Sentinel”s theater department knocked their last performance out out of the park with the production of ‘Clue’.


mystery man by Teia Nash

Saturday, April 1 was the final performance of Sentinel’s theater production of Clue. Our wonderful theater department worked extremely hard to put on one of the best shows I’ve seen so far, giving seniors an extraordinary last performance with which to end their high school theater careers. 

One of the first things I noticed was how many people came to see the show. I had asked around the department and heard the same thing from all of them: the show had one of the biggest turn outs they’ve seen in recent memory. 

The show played for three nights: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday….and each night was a success with a large audience filling the seats near capacity. 

Once the curtains were pulled back and the lights dimmed, it was impossible not to admire the set itself. After weeks of hard work, the SHS theater crew had made a gorgeous set and props inspired by Clue.

The foundation of the show overall was hit out of the park. From the set to lighting, sound effects, and costumes. They were all such major aspects that came together perfectly to really blow the show out of the water.

From the moment the play started, the cast had its audience members sucked in with the suspenseful ringing of a door bell. After that, we were introduced to our main characters, getting an idea of who they are as each arrived at Boddy Manor. 

Each character was so different and unique, yet you couldn’t help but love them all. Nothing was repetitive; in fact, the longer you watched the more interested you became in this murder mystery. 

One of the major pieces of the show that they absolutely nailed was the humor. Despite being a murder mystery, it was also quite the comedy. The jokes themselves were great, but the delivery was what had the theater filling with laughter. At some point or another, every character had you laughing, breaking up the intensity of everything, and having you truly entertained. 

It wasn’t just the jokes, either. The physical comedy was hilarious. A character that definitely deserves a shout out on this was Alex Henri (aka – Mr. Green). From the moment he was introduced, his physical comedy was over the top – it’s very impressive to see a nervous, skittish character played in a way that made him one of the funniest. 

Overall, all the characters had repeated moments that had the audience dying. There was even a young boy in the front of the audience on this particular night who just couldn’t stop laughing; his giggling brought a smile to the crowd’s face, and provided a challenge for the actors attempting to stay in character.

Humor aside, one of the biggest aspects that made the show phenomenal was the plot and the actors’ delivery of their lines. From the moment everyone is introduced, you come to realize all of them are ambiguously connected. Each of them have been invited to Boddy Manor by Mr. Boddy himself; however, upon arrival they are all shocked to find they were not the only person who received an invitation. A few characters know each other, but again…we aren’t told how. They are all greeted by The Maid and The Butler, but have yet to see their host. After eating, they are finally led to the study, where they not only meet Mr. Boddy, but are given the grand reveal of why each of them is present.

All of the invited guests are being blackmailed and are eventually instructed to kill The Butler after receiving weapons: the candlestick, revolver, lead pipe, rope, dagger, and wrench.  Once the lights turn out and back on, Mr. Boddy is dead, causing the group to panic. 

That’s when everything really starts rolling. They find The Cook is dead as well, and decide to take on an investigation, pairing in groups of two and spitting up. 

A driver stops in, looking for a phone, but soon finds himself dead. The Maid gets hung, officially being added to the casualty list. Then, a singing telegram deliverer knocks on the door and steps into the manor moments before she, too, is killed. Lastly, in comes a police officer, who is killed last. 

After the six deaths, the characters start accusing each other based on what they’ve found. After Mr. Plum is accused first, a police officer comes to arrest him – but then the entire show freezes, giving Mr. Plum the chance to say, “That’s not how it happened!”. Suddenly, everything reversed; actors flew across the stage as a rewind sound filled the room, eventually ending up right where they were before Mr. Plum was accused. They did this after every character was accused, and it never got old. It was extremely impressive and very cool to watch. 

I know I am not the only one who thinks that either. Every single audience member I spoke to after, mentioned the rewind, saying that they loved it, and how fun it was to watch unfold multiple times. 

After everyone’s accusation, we were hit with a plot twist. The Butler (played by junior Andrew Buchholz) turns out to be the real Mr. Boddy. He has a major flip in character going from a proper British butler to a verifiable American psychopath. And if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, Mr. Green (our skittish germaphobe) turns out to be an undercover FBI agent.

The way these two actors were able to switch their characters completely at the drop of a dime was chilling. It was one of the most impressive parts of the play in my opinion. 

