Opening Night allows players to "create, direct, and perform" their own plays, giving control over actors, lines, props, backgrounds, music, sound effects, lighting, and other factors. Actors are chosen from a list of categories, such as Aristocrats, Commoners, and Villains, and within each category are several pre-costumed actors, each modeled after a character archetype like "Young lad" or "Seafarer". Each of these characters comes with a number of animations that show the actor making movements like sitting down, giving an object to someone, or bowing, as well as emotions like anger and fear. Walking is done by clicking on the character's feet and dragging along the desired path.
Most of the backgrounds, props, and characters included in the game suggest a mystery set in 18th century England, akin to Sherlock Holmes. However, there are few limits on what can be done with the materials provided, and all dialogue is written by the player.