Mystery solved

Lumberjack Theatre presents the play “Clue” on stage after the COVID-19 hiatus


Clue Cast: The cast of “Clue” gathers for a cast photo. The fall play ran Nov. 4-6. Sam Spowart (11), who played Wadsworth the Butler, said. “I thought it went really well, I am really proud of my cast mates, they all did a wonderful job.” Photo contributed by: Taylor Wadham

Evelyn Hoffman, Reporter

“Clue”  begins at a remote mansion where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and black mail are on the menu. Just like the game, the play moved into multiple different old rooms. With game cards decorating the wall and a mystery to solve, characters found different weapons while going room to room with a partner trying to find the killer. 

The cast and crew also found something else: a challenge. Returning to the stage and a live audience, this was the first performance after the upheaval of COVID-19 .

“This year was much easier than last. Having to readjust my brain back to a full production was a challenge, as we’ve all been used to the new ‘normal’. I will say, being back in the auditorium was amazing. We definitely missed our space,” Taylor Wadham, director, said.

The spring musical was cancelled in 2020, and the productions last year were presented workshop-style with a small cast with an outdoor show or digitally recorded.

“Most students had not been in a live production due to COVID-19 the last two years, so there were some special moments and a lot of learning throughout the process,” Wadham said.

COVID-19 cancelled all live performances, except for the One Act Play Festival in the spring.

“With performing live again, it was really great to have audience engagement,” Kat Shannon (9), a crew and understudy said. “You don’t realize how much you miss it until you have it back.” 

As the scenes unfolded, the audience laughed and cheered as the characters worked to solve the mystery.

“It’s always nice to hear laughs, some reassurance that you’re doing well,” Ronan Kerman (11), who played Colonel Mustard, said.

Despite readapting to live audiences, the cast completed a weekend full of performances, which concluded on Saturday, Nov. 6.  

“This play seemed to go overall really well. Everyone did great. All of the stress, time and effort pays off a lot of times,” Sam Spowart (11), who played Wadsworth the Butler, said. “Whenever you are up there you are generally just kind of pumping and kind of get used to picking up pieces if they fall.”

With a live audience, there wasn’t a moment to stop the show, like when performances were recorded. The actors moved through obstacles they encountered returning to the stage.

“There were a couple mishaps [a couple pieces of glass broke and other props fell over] but I think we hit the punches pretty well and kept going,” Abby Spitzmiller (10) who played Mrs. White, said.

In the end, the cast found the killer: Wadsworth the Butler. Overall, Wadham was pleased with the results.

“So much work goes on behind the scenes, and no one ever gets to see that,” Wadham said. “Although it was an adjustment getting back on stage, things ended up going very well, and students adapted like pros.”