“Clue-d” In: Live Theatre That’s “Best for All”

The lights are off on Broadway, but they’ll be shining brightly in the Kirby Arts Center this weekend! Lawrenceville’s Periwig Club is presenting  a live production of “Clue: On Stage” The show will be staged on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed via livestream.
 
What’s it like to produce a play during a pandemic? Tiffany Wen ’23 (stage crew) and Zach Finacchio ’23 (actor) “clue-d” us in to the brave new theatrical world of staging a production during a pandemic - while adhering to “Best for All” practices.
 
Tiffany Wen ‘23
As a technician on deck crew, I’ve noticed many changes Periwig has put into place to keep this year’s fall production COVID-friendly. We need to wear disposable rubber gloves and we need to wear masks and POM tracers at all times. One of the biggest changes for me is wiping down all the props and furniture with Clorox before the show, something I never needed to do last year. [This play has] helped me see how much work goes into putting on a show, and how much commitment each person puts in to help the show be a success.
 
Zack Finacchio ‘21
We began virtual rehearsals for “Clue” at the start of the school year. While I had successfully participated in several of Lawrenceville’s virtual performances last spring, it was obvious to me and the rest of the cast that it would be difficult to kick rehearsal into high gear until we could meet in person. However, in just one week, we have officially staged the entire production, complete with rapid set changes, chaotic chase scenes, and one of the most physically exhausting finale sequences I have ever acted in.
 
While I was at first disappointed [the School could not, due to the pandemic, stage its annual fall musical], “Clue” not only carries the energy and pace of a traditional musical but has also provided some of the greatest cast-bonding memories amidst major obstacles. By far, “Clue” has been one of the most challenging productions I have ever done. Not only have COVID restrictions kept us constantly on our toes in terms of maintaining social distancing and following regulations, but my role (“Wadsworth”) has demanded that I learn a new accent and maintain the energy to get through such a fast-paced and farcical show.
 
Overall, I am beyond grateful to be able to perform in “Clue” and I’ll be shocked if we don’t keep the audience on its toes throughout the show. Watching Broadway shutdown and then extend its shutdown and then extend it even more, it’s been so easy to imagine a drastic change for the future of live theatre. However, more than anything, this production has reassured me that live theatre can prevail through these uncertain times.
 
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.
 
 
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Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.