Throwback: MacDuffie’s Fall Production, Clue! — Revisited


Jae Mason

Each of the dinner party guests, posed after a new character’s entrance.

Yuki Kuang, Staff Writer

A mysterious dinner party with 6 complete strangers, each masked with a fake name, their dark pasts concealed—— the MacDuffie Theater Department presented to us a breathtaking murder-mystery dark comedy, CLUE, on November 19, 20 and 21, directed by Edwin F. Lyman and produced by Becky Beth Benedict.

The mystery begins with the summoning of six guests to the dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy (played by Steven Griffin). The guests are referred to as the colors as they each represent and dress in a certain color. Ms.Scarlet, who works in “classified affairs,” (played by Beatriz Leschziner); Plum, a psychology professor (played by Nathan Stevenson); Mrs. White, a widow (played by Vivian O’Connor); Mustard, a Colonel (played by Oliver Barcome-Laflamme); Mrs. Peacock, a politician’s wife (played by Emily Parnicky); and Mr. Green (played by Brooklyn Moore). The guests are welcomed by Mr. Wadsworth, the butler (played by Gabe Shumway) and Yvette, the maid (played by Sophie Stetson), who introduce the guests to their master and host of the dinner party, Mr. Boddy. Mr. Wadsworth explains the reason for the guests’ presence: they have all been blackmailed by Mr. Boddy for their dark secrets, which will lead them to jail once exposed. He then goes on passing around various lethal weapons to his guests: a rope, a gun, a dagger, a candlestick……The lights go off, a shot is heard—— Mr. Boddy is found lying dead on the floor. The guests are all appalled and are desperate to find out the murderer among them. The play then proceeds as the colors try to gather clues of the murderer by looking around the house, with more and more victims found dead and danger impending.

The play reaches its climax when Mr. Wadsworth stands out to reveal his true self—— he and Mr. Boddy switch their identities; he is the actual Mr. Boddy, the blackmailer, and host of the party, whereas the actual Mr. Wadsworth (the fake Mr. Boddy) is killed by him for knowing too much. The true Mr. Boddy announces that, instead of having one murderer among them, everyone is a murderer. As a suspect himself, he secretly manipulates all the murders that night so that the colors will kill the spies that are going after him. However, he is not the ultimate winner. The situation flips once again as Mr. Green also discloses his true identity: an FBI agent replacing the true Mr. Green to join the party to investigate the whole incident. The FBI agent then exposes who they each kill and why they kill, finally answering all the mysteries for the audience. As the truth finally comes out, Mr. Wadsworth snatches the dagger and tries to kill the FBI agent but is in turn shot dead by him. The colors are arrested as the cops barge in and the final scene drops.

Overall, the play did a wonderful job of balancing suspense and humor. Even when suspense gradually builds as the number of death cases increases, the actors’ performances never fail to make the audience laugh. Colonel Mustard in particular, serves as a comedic character who always acts and speaks clumsily despite his military title. When a motorist (played by Sungju Cho) comes knocking at the door, asking to use the phone, the crowd suspects him as a killer, whereas Mustard blatantly asks the motorist “Are you a killer?”; when the motorist asks, “where is [the phone]?”, he answers, “What? The body?”, although the entire crowd has been nervously concealing the bodies’ existence in the house. The costume crew, stage crew, and booth’s consistent dedication and hard work also made the play’s wonderful visual and sound effects possible. The costume crew wants to express their special thanks to Mrs. O’Connor. Costume manager Sophie Griffin expressed, “Whenever we need a tailor, she adjusts the costumes for the actors, always very supportive and instantly responsive.” 

Beatriz, who played Ms.Scarlet, said, “The most fun would be the moments backstage with the cast and crew. Although this is my first time performing in a play, both Ms. B3 and Mr. Lyman taught me a lot. They treated everyone as equals and tolerated our mistakes. They have an awesome creative process.”