Every weekend well into August, folks can find a theater group putting on a play in Lyon or Storey counties.
For outdoor theater enthusiasts, including Bill Fain, producer of the Gold Hill Theater Troupe, which puts on "Shakespeare on the Rocks" at an outdoor venue across from the Gold Hill Hotel, it's because that's the time the weather is most likely to cooperate.
"It gets cold at night through most of the rest of the year," he said.
Even for those keeping to indoor venues, mid- to late-summer seems to be the best time to perform.
Several summer productions are being held, including "The Wrong Number," with MFH Productions, showing at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Dayton Valley Country and Golf Club at Legado, "The Perils of Pusher or Building the V&T Railroad" and "Death of a Doornail" with Piper's Players at Piper's Opera House.
"The Wrong Number" is a murder mystery dinner show with a major twist, according to creator Michael Ford Harris.
"In the spirit of Alfred Hitchcock, it will not keep the audience guessing about the motive or murderer, but how the murderer will be caught," he said.
The cast includes Brent Kidd, John Peters, Jerry Miller, Julie Stanley and Michael Ford Harris.
Advance tickets are $15, with cocktails available.. Call 246-7888 ext. 708 for tickets.
Also in Dayton, the Misfits Theater Group will perform a special railroad-themed melodrama for the Railway Reflections International Art Expo called "The Perils of Pusher or Building the V&T Railroad."
"This is a unique event in that all of the Misfits net proceeds will go to the Northern Nevada Railroad Foundation," said Carol Bauer, publicist for the group. "And we will be performing in both Dayton and Virginia City. We want to boost ticket sales as much as possible to make this a real financial windfall for the V&T. We have an awesome set with a handcar that we will be using on stage and colorful costumes.
The show, a two-act, old-time melodrama, is about Duke Deadheader, the most rotten rascal on the railroad, who plots to relieve the simple but honest stationmistress, Ruby Roundhouse, of the company's construction funds. Other characters include his accomplice, Flora Flagstop, the hero, Stanley Studmill who owns the lumber mill, and the heroine Rebecca Roundhouse, who is kidnapped of course. Additional characters include the mysterious Chinese foreman, Gan Dee, and sisters Boxcar Betsy and Bullhorn Beulah.
The play was written by James Witherall and is directed by Tony Thornburg. Performers are Carol Bauer, Erin Copp, Cassandra Copp, Jan Duke, Mark McGyver, Cathylee James, Harriet Pfrenzinger, Dan Rice, Tony Thornburg, and Andra Woolman.
"Our performers are all local Dayton area and Virginia City volunteers who perform for the love of the theater and the rewards of applause and laughter," Bauer said.
Performances will be July 25-26 at Chuck's Old West Grill, Dayton and Aug. 1 and 3 at Pipers Opera House, Virginia City
Tickets are still only $10, reservations on a first-call basis can be made by calling 246-9622.
Another show, "Death of a Doornail," has been going on at Piper's Opera House for two weeks and will continue on July 28-30. This is another murder mystery, where the audience adds its deductive skills to the show.
Audience members are invited to interact with the actors and bring their appetites, because dinner is included, even dessert.
The bar opens at 6:30 p.m., with a buffet dinner and the stage play to follow. Dinner and the play are $25; to see the play on an empty stomach it's only $10. Call 847-0433 for dinner reservations by 5 p.m. the day prior to the show.
The Gold Hill Theater Troupe will perform "The Tempest" as part of the Shakespeare on the Rocks program at the Gold Hill Hotel gazebo across Main Street from the hotel building. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from July 24 to Aug. 9.
Cost for Thursdays is $15 for general admission and $20 for reserved seating; for Fridays and Saturdays it is $25 for general admission and $30 for reserved. Call 847-0111 for tickets or more information.