Schreiber Theatre Company to perform Clue virtually

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Asher Charno, News Editor

Over the past few months, the theater and entertainment industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.  Many companies had to suspend their performances, and theaters on Broadway will remain closed until May 2021, so what does this mean for actors, actresses, and theater pupils? 

Last March, the Schreiber Theatre Company sold out four performances of the show Newsies, which over 100 actors, musicians, and crew members worked together to put on.  

However, this year poses new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, the Schreiber Theatre Company will be performing the play Clue entirely virtually.  The play Clue, high school edition, is based on the 1985 movie adapted from the famous Hasbro board game. 

The story unfolds at Boddy Manor, where six guests attending a dinner party arrive to find their hosts dead.  Everyone becomes a suspect, and the audience sees the cast turn against and question one another.  In the end, this comedy gives the audience a chance to become the detective and make their guesses. 

Though filmed entirely virtually, Schreiber’s adaptation of this classic required the efforts of many students, teachers, and community members.  Science teacher Ms. Christine Nelson directed Clue with assistance from junior  El Chromy and senior Susana Noto.  Ms. Lauren Foster-Holzer produced the show, and senior Lily Josephs and sophomore Talia Sinclair assisted her.  

The show was pieced together from a series of videos taken by students.  The set/background was made possible through green screens and Zoom.  The students would join on Zoom and connect to their headphones using Bluetooth to hear one another as they simultaneously recorded themselves on their phones.  Mr. Prindle used this footage and superimposed images onto the green screen, creating a background. 

“This year is different in every way and working on stage crew is no exception. In the crew there are different departments that ensure the show runs smoothly, and this year we had to figure out a way to translate that to an online setting.  This resulted in changes in jobs for some, as we now have members of the crew working in the marketing and costume department that would be doing other things normally.  But all in all it is still an amazing experience,” said Sinclair. 

This year’s cast is as follows: Hannah Brooks (Mrs. White), Mikey Capobianco (Mr. Boddy, Backup Cop), Gaia Dash (Mrs. Peacock), Emily Djohan (Cook, Motorist, Singing Telegram), Miles Engel (Unexpected Cop), Kate Magosci (Ms. Scarlet), Lara Ozcayir (Yvette the Maid), Alexandra Parker & Natalie Parker (The Narrators), Collin Reardon (Colonel Mustard), Dylan Schor (Mr. Green), Bryson Shaub (Professor Plum), Gavin Shaub (Wadsworth The Butler) and Christopher Williams (Chief of Police).

“The process of rehearsing and filming Clue was unusual and challenging.  It was difficult to lose the adrenaline and camaraderie of live performance, and technical troubles were an obstacle, but I’m proud of the final product our cast and crew have created.  We’ve all worked incredibly hard, had a ton of fun together, and made lots of memories and great art.  Clue will certainly be a memorable and unique chapter in my theatre experience, and I’m sure in others’ too,” said junior Hannah Brooks.

  Band teacher Mr. Aaron Prindle was the technical director with sound and editing assistance from sophomores Luke Ficalora and Jake Gendron.   Many parents and students teamed up behind the scenes on Zoom, creating elaborate costumes and finding props.

“Creating a virtual production has been a challenge that all aspects of the show had to deal with.  The cast, crew, and production staff all had to explore new ways of putting together a performance.   We were all stretched in many new ways, and I think we should be very proud of the finished product.   Although the show will go by quickly, there are many, many hours of work that went into this production,” said Mr. Prindle. 

The show will be open and be available for viewing this weekend, Friday through Sunday.  For more ticketing information, please visit Schreiber Theatre Company’s Facebook and Instagram pages @schreibertheatrecompany or find the link on the main page on portnet.org.