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ASU Theatre brings fun-filled comic mystery to the stage with 'Clue'

Six characters sit at a dining table with a butler to the left

Photo by Abigail Wilt

February 14, 2024

By Abigail Wilt
ASU student writer

Catch the show

7:30 p.m. Feb. 16–17, 23–24

2 p.m. Feb. 18, 25

Galvin Playhouse Theatre

You’ve seen the movie. You’ve played the board game. Now it’s time to see the play, at Arizona State University. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre brings the classic whodunit “Clue” to the Tempe campus starting Feb. 16.

“Expect a good time,” said Nya Salahdeen, an ASU sophomore double majoring in theater and marketing who plays the role of Mrs. Peacock. “Leave your stresses at the door, because it’s going to be a great show.”

Third-year PhD student Clay Sanderson is directing the production. He has been the drama teacher at Tempe Preparatory Academy for 11 years. Sanderson said he has enjoyed helping the ASU acting and production team bring this entertaining production to the stage.

“It’s fun. It’s smart. You can do whatever you want,” Sanderson said. “It’s not realism, so I want the designers to use their imagination.”

The cast of "Clue" stands on stage, huddled around the investigator
The School of Music, Dance and Theatre brings the classic whodunit “Clue” to the Tempe campus starting Feb. 16. Courtesy photo

While the play is reminiscent of the classic 1985 film and the board game from the 1940s, this production is uniquely ASU — including a set design with large panels that fly in and out onstage at the Galvin Playhouse Theatre

“The set is incredibly complex,” said cast member Leroy Hood, an ASU student pursuing an MFA in dramatic writing. “We’re still sorting that out as a cast — the moves and the different set pieces and rooms. It’s going to be a really amazing night of theater on that front alone.” 

Faculty member Erik Flatmo, the show’s scenic designer, wanted a set that felt larger than life. The resulting design includes vibrant colors, massive room panels representing the different areas of the mansion, and unique transitions from one room to another.

“This is not a production where one scene ends, there’s a blackout, and then you change it,” said Flatmo. “This is a world where these things are going to move, furniture’s going to come on and off, actors are going to run around as you go from one room to another. That’s a huge, huge undertaking.”

Fortunately, stage manager Emily Salcido, a third-year student in the theater design and production program, is up to the task. This is her third production at ASU.

“I think some of the more challenging things I’ll encounter is having to call multiple transitions within other transitions,” she said. “It’s not just as simple as calling a wall to fly in. It’s calling curtains to go up, pallets going on and other ones going off, more walls flying in and out, all while still calling sound and lighting.”

In addition to the production team flexing their technical skills, the cast gets to show off their comic prowess. Comedy is a huge part of this production. Laughter is woven into the characters, dialogue and delivery from each actor. It’s a lighthearted intermission between other shows of the ASU season, which focus on more serious themes.

“Every person in this show is a really strong comedian,” said Ollie Slade, a fourth-year theater student who plays Miss Scarlett. “I am constantly laughing the whole time I’m here, because everyone keeps finding so many funny moments in an already really funny script.”

This show is for all ages and has something for everyone. McKenna Garvey is a fourth-year psychology and theater student who plays Mrs. White. She said to be prepared for a fun night out that keeps you guessing.  

“I would tell the audience to brace themselves for a wacky, wonderful time filled with twists and turns that you would never imagine happening,” she said.

Tickets are on sale through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

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