Masuk drama club bringing Clue! to YouTube
For the Masuk High School’s drama club, the show will go on — even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Students will be presenting their live production of Clue Online! on Wednesday on YouTube beginning at 7 p.m. The remote performance is the culmination of months of rehearsal for a production that was to be held in late March — until the state entered quarantine to mitigate spread of the virus.
“I’m so impressed,” said Masuk High drama club producer Jamie Sherry about the students’ dedication to bringing Clue! to an online audience.
“The kids showed such perseverance,” added Sherry. “They have really shown an ability to adapt and be flexible. The reason we, as teachers, love teaching Masuk students is their willingness and ability to adapt to change. These performers wanted to show everyone what they can do … and they are making it happen.”
Sherry credited new director Tom Simonetti, of Valley Shakespeare Festival fame, for inspiring the students to move from the in-person, on-stage creation to an online production of the renowned murder mystery.
"Tom was really dedicated to making this happen … no matter what, he believes the show must go on,” said Sherry.
When concerns grew among students and staff that the quarantine could scuttle the production altogether, Simonetti harkened back to one of his former theater troupes which had taken their performance online using Zoom to broadcast on YouTube.
“I wanted them to see what they could do from a different angle … use what you have to make this happen, and we are lucky to have this technology, so why not use it,” said Simonetti.
Simonetti said script changes were necessary to make the murder mystery work for an online audience. The result, said Simonetti, of all the rehearsals — two hours daily since March 28 — has been exceptional.
Sherry said Simonetti has “great vision,” and the student bought in. Students had begun rehearsing lines in January, but when the schools shut down and social distancing prevented large gatherings such as theater productions, the focus shifted to the technology end of making it happen.
“The kids are pretty tech savvy,” said Sherry, adding that Masuk students are already using Google meets and Zoom with their distance learning, so using these platforms for Clue! was an easy transition.
To aid with the online experience, Sherry said schedules were established — to maintain social distancing — for students to come to the school and pick up costumes and props for the performance.
The ensemble cast features “The Suspects:” Sarah Goldfarb as Wadsworth; Ella Boyle as Yvette; Lauren Davis as Mrs. Peacock; Jessica Nivison as Mrs. White; Jude Bailey as Col. Mustard; Sean Gaynor as Professor Plum; Jake Minch as Mr. Green; and Carli Kopfmann as Miss Scarlet.
The remaining cast features Ari Schultz as Mr. Boddy, Luisa Friend as The Cook, Maya Kunschaft as The Motorist, Nina Gomez as the Singing Telegram Girl, Grey Simons as The Cop and Emmi Bowen and Emily Read as agents.
To view the Wednesday performance, visit https://youtu.be/bCs0J6HKiME. To donate to the drama club, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/masuk-drama-presents-clue-online-tickets-103179392340?aff=Email
“Live performances are a big part of humanity,” said Simonetti. “All the work put in to make this happen is a testament to how wonderful these students are … how deserving they are to have this experience. The community deserves to see what these talented performers can do.”