The latest production at Hays Community Theater this weekend is a time to eat, drink and be Mary.

Or not, for in the dinner theater “Murder Can Be Habit Forming,” the victims are all named Mary.

The story takes place during a blizzard at St. Mary’s Convent in upstate New York, where all the nuns have taken the first name Mary. They take in a busload of stranded passengers who had left from a nearby diner where the latest murder occurred, and they soon realize the murderer could be among them.

The Friday and Saturday night shows are sold out, which pleases the director, Cheryl Glassman, who also plays the bus driver, Wilma Patterson.

She’s also happy with her cast and crew of about 20, many of whom are new to theater. In their daily lives, they work at banks, salons, Fort Hays State University or are students in college or high school. One even lives in the Oakley area.

“You have all these people that do so many different things, and there are many directions when we’re done, but they all connect,” Glassman said.

She said while they all take direction well, she’s especially happy with the development of Tori Hale, who plays Erika Kincaid, an actress forced to take the bus from New York to Toronto, where she’s to film a movie.

“She has grown into this wonderful little actress. It’s so cool to watch that for me,” Glassman said.

The cast also includes names familiar to HCT audiences like Wendy Richmeier, Jarrett Leiker, Gene Stramel and Dylan Werth.

The shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the the HCT, 121 E. Eighth.

HCT has several upcoming events, including “Get Buzzed,” a night of comedy, magic and hypnosis with Hays comedian Buzz, at 8 p.m. March 1. Tickets are $5 at the door.

The seasonal productions this year will include the spring show “Steel Magnolias,” the summer musical “The Little Mermaid,” the fall children’s production “Seussical Jr.” and the winter play “Fruitcakes.”

For more information on these shows, go to