Popular murder mystery game comes to life in upcoming high school play
May 2—It was Col. Mustard with the wrench in the conservatory. Or maybe it was Professor Plum with the rope in the lounge? Perhaps it was Mrs. Peacock with the candlestick in the billiard room?
Regardless of who committed the crime, what the murder weapon was or where it happened, the game comes to life this weekend when Albert Lea High School students perform "Clue: High School Edition."
The play, written by Jonathan Lynn, is based off of the 1985 movie with Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn and Christopher Lloyd, which itself was based on the 1949 board game Cluedo (or Clue as it's known in North America).
"Abby [Weidner] and I worked on the one-act play earlier this year, and it was a piece that was based off of a true story and it was rather sad," said Tess Douty, who along with Weidner is directing the spring show.
So the duo decided a murder/mystery comedy would be a good change of pace from "These Shining Lives," the story about the Radium girls — female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning after painting watch dials with self-luminous paint.
Like the game Clue, the show will feature Col. Mustard, Professor Plum and Mrs. Peacock as well as every other character of the game. But unlike the game, they're all guilty of something and are being blackmailed.
"They're all brought in to, just like any classic horror movie, this big, scary mansion," Douty sad. "Then the lights go out and somebody's dead."
Despite the action, Douty described the play as "hilarious," and "entertaining," and felt this particular play allowed students the opportunity to work off each other as one group.
"Everybody has their own secret that they're keeping throughout the show," she said. "Slowly but surely we learn all of the secrets in a really entertaining way."
What makes this show unique is the constant movement among rooms, and she described set-moving as a technical challenge.
"How do we easily and quickly show two rooms at the same time, or quickly [move] from one room to another?" she said.
Because they needed to secure rights and get scripts, auditions were held after spring break, meaning this was a shorter rehearsal process. Despite that, she described the cast as "great" and hopes the audience has fun.
Senior Evan Musick plays Wadsworth, a character he described as articulate and well-informed.
"He has fun with what he's doing because he knows what he's doing," he said.
Musick's prior work includes "Beauty and the Beast," "Mamma Mia!," "A Year with Frog and Toad" and "Freaky Friday: A New Musical."
"It's so nice every single time I do one of these shows just to see people learning as one group, and it's easier to learn that way when everyone's zeroed-in and so focused, and it's not like that 100% of the time," he said.
Aidan Halvorson, a sophomore at the high school, plays Col. Mustard.
"He is the opposite of what you think a colonel should act like," he said. "You would expect a big, tough, macho guy. But really, he's dumb and he gets made fun of a lot."
Like Musick, Halvorson was in "Mamma Mia!" and "Beauty and the Beast," but this will be his first foray in a traditional play.
Elias Hites will make her high school performance debut when she'll play the cook, a character she described as "closed-off."
She decided to audition after talking with one of her friends and described her decision as impulsive.
Her favorite moment has been rehearsing a scene where her character falls onto Al Beirman, who plays Mr. Green.
"That has been pretty fun to rehearse so far," she said.
Not including the one-act, this will be Douty's first time directing a show, though she has a bachelor's in theater performance and was involved in theater both in high school and college.
"Clue: High School Edition" is at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets, $6 for students and $8 for adults, are available on the school's website.
Wadsworth: Evan Musick
Col. Mustard: Aidan Halvorson
Professor Plum: Angel Hernandez
Mr. Green: Al Beirman
Yvette: Bailey Abrego
Miss Scarlet: Kylie Lee
Mrs. Peacock: Joey Maiden
Mrs. White: Erika Saindon
Cook: Elias Hites
Telegram girl: Adele Helleksen
Mr. Boddy: Lee Roldan
Motorist: Lea Johnson
Police chief: Ana Johnson
Unexpected cop: Jaelani William
Christian Flatness, Bella Hafstad, Patrick Holcomb, Daniel Clark, Logan Cox, Staysha Christensen, Elizabeth O'Brien