- Charlotte Sommerhoff
Stay at Home with Clue: On Stage
Clue: On Stage is based on the 1985 movie that is set during the Red Scare, the Cold War, and McCarthyism. On its face, it's about six strangers who are invited to dinner at a grand mansion—but they have no idea why they are there. In the house are a cook, a maid, a butler, and the six strangers: Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Ms. Scarlett, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, and Colonel Mustard. A series of murders occurs over the course of the play, and they try to figure out whodunnit (spoiler alert: it's not who you think!).
Performing Arts Director Sara Jane Lilley took on the challenge of putting together a full performance during this pandemic. Many adjustments have been made to cooperate with physical distancing measures. Ms. Lilley says that one of the challenges of putting on a performance during COVID is keeping our school community safe while also trying to maintain some semblance of normality for everyone. She says that being creative with set designs and blocking is very important to keep everyone safe during COVID-19. Prior to conferring with the Safety Committee to put on this show, Ms. Lilley was preparing numerous options for how that play could happen. She says that she's basing the varied options on different scientific studies about physical distancing and air circulation.
One of the biggest challenges of putting on a play during a pandemic is remaining flexible. Ms. Lilley says, “I never thought I would be thinking about those things as a director, but, you know, just making sure that I have all of our options covered and we can switch to a new way of doing something at the drop of a hat.”
Despite the pandemic, Ms. Lilley is excited for students to have an opportunity to perform. She’s also excited to see theatre again. “For the last fifteen years of my life, my job has been to come to work and sing everyday, and now I can't sing, and I can't perform with anyone else.” Giving people the opportunity to perform safely is so important to Ms. Lilley and what she is the most excited about. And, of course, she’s excited to share this play with our community and add some positivity to the craziness that is 2020. One of the biggest benefits for Ms. Lilley is that she is ultimately teaching kids to be creative during tough times. “Just because it’s hard doesn't mean we give up.”
Clue: On Stage premieres on November 13th and closes on the 15th. You can catch the show live on the Broadway on Demand app from the comfort of your own home—more details are forthcoming, so stay tuned. Tell Dramatiques to break a leg as they navigate the challenges of putting on a play during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. We can’t wait to see Clue done Lilley-style.