A Clue Into the Fall Play

The upcoming virtual production is the first in school history


Chloe Schwab

The cover of the popular family game Clue. This year’s play, “Clue”, will be adapted to keep safety a top priority, while the Spotlight Players will work to make a good quality virtual play to watch from home.

Junior Rachel Vrazel, practicing for the role of Yvette on zoom. Preparing to perform on stage with her fellow cast members, dressed head to toe in 1950’s fashion, and sitting proper at a table. But, when she looks out, something is missing. The crowd. Trying to deduce who caused the disappearance of all of the audience members, she makes her conclusion. The culprit: the Coronavirus

After the cancellation of Spelling Bee, the spring play, The Spotlight Players are back with a fall play production of “Clue.” This semester, the play will look quite different than usual. Instead of an in-person live show, “Clue” will be a live streamed radio play. The FHC theatre troupe has been planning since July how to make the production COVID-19 friendly for the cast, crew, and audience. 

This year’s auditions, apart from the play, will also be different. Rachel Vrazel has been a part of the theatre department for three years running. Although she has been doing school online, she is up-to-date on current events in the department. 

“People can audition with a 30-60 second video submission or in person,” Vrazel said. “Callbacks will most likely be virtual, but of course, it all depends on what happens.” 

The Spotlight Players want to be inclusive and make sure people who want a part in the play can audition in a comfortable setting. Auditions were during the first week of October. After that, they will go straight into rehearsing. 

Junior AJ Vargas has been a part of the Spotlight Players for two years and has participated in play by acting in the cast.

“For the cast, most of the rehearsals will be on Zoom because it is a radio play, so it is less physical acting,” Vargas said. “And in-person rehearsals will be limited to dress rehearsals.”

Since the radio play is dependent on the vocal element and not movement, it is important that the cast works on their voice and tone more than ever. As for the crew, it will also be done differently due to COVID-19, crews would gather to work on the set in groups.

Sophomore Analiesa Hollowood has been involved in theatre for one year, and worked with the crew to produce sets last year.

“We are going to have crews come in one day at a time to work on the sets,” Hollowood said.

By limiting the number of crew working at a time allows people to social distance and avoid large groups when working on the stage. Overall, this year the number of cast and crew members have been cut to a quarter of the people due to COVID-19. 

“The number of people who can work on the play will be cut down from 90 to 25 people working,” Vrazel said.“But, officers are working to make sure people can be involved in the theatre department. Hopefully, in the spring we can increase participation.”

Since a radio play is different from most of the plays the Spotlight Players produce, Sammi Reise, Historian of the Spotlight Players, is pumped to try a different method of acting.

“We are really excited to be able to get to do a show again and do something out of our comfort zone. Especially for actors, you really need to work on your voice,” Reise said. “It’s also kind of exciting for the crews because we really get to experiment. Like how are props going to work, how will the set look, how do we add lighting in certain places to make the stage come alive even though we are not really acting out.”

With a different style of play, it challenges the cast and crew to be creative about how they will make the play the best quality even if the cast is sitting down, talking into a mic. This also allows the cast and crew to explore the variety of plays they can do. There are more kinds of plays than a musical.

Although the cast will be on stage acting, the radio play allows them to wear themed masks and to social distance by sitting at a table while using mics to act, similar to “12 Angry Jurors” the previous fall play. They will still dress in costumes and maybe implement props to make the best quality show for viewers possible nonetheless. 

The theatre department recently announced the cast for Clue. The eight people pictured here will play the role their card corresponds with. (Chloe Schwab and Sydney Tran)

Due to the cancellation of “Spelling Bee,” the theatre group lost money from producing a play that never happened. So hopefully, this year “Clue” can raise money to recover. 

”The school does not fund the plays we produce, so we depend on the money we get from admissions and donations to produce more plays,” Vargas said.

Even though the play is virtual, there is still a fee for admission to the radio play. 

“We are only charging a little because we still need to make some of the revenue back from all the money we lost,” Reise said

But, the beauty of a virtual play is that anybody can watch. And it is more people can have access to the play, such as friends and relatives who may not be able to attend physically.

We can expect to see the play show during the month of November, and despite the unreliability and uncertainty of the future they are pushing past the struggles and working hard to make it worthwhile to tune in to. Everyone is optimistic about what is to come for this play and school year. 

“The show must go on, and we need to look forward to the future,” Hollowood said.

Below is the link to both pre order tickets and view this play. “Clue” be available for viewing on Dec. 11.