I had even asked Andrew (The Fake Butler/Mr. Boddy) about the character flip, and he had told me that switching out of a British accent back to an American one is harder than one may think (along with shifting demeanor to match the new character). He had explained how going from a proper straight- backed man to a man holding everyone at gunpoint had its challenges because “it’s like relaxing, but [having] to be very angry about relaxing”.

Overall, the play was extraordinary and the plot twist had everyone surprised. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some quotes from audience members I spoke to after the play!

  • “The set was so great, and all the effects were right on!”
  • “It always impresses me how these high school kids can remember all these lines”
  • “I loved how they [rewound]; when you thought it was solved, then gave you six more options.”
  • “I loved the game incorporation with the cards, and how it wasn’t strictly Clue…which made it fun and unique.”
  • “I thought it was very impressive, especially for a high school play.”
  • “This has definitely been one of my favorite shows I’ve seen so far.”
  • “I loved it! I actually came all three nights and felt like they kept getting better each time.”

These quotes were only the tip of the iceberg when it came to what the audience had to say. I didn’t hear one negative thing, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It was a very well done show that truly makes Sentinel proud of its talented theater department (which works tirelessly to produce such quality productions for our community).

After speaking with the audience, I couldn’t help but find some of the actors to speak with them as well. I soon came to realize that most of the show’s crew were new (meaning the actors were given the chance to work with people they haven’t yet on set, while also building new friendships). 

I would have never known they hadn’t worked closely with one another if they had not provided me with this insight. Watching how seamlessly they interacted with each other, and how all of them melded with one another during the performance, made everything all the more impressive.

When asking about the actors’ favorite parts, the fake Mr.Body, Luca Khomenko, mentioned something I hadn’t thought about. He said each character had their own personal stories that connected with each other, and that “there were literally no side characters”. Even those who died right off the bat had a significant contribution to the narrative plot, adding depth to the story line. 

I also asked the same actor what the hardest part of the show was, and he commented that “For me, it was trying not to laugh at the jokes when I’m supposed to be dead”. This had me chuckling, because I know after seeing the play (and after hearing the jokes for myself) I personally wouldn’t have had the strength to hold it back. 

Additionally, when I had asked Andrew Buchholz what the hardest part was, he said, ”There’s a lot of pieces that happen all at once,” which was referring to how the play was heavy with not only dialog, but also with props and movement. This is just another factor that displays the skill and hard work of our SHS actors. 

Another aspect of the show that was extremely complicated, yet dialed in to be perfect, was the effects. Specifically the lights. 

After talking with Harper Jontow, head of the SHS Theater lights crew, I came to realize that this show was more intricate than audience members would initially realize. There ended up being new wiring and programming for the sconces, which Harper was able to do with the help of Mr. Bowmen. But with these new lights, the show had to be redone to incorporate them into the scenes. That, however, was not the only lighting challenge for this particular production. The lighting overall was very dynamic; Harper informed me that the crew needed to isolate areas much more than usual, and explained how the lighting and blackouts had to be exact in order for bodies to get off stage and for set pieces to be placed. 

The sound was a similar story, having to be timed perfectly and incorporated precisely in order to create a dramatic flare. Overall, they had every piece come together flawlessly to make the show what it was. Jontow said it best:, “Everything you see there, it was us.”. 

Sentinel has been so fortunate to have the theater department that we do. And to end the year with a bang…which could not have been possible without our wonderful seniors who have put so much love and hard work into the department, leaving a heavy impression on the rest of the SHS Theater crew. Buchholz stated that “they all have huge amounts of dedication, no matter how big or small their part is,” then continued to say that “all of them are really good about rolling with the punches and keeping it together for everyone else”. Buchholz’s words make it clear that this year’s senior cast and crew are not only a big piece of theater as a whole, but that they are leaders for their peers in their own right.

Jontow only solidified this when I asked them about the graduating seniors: “The program would not have been what it is right now if we didn’t have those seniors. I am so grateful to have known them. They all have had such a huge impact on me personally and the theater program as a whole. I know I wouldn’t be where I am, and the theater wouldn’t be where it is, without them”. 

The seniors have successfully made their mark in our school, and will be leaving their crew with some big shoes to fill. However, I have no doubt that our theater students will rise to the occasion and make them proud.