Chloe Jacko, Ada Bon and Emerson Kapp rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Chloe Jacko, Ada Bon and Emerson Kapp rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Whodunit? ‘Clue’ to keep audiences guessing

Soldotna High School drama department puts on show with multiple endings and divergent casts

The Soldotna High School Auditorium will play host to a murder mystery next weekend — but in a twist, each time the story is told, it’ll have a different conclusion.

“Clue,” put on by the Soldotna High School Drama Department, runs April 25-27, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna High School. Director Sara Erfurth said each showing will have a different ending, in a riff on the classic 1985 film. Shows are at 6 p.m. each night, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday that has a completely different cast and even its own student director.

Erfurth said the film is a personal favorite, which has resulted in a lot of fun as the department has realized the show with all its dynamic characters and design sensibilities.

Putting together a second cast and director was a decision made because so many “talented, enthusiastic people” came out to audition, more than the show can support.

So a second cast, under the vision of student director Rory Funk, came to be. All told, there are roughly 60 students involved in the production.

Both Erfurth and Funk said Thursday that they hadn’t seen each other’s shows in their entirety, and that their separate visions and casts have made for two unique spins of the same show.

“No matter which show you go to, you’re going to get a different feel, you’re going to get a different ending, potentially a different cast,” Erfurth said.

That represents, she said, the unique advantage of live theater, where the audience can really be kept guessing every time and the actors get even more freedom to experiment with their characters.

Funk said that they’d never filled the role of director before, but they have worked in every aspect of a production. Seeing the way each actor takes characters or lines in their own direction, then focusing those perspectives into a single vision has been “an incredible thing.”

It’ll be exciting, Funk said, to see the way every permutation of the plot and characters plays out when the show runs next weekend.

Representing the divergent casts and shows are Ada Bon and Ariana Gonzales, who both play Mrs. White. They both developed their own versions of the character and wear entirely different costumes.

Both variants of White are ladies who know martial arts and orchestrated the deaths of their husbands. Bon said her White is let down by all the men in her life but can’t bear the thought of being alone — Gonzales said her character is more hardened, and has come to resent the men in her life.

Bon said the show has a fun, macabre sense of humor, where the deaths and the murders are played for laughs.

AJ Sorrell said the show oscillates between tense, dramatic sequences and genuine humor. She said the different characters embody distinct stereotypes with the kind of intriguing dynamics that create fun space to play in for actors.

Playing host to all those characters, twists and screams, said actor Audrey Hobart Anderson, is the “gorgeous” set. She said the crews who put those elements together don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Callie Babitt, who helmed set construction for the show, was hard at work seeing those sets come together on Thursday, only a week before the start of the show. She said it’s challenging to get everything put together on a tight turnaround — they’d had to share the auditorium with the school’s prom festivities until only a few days prior.

Looking around at a variety of settings bookshelves, a garden space, a dining table and a study, Babitt said she was proud to see all the detail they had included and some of the history that are in set elements that have seen use in past productions.

Her job, she said, is “overseeing all the little bits.”

Actors Delaney Smith and Mya Fielden said that the production is unique because of its divergent takes, endings and visions. They said that people will hopefully feel compelled to return and see the way those changes manifest across each showing.

“Clue,” put on by the Soldotna High School drama department, runs just one weekend, Thursday through Friday, April 25 through 27. Shows are 6 p.m. each day with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10, with a discount available for those who purchase tickets to multiple showings.

Find more information at “Soldotna High School” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Chloe Jacko, Ada Bon and Emerson Kapp rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Chloe Jacko, Ada Bon and Emerson Kapp rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Leihla Harrison and Chloe Jacko rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Leihla Harrison and Chloe Jacko rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Emerson Kapp, Leihla Harrison, Chloe Jacko and Ada Bon rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Emerson Kapp, Leihla Harrison, Chloe Jacko and Ada Bon rehearse “Clue” at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The cast of Soldotna High School Drama Department’s “Clue” rehearse at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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