With the Bryant Players’ first performance of the Clue premiering October 12th, I sat down for an interview on October 5th with the Director, Addison Mueller, the Assistant Director, Robert Simoneau, and the show’s lead actor, Connor Evans. Mueller’s description of the show is as follows: “Six guests with colorful pseudonyms and even more colorful pasts arrive at the mysterious Hill House for a dinner party. But when their host, Mr. Boddy is murdered, everyone is a suspect. Working with the butler and maid, the six guests must work out who killed Mr. Boddy, where, and with what”. The play, which is based on a movie and a boardgame, is a show that has something for everybody; it has a classic whodunit storyline with a comedic tone, poking fun at topics such as murder and sexuality.
The show is adapted from the 1985 movie of the same name, and this is the first time the club will be putting it on since 2009. Mueller took the initiative and reached out to the directors and some other members of the 2009 production to get input while putting the script together. Both Mueller and Simoneau agreed that this was one of the most difficult productions they have done. Once the show was casted there were only thirty-two days to until opening night, and they have been working hard with the cast to be ready for it.
One of the most difficult tasks the directors faced was casting. There was an overflow of talent at this year’s audition, and many male participants looking to join the Players. There is no small role in acting, and this is especially prominent in Clue. Most of the roles available are for main cast members, as the show focuses heavily on only a small number of the cast for the entire duration. Simoneau said that both himself and Mueller were heartbroken to reject good actors, but a show this tight required a small cast. As much as they would have loved to have a bigger cast, it just was not feasible. Before auditions, they worried they would not have enough people to put on the show; however, the Bryant Players seem to have grown in popularity because there was no issue filling each part this year.
The main character, the Butler, is played by Evans. He was able to give a few details about his role. Evans described his character as more than just the head of the house. During the show the audience is meant to realize that the butler is smarter than he seems. He said that the show has been a challenge, but the rest of the cast are in the same boat. He went on to say that the directors have been a big help and they want the show to be great. The President, Daniel Plumeri, and the Property Manager, Michael Fisher, were aslo given a lot of credit for all they did to help create Mueller’s vision.
The show is also incredibly tech heavy. There is one room shown at a time and the set changes often throughout the performance. Evans said that it took him and the rest of the cast a long time to put the whole set together. The show also relies heavily on timing, which needs to be perfect. The directors explained that it took a lot of work because everything needs to be precise for the show to make sense. The actors must be ready to say the next line at just the right moment and their timing cannot be off. Every joke and every monologue must to be delivered at just the right time and the stage needs to be set at the right moment or the whole scene could be ruined. They believe the cast has put a lot of work into the show, especially relating to their timing and Evans said that it took a lot of time and practice for him and the rest of the cast to master their timing skills.
There was only a little over a month to put Clue together, but this is a show that everyone should look forward to. It will be at Janikies Theatre in the Unistructure Building on campus. Showtimes and prices are as follows:
October 12th and 13th – 7 p.m.
October 14th – 2 p.m.
Students – $5
Faculty and Staff – $7
Adults – $10
Tickets can also be purchased ahead of time in the Rotunda at a discounted, presale price. The presale prices are three dollars for students, five dollars for faculty and staff, and seven dollars for adults.