Meridian students direct the classic thriller “Clue”

A man lies dead in an isolated house. A pack of strangers tries to find out who killed him.

A classic board game comes to life as Meridian middle and high school students perform in “Clue” this weekend.

Co-director Chris Krause explained that Meridian Schools perform one play per year; last year’s play was a drama. As they saw great interest from middle and high school students, they wanted this year’s play to have a wider cast and have a lighter tone.

“(Clue) has this big wacky energy, kinda like ‘Noises Off,'” Krause said.

The script for the play is based on the cult 1985 film of the same name, starring Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Lesley Ann Warren and Christopher Lloyd. Much like the film, the play has multiple possible endings and nods to gambling. The film, in turn, was loosely based on the murder mystery board game featuring characters such as Mrs. Peacock, the Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum.

Liz Stoneburner, a junior, plays Yvette, a maid at the mansion who gets caught up in the murder investigation. Stoneburner has been involved in theater since seventh grade and is excited to be working with her theater friends again. She watched the movie “Clue” growing up and is excited to be part of the stage production.

“It’s good because it’s different from the usual comedies we do,” Stoneburner said. “There’s actually a lot of stuff (in the play) for older audiences that is still appropriate for high school kids.”

Lydia Oster, a senior, plays the character of Miss Scarlet, whom she describes as a “sarcastic and sophisticated woman” who knows how to ruin people’s lives. “Clue” marks Oster’s first performance in the auditorium at Meridian High School, which was built in 2020. Prior to its construction, plays were performed on the high school’s cafetorium stage.

“My favorite part is seeing everything fall into place. I really like that the flats (stage pieces) are flipped halfway through and it’s a different scene,” Oster said. “We never had do that.”

“Clue” was also chosen for its use of scenery. Krause said the directors and production team wanted to show off the auditorium space and sound system. With the new facilities, he hopes interest in theater will continue to grow at Meridian.

Krause saw the cast members opening up and enjoying each other’s reactions. He also saw how the confidence of junior high students has increased since rehearsals began a month ago.

“The heart of theater is just doing what we naturally did when we were 6 years old, which is to engage fully in a multitude of circumstances. When you get older, you start wondering what you look like. The theater forgets all that. Seeing them get some of that back and that sense of play has been fun,” Krause said. “We hope to continue to build this program.”

The other actors are Avery Babcock, Makenzie Cowell, Suzie Hitsman, Nichole Hunter, Devynn Johnson, Gage LeFevre, Brooklyn Mack, Gabe Miller, Ayden Moeller, Alizabeth Mullett, Emily Price, Alex Salerno and Meagan Stonerock.

“Clue” is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Meridian High School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.

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