Mystery & Comedy

Spring-Ford’s ‘Clue On Stage’ keeps viewers guessing and laughing

Actors (from left) Caitlyn Swartz, Dylan Clark, and Brendan MacCoy perform during rehearsals for Spring-Ford’s production of “Clue On Stage.”

Amanda Huxta, Staff Writer

During a raging storm, a skilled butler, beautiful maid, and six dangerous strangers meet in an ominous mansion. Each holds a life-ruining secret, and all are desperate to keep it hidden from the authorities. The night takes a turn for the worse, and the guests scramble to erase the evidence of their misdeeds while simultaneously trying to discover the killer among them.

Spring-Ford’s masterful production of “Clue On Stage” from May 8 to 9 kept viewers on the edge of their seats. The cast’s incredible performances captivated audience members through a 90- minute tale of lying, trickery, and murder. With the vital help of the stage crew and tech team, Spring-Ford’s theater program came together to create an amazing experience.

The biggest obstacle to overcome in the creation of the play was restrictions from COVID-19. Director Jacqueline Lippincott was determined to ensure her team’s safety while still allowing them to produce their beloved yearly play. Temperature checks were taken daily, masks mandates were strictly enforced, and club gatherings were limited to prevent large groups of people.

While the safety measures were never questioned and strictly adhered to, it created interesting challenges for the actors to overcome. Mask wearing was the hardest obstacle to master, as acting relies heavily on facial expressions.

Actor Luke Streleckis, who brought Colonel Mustard to life, explained that he found himself “focusing on the expression in my eyes and the movement of my hands to convey what I was feeling.”

Other actors agreed with this assessment, most noticeable in the comical and overexaggerated mannerisms of Professor Plum, played by Griffin Lee. It became a common practice for the actors to fling themselves into their scenes, resulting in booming laughter from audience members each time.

The actor’s marvelous performances were supported by the hardworking crew. Quick set changes were commonplace, but the stage crew’s constant practice and persistence allowed for them to be pulled off without a hitch. Similarly, a large amount of sound effects as well as several blackouts were perfectly executed by the tech crew.

“Blackouts are the toughest,” lights team member Jordan Jackson explains. “Luckily, the cast always works with us, and when opening night comes around we run like a well oiled machine.”
The teamwork was clearly evident in the final production, as audience members exited the auditorium buzzing with excitement. Each component of the department contributed to weaving a nail-biting tale that left viewers in suspense until the final scene.

“It’s a lot of work, and things don’t always go smoothly” stage crew member Hannah Anderson confides, “but it’s always worth it to see the smiles on the audience’s faces.”

Indeed, the viewers were lucky to get to experience such a unique and well-done play, and left raving about the talented team.