Did Miss Scarlet kill Mr. Boddy in the study with a candlestick?
Or did Colonel Mustard commit the murder using a wrench in the kitchen?
Questions about who, where and what weapon they used form the centerpiece of the latest play to be staged by Ilwaco High School students.
“Clue: On Stage” is a theatrical reworking of a classic board game and movie. It is directed by Rachel Lake, assisted by Missy Bageant.
Opening night at the Hilltop Auditorium in Ilwaco is 7 p.m. Friday, April 12, with seven performances to follow. The schedule includes two shows on Saturdays and Sunday matinees.
The murder mystery board game, Cluedo, was invented in England in 1949.
Three random cards representing a murderer, a weapon and a location are drawn unseen and placed into an envelope.
Players throw dice and move their colored tokens around the board asking their opponents questions then attempting to solve the crime.
The tokens are named for the six suspects.
A movie titled “Clue,” the American name of the board game, was made in 1985; Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn led an ensemble cast. The comedy gained a cult following, in part because the film was released with three endings.
Lake has long been keen to stage a production. “It has always been on my radar to produce and the students love the movie,” she said. Putting on the show has been a significant challenge because of the illnesses hitting Peninsula schools, she said. Also, three cast members missed rehearsals because of an educational trip to Germany.
Wadsworth, the butler who directs the action, is played by Ashtin Bell, and the mysterious Mr. Boddy is played by Brendan Chabot.
Julia Corsi plays Miss Scarlet, Gabby Bell is Mrs. Peacock, Arianna Bell is Mrs. White, Erin Hines is Colonel Mustard, McKenzie Mulinix is Professor Plum and Jasmine Judd is Mr. Green.
The maid, Yvette, is portrayed by Emma Lake, and other characters are the cook (Serena Kuhn), a cop (Kat Johnson) and a motorist (Tristan Trudell).
Adding to the action are Bella Brownlee, Chloe Martin and Alex Carper, and Jared Hill provides a “mysterious voice.” Several students are serving as understudies for the bigger roles.
A teacher, Alena Short, will play piano, and Will Murray and Jessie Huntley Stern will run the lights.
Ashtin Bell is a senior who has enjoyed her involvement in IHS drama since moving to the Peninsula from Nevada for her sophomore year. “I have learned a lot,” she said, crediting her director and supportive cast.
As the butler, she is pivotal. “It can be stressful at times,” she said, “but it’s interesting to see the different characters develop — everybody puts their own spin in it.”
Another senior, Arianna Bell (no relation), has developed a long theater resume through high school. “It’s just fun getting to be someone you are not.” she said, noting the success of IHS drama is a close cast with Lake to keep them focused.
The play will open at 7 p.m. April 12 at the Hilltop Auditorium in Ilwaco. Subsequent performances are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 13; 2 p.m. April 14; 7 p.m. April 19; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 20; and 2 p.m. April 21. Admission is $10, at the door or tickets in advance from the Chinook Observer office on Bolstad Avenue (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays).
Lake, the director, encourages people to attend and enjoy the mystery.
“The students have put a ton of energy into the play and they are excited to perform,” she said. “It is a witty show with a lot of one liners.”
Arianna Bell echoed that. “We have had a lot of fun with this cast and hope a lot of people show up,” she said.