Mr. Green (Aria Moore) makes a serious accusation about Mrs. Peacock (Kayla Kohlhase) while holding a feather. A surprised Wadsworth (Toby Russell), Miss Scarlet (Amanda McDowell) and Professor Plum (Jager Hunt) look on.

Mr. Green (Aria Moore) makes a serious accusation about Mrs. Peacock (Kayla Kohlhase) while holding a feather. A surprised Wadsworth (Toby Russell), Miss Scarlet (Amanda McDowell) and Professor Plum (Jager Hunt) look on.

Juneau-Douglas High School’s latest play is a murder-driven farce

Clue-neau-Douglas High School theater’s play mixes mystery and comedy.

The scheduled production of “Clue: On Stage” has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns and a two-week shutdown of public schools.

JDHS students. In the auditorium. With laughter.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s Crimson Bear Theatre Department plans to knock ‘em dead with a production of the farcical whodunit “Clue: On Stage.” The play opens Thursday, March 19, and it is largely based on the screenplay for the 1985 comedy inspired by the classic board game.

“There is nothing like an escape from the world in a theater, laughing with the community for an evening of fun,” said Michaela Moore, English and theater teacher for JDHS, in an email. “And the serious acting students at JDHS were wanting to try a farce to challenge themselves with the acting skills of developing cartoon-like characters and being able to keep up with the fast-paced plot and the slapstick energy of a farce. And on top of that, to be able to pull off iconic characters that almost every American is familiar with is a blast.”

“Clue” revolves around a colorful cast —Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green and duplicitous butler Wadsworth —navigating a madcap tangled web of murder and blackmail.

“The play, unlike the movie, has one ending, but the ending is surprising and zany,” Moore said.

Students also spoke highly of the mystery-comedy that runs about 90 minutes with no intermission.

“This show is a great blend of comedy and mystery,” said Cahal Burnham, who plays Colonel Mustard, in an email. “It’s a lot of fun to be in, and it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.”

[Real-life musical couple inspired new show]

Actors said it was fun to play potentially nefarious characters.

“I’ve never played a potential murderer before,” Burnham said. “It’s very new and exciting for me. I feel like I can feel the suspense and mystery of the dialogue and characters.”

Amanda McDowell, who plays Miss Scarlet, agreed.

“I have to say, playing this kind of character is super fun and is completely different from the roles I have played in the past,” McDowell said in an email.

It was also a change of pace for Kayla Kohlhase, who plays Mrs. Peacock.

“I always seem to fit right into the more innocent, sweet characters like a cookie cutter,” she said by email. “It’s been really really fun to play around and grow Mrs. Peacock. I’ve also never played an older character, so it’s definitely a fun and refreshing change. The character is very physical, and it’s been very fun to play with the cast and find what works for each character.”

Students also said the play’s comedic nature was fun.

They said it wasn’t much of a challenge to keep the play’s humor from stagnating, even after hearing the same punchlines for multiple weeks.

“It’s not very hard to make the jokes feel fresh,” said Kaitlyn McDowell, who plays Mrs. White. “That’s how it is to be an actor, in this instance, we’re acting to be funny so as we improve our characters, the show becomes funnier and the jokes get better.”

Plus, they said the jokes are solid, and the cast chemistry combined with physical humor provides a deep well to draw from.

“Sometimes, when the cast is feeling so drained the jokes can feel familiar, but then someone will make a new face in reaction, or someone will say something in a way they’ve never said it before and everyone busts out laughing,” Kohlhase said.

“I’d say we all add our own little flair to the comedy, and it never really gets old because it’s always evolving with our characters.”

Wadsworth (Toby Russell) talks to an inquisitive police officer (Maggie Pollizzotto), who thinks there may be more than partying afoot.

Wadsworth (Toby Russell) talks to an inquisitive police officer (Maggie Pollizzotto), who thinks there may be more than partying afoot.

Colonel Mustard (Cahal Burnham) clutches his pipe near a familiar board game during rehearsals for JDHS’ upcoming production of “Clue: On Stage.”

Colonel Mustard (Cahal Burnham) clutches his pipe near a familiar board game during rehearsals for JDHS’ upcoming production of “Clue: On Stage.”

Mr. Green (Aria Moore), Professor Plum (Jager Hunt), Miss Scarlet (Amanda McDowell) and Colonel Mustard (Cahal Burnham) are surprised by something Wadsworth found just out of sight while rehearsing for JDHS’ production of “Clue: On Stage.” (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Mr. Green (Aria Moore), Professor Plum (Jager Hunt), Miss Scarlet (Amanda McDowell) and Colonel Mustard (Cahal Burnham) are surprised by something Wadsworth found just out of sight while rehearsing for JDHS’ production of “Clue: On Stage.” (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

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