WHODUNIT? We Didn’t Have a Clue…

In January, Brooklyn Tech’s Visual & Performing Arts Department showcased the mysterious and comedic play, Clue. Performed after a busy week of midterms, this year’s play was humorously engaging and lively.

Clue takes place at a dinner party in the mansion of millionaire tycoon Mr. John Boddy (Michael Diamond,‘24), whose six guests have mysterious pasts that are used for blackmail. After Mr. Boddy mysteriously turns up dead, all the guests become suspects. Led by the butler Wadsworth, (Jillian Witt, ‘23), Miss Scarlett (Anna Bodzin, ‘25), Mrs. Peacock (Alice Hellman, ‘24), Mrs. White (Sally Ann Williams, ‘23), Colonel Mustard (Isabel “Izzy” Haick, ‘25), Professor Plum (Sebastian Poscablo, ‘26), and Mr. Green (Di Curinga, ‘24), each of the characters anxiously try to find the murderer as the body count begins to stack up. Their increasingly perplexing search is filled with humorous situations and plot twists.

The cast did tremendously well internalizing and fine tuning their characters, and making very few mistakes in the final production, after overcoming initial challenges when rehearsals were forced into a small room in the basement.

It was initially difficult to keep up with the fast pace of the play and understand which character was which, especially since each of them entered shortly after the other. Regardless, the play was still captivating all throughout.

Photo by Tiffany Bao

“It was incredibly cramped compared to the stage, so it would get really crowded, and we didn’t have any of the set or the props, so we just had to mimic and imagine that they were there,” said Stage Manager, Matthieu De Robles (‘23). “Instead of using the basement room as a full stage, we portioned it to parts of the stage, but the cast themselves were incredible with using what little we had.”

In her role of Wadsworth, Witt mastered the personality of her character through her fast-paced dialogue and stiff, sharp body movements. Play Director Ms. Massie said, “Ever since the rehearsals, Jillian really got better and better with the character. It made me laugh every time she’d collapse on the floor.”

Diamond, playing the role of Mr. Boddy with a calm, swaying voice practically floated above all the manipulation and tension. Williams, playing the role of Mrs. White, and Bodzin, in the role of Miss Scarlet, fully embodied their respective bold and sassy characters.

Poscablo, playing the egotistical Professor Plum, put together a fascinating and funny performance. Hellman owned the role of Mrs. Peacock as the comedic relief of the play, with a very loud, jumpy, and enthusiastic personality that caught the audience’s attention in tense moments.

Curinga, playing Mr. Green, was also a comedic focus of the show, never breaking character with his clumsy body language and a hopelessly snobby personality. Adelaide Oppenheimer (‘26), playing the role of French maid, Yvette, with a thick accent and loud voice that was delightful to watch, especially with her spontaneous character.

Senior Leopold Gordon (Cook, Motorist, Cop), junior Saradine Jean Louis (The Singing Telegram and Chief of Police), and freshman Lucas Lu (The Unexpected Cop), only appeared in a few scenes of the play, but all made entertaining contributions. The scenes involving these characters utilized dramatic irony, as the audience knew about all the chaos and intrigue in the house while the characters did not.

Haick, the understudy for Colonel Mustard, was pressed into service in the role after the original actor, Arlo Neuwirth (‘24), fell ill. After missing many rehearsals to work on the winter concerts, Haick had only a week’s notice to tackle the role. “Choosing Izzy [Haick] was a natural choice, and she pulled it off,” Massie reflected. “I had told her she could use the script, but she didn’t want to. She knew many of the lines and we definitely commend her for stepping in.”

Along with the impressive acting, the play would not have been complete without the remarkably detailed costumes. Not only did the costumes catch the eye, but they also reflected each character’s unique personality. Perfect examples were Mrs. Peacock’s bright blue dress, fur jacket, and small hat with a peacock feather befitting her energized character. Miss Scarlett’s long, bright red dress with a sparkly silver waist and straps also drew attention against the darker palette of the other costumes. Costume Designer Majka Kiely-Miller (‘23), who has held the role since Tech productions came back in-person, made all the major costuming decisions. De Robles said, “She took lots of inspiration from the ‘90s film version of Clue and she did a really good job bringing everything to life.”

Photo by Felix Gerzon

Alongside the performances, there was also a great technical aspect to the play. It opened up with flashing colored lights and the sound of thunder in Mr. Boddy’s mansion, impressively rendered by set designer Mr. Michael Fisher as a complex web of rooms on a single stage.

The set featured the entire mansion, with the stage split into different sections for each detailed room. In the film version of Clue, the set often shifts around from scene to scene because the plot demands a lot of movement. Since this is impossible to do in a play, Fisher spent hours squeezing Mr. Boddy’s mansion onto the stage of Tech’s auditorium.

Ms. Massie explained, “It was very challenging because we didn’t have a lot of walls, but that was a choice made overall because of the technicality of the play. This play was actually one of the most technical plays we’ve done.”

To create the illusion of multiple rooms, Fisher utilized doors and walls to create distinctions between each room. The stage crew also brought in and removed furniture between certain scenes to signify the change in rooms.

The lighting design by Mr. Ronald McIntyre also played a crucial role in tracing the actors through each room, as the spotlight illuminated certain portions of the set, playing visual tricks on the audience and complimenting the sound effects with dramatic colors and flashes.

The sound design by Dorian Arana Castro (‘24) set a perfectly mysterious mood. With crashes of violent thunder, a loud ringing doorbell, and an alerting gong to announce dinner, Castro captured the tension of the plot and captivated the audience.

This year’s play was a great success, with many detailed technical effects, eye-catching costumes, and an enthralling performance from the actors. As De Robles noted, “this year’s play was much more complex, but an extremely fun and fulfilling act to bring to the stage.”