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Improv and intrigue in fall play ‘Clue’

By Ariel Moyal

 

The cast and crew of 'Clue' gather backstage before a performance. Photo by Alanna Greene
The cast and crew of ‘Clue’ gather backstage before a performance.
Photo by Alanna Greene

The fall play “Clue”  opened Nov. 7 to a packed audience and lots of laughter. The comedy is based on the movie and popular board game, set in the 1950s. It follows seven main characters as they try to unravel a murder mystery together while also attempting to remain alive themselves.

The play is very interactive, with actors frequently running through the aisles and asking audience members questions. The audience is essentially attending the dinner party with the rest of the play’s characters, and are encouraged to work alongside the cast to figure out the murderer.

With only seven lead characters and seven supporting roles, the cast became very close.

The narrator awaits her curtain call in 'Clue.' Photo by Alanna Greene
The narrator awaits her curtain call in ‘Clue.’
Photo by Alanna Greene
Kendall Atkinson plays Miss Scarlet in 'Clue.' Photo by Alanna Greene
Kendall Atkinson plays Miss Scarlet in ‘Clue.’
Photo by Alanna Greene

Spencer Lee, a freshman playing the motorist, said his favorite part of the play was, “meeting all the wonderful people.” He emphasized the camaraderie of the group. “ I was expecting to be really excluded as a freshman, but they really took me under their wing.”

That camaraderie was made clear with the amount of improvisation the cast was able to successfully achieve. “I was particularly proud of some of the unscripted incidents that were laid out on stage,” said senior William Doucette, who plays Mr. Green. “I feel very lucky to have worked with such talented actors that were able to pull off some improvised moments. It added a little something special for both the cast and the audience.”

Yvette the maid has a few secrets in 'Clue.' Photo by Alanna Greene
Yvette the maid has a few secrets in ‘Clue.’
Photo by Alanna Greene
A Canadian police officer makes an appearance in 'Clue.' Photo by Alanna Greene
A Canadian police officer makes an appearance in ‘Clue.’
Photo by Alanna Greene

Senior Noah Kevy, who plays Mr. Body, agreed. “There was a lot of improv but it all worked because our actors stayed true to character and really left all the energy on stage.”

“I love how it’s different every night,” said senior Anvita Lakshmish who plays the show’s host.

The audience enjoyed the show’s humor and improvisation as well.  The funniest moments of the play seemed to be the unscripted accidents. Senior Lucas Lee’s favorite part was when “Macey [Ms. Peacock] threw her cup on the ground and it landed right side up by accident. Then she got up and threw it again.”

“All the actors had their own mannerisms that made them really unique and really enhanced the show,” said senior Julia Chen.

The technical aspects were especially difficult for this play. With numerous background changes and perfectly timed sound effects and blackouts, there was ample opportunity for disaster, and yet the stage crew succeeded.

“It’s really scary moving flats. They’re heavy and could easily fall and hurt someone, ” said junior Juliette Minault. “But on closing night I felt like we moved them really smoothly and didn’t have any problems.” The scene changes happen quickly and frequently as the play transitions between rooms while the plot progresses.

The light and sound crew worked hard to help the play progress smoothly as well. Senior Daniel Long, the play’s stage manager, was especially proud of the light design and getting to see “everything come together in one show.”

Long’s job includes being in charge of all of the stage crew and actors, but sometimes that proved to be difficult. Junior Kahn Miu agreed. “The actors do their own thing and the stage crew does also, and it’s hard to come together on the same terms.” said Miu. “I’m most proud of how the actors can go along with what the tech crew does wrong.”

The cast and crew got one last chance to perform, with some slight cast changes, thanks to an extension due to the play’s major popularity. The run was extended through the weekend of Nov. 22-23.

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