221103ind clue

Cast members act out their roles during a dress rehearsal for The Prout School’s production of “Clue” on Tuesday afternoon. Based on the cult classic 1985 film — that itself was inspired by the legendary Hasbro game — Prout will play host to the production this Saturday and Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The play “Clue” is giving several Prout School students more than a clue on how to produce and perform in a theater production.

They are learning the technical, marketing and, of course, acting skills needed to make the performance a success, according to drama teacher Valarie Remillard who is in her first year at the school.

“They are definitely learning a lot of physical comedy. I don’t know when the last time they did something this intense,” she said in a recent interview. The show is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets are sold at the door.

Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, “Clue”  is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery.

The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu.

Six blackmail victims are invited as guests to an isolated mansion by a man who knows a dark secret from each of their pasts. It’s an item on the dinner menu they didn’t expect.

On arrival, each is given a pseudonym before being introduced to the blackmailer. Each is handed a weapon, at which point the lights are switched off and the blackmailer is killed.

Can the guests uncover the murderer before they all become victims? When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects.

Led by Wadsworth — the butler, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. “Clue” is the comedy whodunit that will leave both cult fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out…who did it, where, and with what!

Remillard has been teaching performing arts in school productions around South County for several years. Her work with students has appeared in school and community productions in East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Cranston.

“It been a lot of fun and we’re having a lot of laughs. It is a comedy,” she said about her first-time working as a teacher at Prout.

The school wants any performing visual arts productions to put the students first. It means that have strong roles in creating, managing and producing their shows, she said, adding, “We want the kids to do most of the work.”

At Prout, this is more than just acting, but also creating concepts for publicity posters, writing press releases for local media, collaborating on set design and other kinds of behind-the-scenes work.

Students agree.

“Becoming a character, giving said character attributes, quirks, a personality, while of course following the script … it’s fun,” said Charlotte Ferguson who plays Mrs. Peacock. “I grew up watching the movie ‘Clue’  with my family, it’s a wonderful comedy and truly a joy to act in, how could I pass up the opportunity?”

Thomas Simonetti, who plays Mr. Green, said that he grew up with a passion for theater, but in high school, he has discovered the reasons.

“I have an outlet to express myself. There’s this sense of unconditional acceptance, and that is present in all theater companies I’ve worked with,” he said. “I chose to audition for ‘Clue’  to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone.”

“I’ve had little experience with high-intensity and quick-moving straight plays so ‘Clue’  was perfect,” Simonetti added. “I’ve found joy in experimenting with different character choices along with collaborating with cast members.”

Chase Nerbonne plays the Motorist and said, “I’ve always liked theatre because acting can also be genuine emotions that come out in the form of a script. Being part of a cast is like working with 10-20 of your best friends.”

Nerbonne, a senior, has been involved in Prout theatre since freshman year.

Nola Haynes, who plays Miss Scarlet, echoed many others’ sentiments. “The theater is a way for me to express myself. ‘Clue’  is an amazing play and being a part of it is such a dream.”

In addition, these and other students are learning various kinds of acting techniques and simply what is required for a show produced for an audience and when casual behaviors need to be rehearsed so that they have a polish not often found in their normal behaviors.

“For instance, when a doorbell rings, I have everybody turning to the door, almost in a panic. It’s now got very Pavlovian for them to know what they need to do. They can’t ignore it or wait for someone else, as they might normally do, to answer the door,” she said.

They are learning, she said, that performing means performing in a way that requires them to be focused on demonstrating behaviors on stage rather than being too casual about it, as teenagers often can do.

“I really tried to do some frozen moments here in class and when they did it, they realized, ‘Oh, that’s what it is,’” she said.

Frozen moments in acting are when actors ‘act’ out a scene without moving. Students have to arrange themselves in a position and use facial expressions that will allow the audience to guess what the scene is about.

“It’s nice when the extracurricular world and the curricular world balance themselves out,” she said about how the often-heard phrase about the mimesis of art imitating real life.

The Prout School’s John Neidl Auditorium is located at 4640 Tower Hill Rd. Wakefield. Free parking is available at the school. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. This is an all-ages show and doors to the theatre will open at 6:30 p.m. Concessions will be available for purchase in the lobby.

Write to Bill Seymour, freelance writer covering news and feature stories, at independent.southcountylife@gmail.com.

(1) comment

Deannarusso

There is an error regarding the dates. There is no show on Sunday. Friday and Saturday only.

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