We come to you and help you to succeed in business without really trying!

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW

1

WHAT IS THE REASON?

The first step is to determine your needs. This includes potential goals, desires and concerns. Is it more than just entertainment? If you are looking to show appreciation to clients or employees, for example, then we would take one approach. If it is family and friends, we might approach it differently. The more we know about what has already been decided can allow us to narrow the conversation to approaches that interest you.

2

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS? WHERE? WHEN? HOW MANY?

We need to know the type of venue you will have and where it will be in the area. A date, or date range, for when you would like to have this and what time frame you are looking for will help to determine our commitment and availability. Knowing the size of your group, though that will likely just be an estimate, will allow us to choose appropriate options for the performance and have a better feel for the resources required.

3

DO YOU HAVE A BUDGET?

If you know budget limitations, that can allow us to restrict the conversations to those options that will be within your financial constraints. This works in both directions. We don't want to overbuild and propose options that can't be done. Also, we don't want to not provide a large enough of a show to achieve the results that will exceed your expectations.

CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE

We want to hear from you. Call us at 415.360.5450 or email info@THEYimprov.com.

ENTERTAINMENT

PRIVATE PARTIES AND CORPORATE EVENTS

murder mystery dinners

Murder Mystery Dinners

The classic format for entertaining groups of all types getting people working together to solve a crime.

improv comedy

Improv Comedy

A great way to get a show that is completely customized to the group and keeps the audience engaged.

stand-up

Stand-Up Comedy

Comedians can come to your group and can provide a traditional night of comedic entertainment.

game shows

Game Shows

We get everyone and interacting in a variety of games ranging from those associated with TV shows and specialty items.

magic shows

Magic Shows

Our magicians can bewilder you for an evening of close-up magic, mentalism, psychics or full stage shows.

characters

Characters

We can add a little flavor to any event by bringing characters that can create memorable moments.

Some of Our Clients

We have worked with over half of the Fortune 500. These are just a few of our high-profile clients that have entertained over the years.