There is nothing like live theater. Live theater compels the audience and keeps them glued to the story unfolding on stage. The large theater community in Olathe allows live theater to thrive. Rising stars have been produced through our high school theater programs, some even landing roles on broadway.
I am a part of the Olathe East theater department myself and have, first hand, seen an abundance of passion for live theater in my peers. As the cast and crew of Olathe Easts spring production: Clue continues to build a production from the ground up, the importance of hard-work and creativity becomes apparent.
Clue is a murder mystery show, based on the board game and movie, and full of twists and turns. It features a cast of zany characters as they attempt to solve an “unexpected” murder. Set in 1954, 6 Washington D.C residents meet at Boddy manor on a stormy night after receiving an allusive invitation and a pseudonym. The show quickly takes many dark turns as the manor’s butler; Wadsworth (played by Olathe East Senior Zach Newkirk), takes the lead. Wadsworth is a very formal, very uptight butler. He is extremely straightforward with the manors guests but still keeps a mysterious quality to him. Clue is fast paced and comedic, which makes for a very entertaining show and highlights the hard work of our cast.
Newkirk, as well as the rest of the Clue cast, have worked efficiently to learn both lines and blocking for the show to come together. Newkirk worked with our school’s dialect coach to learn a British accent in just 2 weeks and has worked hard to keep it constant. Our director, Matthew Rentfrow, puts a lot of trust in his cast. And with that trust the cast has worked extremely hard to memorize a very involved show in just a few months.
And of course our hard work on this production does not just apply to our Cast. Our crew, made up entirely of high school students, constructed and painted an entire 9 scene set in just about a month. These kids worked 6 days a week, working with multiple renditions of the set and 3 design changes. Clue also has elements of practical effects throughout the script (like falling chandlers, hidden safes, and secret passageways) that had to be added onto an already impressive stage. The painting of the set is also something to be marveled at, somehow this talented group of students took a small drama theater and turned it into a beautiful 1950s manor. The crews work on this production shines through our set. Along with their hard work, problem solving skills, and their willingness to get the job done.
Our director made a very interesting point that truly encompasses our show; people and their families have been familiar with Clue for years thanks to the board game and movie. But by putting this iconic story in a new medium, it allows the audience to experience it again for the first time. With the addition of live musical accompaniment provided by senior Jackson Tabel, Clue on stage will feel like its own unique experience.
So if you have no “clue” what to do the first week of April, why not see a great show put on by talented students?
The show opens April 5th and will run till April 8th.
Tickets range from $7-$11 and are available at: https://www.oetheatre.com/tickets (tickets will also be available at the door)
Olathe East highschool: 14545 W 127th St, Olathe, KS 66062