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Murrysville

Whodunit? Find out at Franklin Regional's production of "Clue"

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, 10:33 p.m.

It was a Franklin Regional Thespian. In the auditorium. With the candlestick.

Board game fans will immediately recognize those three sentences as an accusation from the classic game “Clue,” and those in attendance next weekend will have their own chance to try and solve a murder mystery as club members stage the play based on the 1985 film.

The rights to perform “Clue” have only recently come available, and Franklin Regional is one of the first student groups in the country to stage it.

Several cast members are stage veterans at the high school but, for physics teacher Richard Sunny, everything is new.

“This is my first time serving as a director,” Sunny said. “My experience is on the stage, so my challenge is knowing what the director needs to know and what goes into a successful show.”

First and foremost is a good group of students. Sunny said he has that, no question.

“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I couldn’t do any of this without the group of kids we have this year.”

That group includes student director and senior Mandy Bach, 17, who said she’s happy to have some extra rehearsal time.

“We’ve staged shows with only a month (of rehearsals), and this time we’ve had a couple months to rehearse,” Bach said.

That extra time is helpful for the 16 cast members, who have a script full of goofy situations and rapid-fire jokes.

“It revolves around timing,” senior Claire Pamerleau, 17, said of the show’s humor. “A lot of people have seen the movie, so they come in expecting a certain thing, which we want to give them, but also put our own spin on it.”

Pamerleau plays Mrs. White, and said her biggest challenge is remaining aloof in the face of multiple murders.

“I have to keep in mind that she just doesn’t care about anything,” Pamerleau said. “When someone dies, her reaction is sort of, ‘Well, that happens.’”

For junior Jonah Hartman, the challenge will be staying in character — particularly his character, who sports a British accent.

“Sometimes when I’m talking in the accent, I’ll say a word wrong or get tongue-tied, but I think I have it down,” Hartman said.

Sunny said the cast works very well together.

“Since the kids know each other so well, timing hasn’t been a big issue,” he said.

Sunny said part of the reason he chose “Clue” is its place in pop culture.

“The Thespian shows aren’t always well-attended,” he said. “I think doing a show a lot of people recognize might help us draw the same kind of crowds as the musical.”

“Clue” will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 10, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the high-school auditorium. Tickets are $4 for students and $8 for adults.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Counter-clockwise from the top left, Emma Culley, Elissa Novelli, Riley Schmidt, Jonah Hartman, Lily Apthe, Ian Sunny and Vishnal Anantharaman rehearse for the Franklin Regional Thespians’ production of “Clue” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Counter-clockwise from the top left, Emma Culley, Elissa Novelli, Riley Schmidt, Jonah Hartman, Lily Apthe, Ian Sunny and Vishnal Anantharaman rehearse for the Franklin Regional Thespians’ production of “Clue” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.
From the left, Jonah Hartman, Enma Culley, Elissa Novelli, Riley Schmidt, Ian Sunny, Vishnal Anantharaman and Charlie Hough rehearse a scene for the Franklin Regional Thespians’ production of “Clue” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
From the left, Jonah Hartman, Enma Culley, Elissa Novelli, Riley Schmidt, Ian Sunny, Vishnal Anantharaman and Charlie Hough rehearse a scene for the Franklin Regional Thespians’ production of “Clue” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.
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