Seneca solves the case of ‘whodunit’ in fall play

A murder gets solved by Seneca High School students from Dec. 12 to 14 during their production of "Clue on Stage."

Seneca High School brings a popular game board to life for their fall play.

Students have been rehearsing for weeks to prepare for the school’s opening night on Dec. 12 of their fall production “Clue on Stage,” a screenplay based on the board game Clue.

Throughout the night, the students are cast as characters from the board game — Col. Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Prof. Plum and Ms. Scarlet — and they figure out who murdered the host.

I grew up playing Clue with my family and I think it’s cool to be on stage and to perform it and bring it to life is really cool,” said Emilio Mazza, who plays Wadsworth.

Unlike the theatrical production of “Clue on Stage,” Seneca will not have various alternate endings, but one student disclosed there is an ending that is “superior to all.”

As the cast runs around on stage, literally, finding weapons of choice and learning who is the likely suspect, Director Robert Yates said the play is a mystery, but the production takes a comedic approach to it. Viewers will chuckle at the slapstick, over-the-top bits done by the actors, he said.

Some in attendance to the play will recognize something familiar; Lenape High School chose and performed “Clue on Stage” for their fall production. Seneca students and Yates, however, are not intimidated by it.

I hope people enjoyed what they saw there because we’re sister schools, and also because they’d want to see it again,” Sophia Cino, who plays Mrs. White, said. “Luckily for them, there’s more performances here at Seneca. I hope we would not disappoint our audience.”

Student Samantha Wheelis, who plays Mrs. Peacock, said the audience will feel the energy coming off the cast throughout the night as actors will be shouting, screaming and yelping — sometimes emphatically — to keep spectators in the guessing game.

Seneca has been able to stray away from using Christmas- or holiday-themed productions that many high schools do and divulge themselves in scripts on other topics that challenge the actors.

There’s a lot of plays out there that aren’t about Christmas and we felt we were doing a disservice to the student body in not allowing them to learn and experience different types of plays besides holidays,” Yates stated.

He added “Clue” is a relatively new script (it was released in 2018) and, as a director, he felt the need to jump on it and to throw in different twists and turns.

Yates makes a show what he sees in a show, and then we work together to see that,” Cino said. “We work together to make a unique performance that’s true to the script, but different from what you’ve seen before.

With a more intimate play, each of the nearly 12 actors have important roles and lines to recite and they’re given the capability to become leads in their own ways.

The characters in the show are big and with not that many characters, there’s a lot of stage to fill, but I think it’s brought out a lot in actors that I have seen it in other plays as well,” Cino said.

The show is Dec 12, 13, and 14 at 7 p.m., with matinee on the 14 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 cash and gold passes will be honored at the matinee show.

It’s really entertaining and it’s good to support your high school kids who are trying to have a good time,” Wheelis testified.