Tune-in for “Clue” New BHS production showcases wealth of talent

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

There has been a trend ever since Cheryl and Chris Kouns took over the Berthoud High School drama team in 2014. Every school year the couple hosts two productions, one in the fall and one in the spring. And with every audition the turnout improves.

“We had more kids audition for this show than we ever had,” Chris Kouns informed me when we began discussing the high school’s upcoming fall production – “Clue.”

“It seems to be the conversation you and I have each time. We seem to be getting more and more kids involved.”

It’s true. With 26 students fit for the stage the Kouns had to do something unconventional. So they decided to transform “Clue” into the same show, only with two completely different casts performing it. The formula is, one cast will perform clue on stage at the BHS auditorium Nov. 8 and 10, while the other cast will take the stage on Nov. 9 and 10.

According to Kouns, directing two different casts has been “both a challenge and kind of a joyful experience,” though with two directors it helps with the workload.

“It’s a challenge because you got that many more kids, so it means different styles and those kinds of things they bring to the table,” Kouns admitted. “But what’s cool about it is to see two different people who are playing exactly the same character, that are standing on the same set, reading the same words and interrupting it differently. It shows that’s what drama is, that’s why we do live theater rather than film. You bring different talents to the table, and the story can be different even though the words are the same.”

Kouns says in preparation for “Clue” they have rehearsed the two casts separately as well as together. The individual rehearsals have enabled the actors to “develop their own path and decide how they might interrupt the material,” while the combined practices have allowed the students to share hints with one another.

While there is a musical of “Clue,” the stage version BHS will perform is actually based on a new play that came out this year. It is more centered on the 1985 film of the same name, though Kouns revealed there are several differences between the new play and the original film.

What is even more interesting is while “Clue” may be considered an old-school board game, Kouns noticed nearly all of the cast had some connection to the “Clue” story, whether it was a fondness they had of the game playing with their family or hearing parents talk about the movie. “It’s a little nostalgia, retro thing. The title actually brought most of the kids out,” he confirmed.

Unlike other classic tales that were eventually brought to life on the big screen with a creative vision the writers and directors had, such as “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings,” Kouns believes what makes “Clue” special is, the numerous characters in the board game remain widely up to the player that controls them and their own imagination.

“It’s like we think we’re familiar with the characters, but really it all started with the board game. We’ve imagined them. There was never an author out there drawing a picture. The people that walk in the door [for the play] understand the game but don’t know what else to expect. We’re going to surprise them the whole way.”

“Clue” shows at the BHS Auditorium Nov. 8 and 10 (7:30 p.m.) with the first cast and Nov. 9 (7:30 p.m.) and Nov. 10 (2 p.m.) for the second cast. The tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Come support your local high school theater.

CAST LIST:

CHARACTER RED CAST BLACK CAST
Scarlet Kelsey Witting Faith Cushman
Peacock Lila Domenico Kiera Eason
White Emily Franks Juliet Babyak
Green Logan Kilgroe Jacob Isley
Plumb Angel Acevedo Conrad Ellis
Mustard Ashton Gonzales Christian Dorn
Wadsworth Issy Condon Kellan Oliver
Yvette Sophie Green Zoë Schoo
Cook Leah Walton Ellie Dodd
Motorist Gabriana Schommer Trinity Payne
Telegram Drisana Stone Abby Dodd
Mr. Boddy Ella North Eric Godfrey
Cop Kimberly Blough Sarah VanHare

Tags: , , , ,