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Scott Cramton

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Scott Cramton is the CEO and Founder of The Murder Mystery Company. The company was founded in 2002 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[1] The Murder Mystery Company is a nationwide theater troupe in the United States that specializes in interactive murder mystery dinner theater entertainment in both public and private show environments. [2]

Early life and Education[edit]

Cramton was born in 1980 to Ron and Julie Cramton in Detroit, MI with a severe cleft palate. By fourth grade, Cramton had seven corrective surgeries. [1] One of his speech teachers remarked that Cramton was "one of her biggest successes," had a bright future ahead of him, and could be anything except a public speaker. Cramton took that statement as a challenge and resolved to go into acting. He joined Churchill High School's creative arts program and began landing supporting roles in productions. Then after high school graduation, Cramton attended Grand Valley State University to study theater and film. [1]

Career[edit]

By the age of 21, Cramton started The Murder Mystery Company that was at the time called, GRimprov. Since then, the company has seen significant growth. By 2012, the business had put on 5,000 performances and generated $4 million in sales. [2] In October 2013, The Murder Mystery Company had 17 troupes across the country with public venues in twenty-five cities. [3] By May 2017, the business had grown to forty-two venues in twenty separate states. [1] "'I never thought at the time when we started it that it was going to be anything more than just a Grand Rapids thing,' said Cramton." [3] It was also in 2017, that The Murder Mystery Company partnered with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to bring guests a murder mystery weekend. [4] Since then, the company has returned every fall to perform another multi-day murder mystery. Cramton called the opportunity, his "passion project" and the "ultimate kind of immersion theater" because "it's [Mackinac Island] an entire world. It feels turn-of-the-century...no cars, horse-drawn carriages, a completely different lifestyle." [4]

Since 2002, Cramton has also opened other businesses, such as Famous for a Day, Atmospheric Entertainment, The Princess Party Co., and The Superhero Experience, expanding the scope of immersion theater.[1] In a 2010 article, Cramton also expressed his interest in opening up The Murder Mystery Company globally by establishing troupes in Europe by 2012. [5] While Cramton did not meet this goal, he has been able to send actors overseas with the help of the Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation division to provide entertainment to troops. Cramton along with a group of actors traveled to Portugal, Spain, Romania, Poland, Greece, Italy, Djibouti, and Bahrain in 2018 to perform, and in 2019 they will travel again to Japan and South Korea. [6]

Cramton wanted to create a theater experience where the audience is a part of the show, so he decided to make audiences a part of the show. "'You walk out and you feel like you were kind of a part of it - not in a scary way by any means. We don't get you up there and give you 20 lines or something,' said Cramton."[3]

The improv method The Murder Mystery Company subscribes to is the Grimprov Method, which was created by Cramton. "'Overall in [traditional] theater, my belief is this: we completely alienate our audience,' says Cramton, citing outdated classic shows as being out of touch with modern experiences and interest. 'We make sure it is interactive theater. The Murder Mystery shows are about the participants. People walk away with stories and memories.'"[5]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Martinez, Shandra (25 March 2017). "Hidden disability spurs Michigan man to create $7M entertainment company". MLive.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hamburg-Coplan, Jill (1 February 2014). "Don't Run Out of Cash: 3 Growth-Company Case Studies". Inc.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dewey, Charlsie (18 October 2013). "Troupe's growth is no mystery". Grbj.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Introducing The Murder Mystery Company at Grand Hotel". GrandHotel.com. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Larsen, Audria (28 October 2010). "Murder, They Improv". RapidGrowthMedia.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  6. "Navy Entertainment Presents - Midnight Masquerade Murder Mystery". NavyMWROkinawa.com. Navy MRW Okinawa.


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