Has Rye Neck Got a “Clue” for You
By Janice Llanes Fabry
It took the likes of Paramount Pictures to transform “Clue” from a board game to a motion picture in 1985. It’s taking Rye Neck High School’s formidable Theater Department to bring the murder mystery comedy onto the high school stage 33 years later. At their Performing Arts Center on October 26 and 27 at 7:30, the audience will enjoy finding out whether it was Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, or one of the other colorful characters who did it with the candlestick in the conservatory.
“As the first high school in the country to present ‘Clue,’ we’re essentially creating the high school production here,” said Scott Harris, Rye Neck Middle and High School Theater Director. “We’re breaking ground.”
Harris discovered a new stage adaptation of the cult classic film had debuted last year when he came across a regional theater production in Pennsylvania. The aficionado hightailed it to Buck County and loved it. Subsequently, he set his sights on having Rye Neck be the first high school in the country to perform it.
“I was always a huge fan of the movie, which was a sleeper hit,” he recalled. “It
was a creepy murder mystery and, at the same time, it was hilarious and campy.”
He acquired the rights from Broadway Licensing, which specializes in the production of theatrical properties. Last spring, the agency sent him an advanced copy of the high school edition’s script. After sharing it with the students and having them watch the movie, they couldn’t help but be intrigued. In this humorous whodunit, a host at a small dinner party with only seven guests, a butler, and a maid in attendance turns up dead.
“The students became familiar with this particular brand of comedy in the guise of a murder mystery. I thought it would be a learning experience they could embrace,” said Harris, whose fall plays have become as storied as the District’s spring musicals.
Having held auditions on the first day of school, he assembled a healthy cross section of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. There are 12 cast members and nearly 40 in the crew.
“The fall play, our fifth, is a nice counterpoint to our students’ academic pressures and it’s something they should be proud of,” explained Harris. “We keep it fun, yet the lessons the students learn are as varied and as important as those in the musical. For instance, with this particular production, it’s comic timing.”
No doubt, hilarity will ensue when Rye Neck’s talented thespians take the stage.
Tickets are all general admission and will be sold at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for students/children.
“Clue” cast backstage with Director Scott Harris