Open Wardrobes: The Theater and Writing of T. James Belich
Ace of Diamonds
by T. James Belich

Genre: Murder mystery
Length: 75 minutes
Total Cast: 6 (3 women, 3 men)
Set: One interior set (no set changes)
Royalties:    $75 per performance
Performance Rights:    Contact Big Dog Plays at

Ace of Diamonds centers around the recent theft of a mysterious ruby called the Bloodstone.  It connects six strangers who are brought together by Iago, the mastermind behind the theft.  Although the six guests claim to be strangers to one another, past relationships (and past hatreds) are soon revealed.  Their discussion of the theft takes a deadly turn when one of the six guests is murdered.  The remaining five guests soon learn that Iago is, in fact, one of them.  What they do not learn is one very important fact about themselves: All the guests present were involved in the Bloodstone's theft.  They are all thieves.  And now that Iago has the Bloodstone, his plan is to incite the thieves to murder each other so that nothing can be traced back to him.  It all appears to work brilliantly as the thieves are murdered one by one, but with stakes this high, even Iago may not hold the Ace...

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Production History

Ace of Diamonds was first performed publicly by the Artistic Community Theatre in Pekin, Illinois on January 12-14 and January 18- 21, 2001.   It was directed by Ed Henry with the following cast:

      JACK BARONBill Homel
      KENDRA WHITEJanet Munson
      GUY WHITLEYBrian Sutton
      CYNTHIA OPALSuzanne Wheeler
      BLAKE HOWARD   Grant Golden
      TARA REEDLacey Rollo

Ace of Diamonds was also performed on July 3rd, 1999 at the Federal Correctional Institute in Pekin, Illinois under the direction of Ed Henry with a cast of inmates.

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by the Aquinas College Thespians in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2002.  It was directed by Laura Eilar with the following cast:

      JACK BARONMike Cichon
      KENDRA WHITELindsey Simon
      GUY WHITLEYJustin Nardecchia
      CYNTHIA OPALMonique Hayes
      BLAKE HOWARD   Gabe Gagnon
      TARA REEDLaura Knack

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by the University of South Carolina Sumter Drama Club in Sumter, South Carolina on April 16th, 2005.  It was directed by Joanne Brown with the following cast:

      JACK BARONJustin Riles
      KENDRA WHITEShaye McElveen
      GUY WHITLEYLeigh Bogdany
      CYNTHIA OPALKirsten Palmer
      BLAKE HOWARD   David Brown
      TARA REEDTasheema McFadden

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by La Martiniere College in Lucknow, India in September of 2005.

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, Great Britain in March of 2006.

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by St. Anne's-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 5th and 6th, 2006.  It was directed by Brittany Vogel with the following cast:

      JACK BARONSam Hampton
      KENDRA WHITEKatie White
      GUY WHITLEYPatrick Decker
      CYNTHIA OPALKelly Falk
      BLAKE HOWARD   Patrick Chabot
      TARA REEDLiza Chabot

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by the Academy Players in Watchfield, Great Britain in April of 2007. It was directed by Matthew Bell and Becki Scott.

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by the Fredericktowne Players in Frederick, Maryland in June of 2008. It was directed by Tim Seltzer with the following cast:

      JACK BARONTony DeRosa
      KENDRA WHITESheila Cunningham
      GUY WHITLEYJim Webner
      CYNTHIA OPALKeirsten Harris
      BLAKE HOWARD   Mike Gilmore
      TARA REEDKaren Plummer

Ace of Diamonds was also performed by Silver Spring Stage in Silver Spring, Maryland in August of 2008.  It was directed by Tim Seltzer.