KENILWORTH, NJ – The mystery filled Hasbro board game and 1985 Paramount film comes to life at David Brearley High School in the comical theatrical production "Clue: On Stage." This is a fast-paced whodunit show filled with murder, mystery, and mayhem. Under direction by middle school language arts teacher Michelle Van Steenacker, her smile is infectious when she speaks of the production. “This is such a special group of kids. I cannot say enough how wonderful they all are.” This will be Van Steenacker’s 21st show that she has directed at Brearley. Some of the students in the cast she has worked with since the seventh grade.
The show is set in the 1950s where six guests are invited to a dinner party at the mansion of the secretive Mr. Boddy. The guests who are all strangers to one another are all in for an unpleasant surprise. Mr. Boddy has been blackmailing each of them and threatens to expose their secrets unless one of them kills his butler, Wadsworth. When Mr. Boddy ends up getting killed it is up to the guests to find out who caused the murder, as it could be any one of them.
With 23 members in the cast, they all praise each other and the work they have accomplished. Together they emphasize the play requires them all to collaborate and work together as a team. “We all get along. We are all friends and we have fun being together’ the energetic cast comment. “The support for this show is insane” exclaims Mia Fuschino who plays Mrs. Peacock. Melanie Mangano who plays Mrs. White has known Ms. Van Steenacker since she was 12. She has either co-directed or directed every show that Mangano has been in. “Ms. Van makes everyone feel special. She listens to everyone’s ideas and truly cares about how everyone is doing. We have all been so lucky to have her as our director.”
The production crew equally has been working diligently to make sure everything is in order for opening night. Set designer and Science teacher Mr. G expresses his thanks to all the kids. "Everyone showed up every weekend, and we couldn’t have done it without them." Lighting technician Matt Hart says he has learned a lot from audio and lighting designer Joe Gasper. Gasper is a senior and this is his 15th show that he has done audio and lighting for. He says the behind the scenes work “is a way of creative expression.”
Not only are these students extremely talented, they also contributed to the show’s publicity. Faith Lobo who plays an FBI agent created a TikTok promo titled “Shaking Hands in Character” where over 154 K people have watched the video. See the link here https://vm.tiktok.com/xREuQE/ to view the clever creation. Along with the TikTok video, the cast has been uploading photos to the Brearley Instagram account. They even organized a contest to win a gift certificate to Escapology in Garwood while advertising the show. More details can be found on Instagram @brearley_bears.
Performances for the play will be held at the David Brearley High School auditorium on December sixth and seventh at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $5 with student ID and may be purchased at the door. There will be one fifteen minute intermission.
David Brearley High School is located at 401 Monroe Avenue, Kenilworth.