Based on the popular board game, Cat Wrangler Productions presents “Clue: On Stage,” which will bring local theater light to life on stage this weekend at the Belfield Theatre.
“Clue: On Stage” will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 15, Saturday, October 16 and concludes with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 17, all at the Belfield Theater. Admission is $15 for the general public and $10 for students and seniors.
Director Jackie Hope, of Dickinson, described the play as exciting, colorful and a bit cheeky.
“It’s adapted from the movie ‘Clue’ which is, of course, based on the board game. And it’s almost a random set of tweets. It’s a mystery adventure with lots of action…lots of very fast-paced dialogue,” Hope said. “It makes sense when we find out who did it at the end, but it keeps the audience guessing until the final reveal of the last scene.”
Cat Wranglers Productions, which is a non-profit community theater company based in the Dickinson area, is the group behind the production.
“Cat Wranglers was formed about four years ago, but we’ve been a community theater group for at least 10 years,” Hope said. “Some of our old regulars have done it their whole lives. Cat Wranglers is therefore a relatively new entity. It was a non-profit organization that we started so we could get a contract with the Belfield Theatre.
Hope said some of their past productions include “Frankenstein,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “Sherlock Holmes.” However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cat Wranglers Productions was unable to do any production in 2020. The band was scheduled to do a Neil Simon play, which was postponed three times before ultimately being cancelled. Hope said this year that she wanted to do something light-hearted coming out of the pandemic.
“This is the first live theatrical production we’ve been able to do in over a year and we wanted something upbeat. We wanted something carefree. We didn’t want people to have to think, we wanted them to have a good time,” she said. “It’s kind of a cult movie, like ‘Rocky Horror’, but not quite a cult classic like that. We wanted something easy to watch and fun to watch.
Hope is currently completing a degree in theater at Dickinson State University. She said most of her actors had studied acting or earned acting degrees at DSU.
“It just helps me do what I do. I played and produced for many, many years. And that helps, especially when people have questions. Now we can answer it,” she said.
Pat Barnhart, also of Dickinson, plays the butler, also known as Wadsworth. Barnhart’s wife Margaret, who retired from DSU last year as an English teacher, plays Mrs. Peacock. Barnhart is also retired after working for more than 30 years in a livestock feed production plant.
“The first show I was on was at Dickinson State College, as it was then called, around 1972,” Barnhart said, adding that he’s been performing ever since. “It’s been fun working with these guys. We’ve been working together, some of us, for quite a long time.