Based on the popular board game, Cat Wrangler Productions presents "Clue: On Stage," which will bring the light of local theatrics to life on the stage this weekend at the Belfield Theater.
“Clue: On Stage" will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, Saturday, Oct. 16, and finish with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 17, all at the Belfield Theater. Admission is $15 for the general public, and $10 for students and senior citizens.
Director Jackie Hope, of Dickinson, described the play as exciting, colorful and a little naughty.
“It is adapted from the movie 'Clue' which is, of course, based on the board game. And it is almost a random set of tweets. It’s a mystery adventure with loads of action… a lot of very quick dialogue,” Hope said. “It actually makes sense when we find out who done it at the end, but it keeps the audience guessing right up until the final reveal in the last scene.”
Cat Wranglers Productions, which is a nonprofit community theater company based out of the Dickinson area, is the group behind the production.
“Cat Wranglers was incorporated 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 been doing it all their lives. So Cat Wranglers is a relatively new entity. It was a not for profit that we put together so that we could contract with the Belfield Theater.”
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 not able to do a production in 2020. The group was scheduled to do a Neil Simon play, which was postponed three times before it was ultimately canceled. Hope said this year she wanted to do something light-hearted coming out of the pandemic.
“This is the first live theater production we’ve been able to do in over a year and we wanted something happy. We wanted something care-free. We didn’t want people to have to think, we wanted them to have a good time,” she said. “This is kind of a cult film, on the order of 'Rocky Horror,' but not quite as big of a cult-classic as that. We wanted something easy on the eye and fun to watch.”
Hope is currently finishing up a degree in theater at Dickinson State University. She said most of her actors have studied acting or earned theater degrees from DSU.
“It just helps me do what I do. I’ve been acting and producing for many, many years. And it helps, especially when people have questions. Now we can answer them,” she said.
Pat Barnhart, also of Dickinson, is playing the butler, also known as Wadsworth. Barnhart's wife Margaret, who retired from DSU last year as an English teacher, is playing Mrs. Peacock. Barnhart is also retired from working more than 30 years at a plant producing livestock feed.
“The first show I was in was at Dickinson State College, as it was called then, around 1972,” Barnhart said, adding that he’s been acting ever since. “It’s been fun working with these guys. We’ve been working together, some of us, for quite a long time.”