Director’s Corner: Jason Edington

Director’s Corner

Photo by Steve Hellman

In his fourth directorial achievement at WCT, Jason Edington brings his boundless energies to “Clue–The Musical”. He previously directed the 2015 hit “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “Fright Night” the same year, and then more recently the comedic gem, “The Nerd”.

 

  1. Why Clue?
  2. I’ve been a total Clue fan since my childhood. I played it all the time with my friends. We’d play the game ten times in a row at my house and never get tired of it, because it was always different. Clue is the number two game in the United States, second only to Monopoly. Almost everybody has experience playing the game. It’s one of those things. It’s fun. There’s the excitement of solving the crime.

 

With the show, you’ll be coming in and reliving your childhood, playing the stage version of the game. It’s an inter-active piece. Everyone playing has the chance of solving it and winning.

 

It’s also a musical. We have wonderful talent. Fabulous voices. And how often do you get all this fun along with the audience having an opportunity to play a part?

 

  1. How did you originally come across the script for Clue—The Musical?
  2. As a member of the WCT Artistic Direction Committee, I’m always reading plays and looking for things that speak to me. The moment I came across this script, I knew right away I had to do it.

 

  1. Are the original characters in the show?
  2. Oh yes, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, and all the rest. For the play, there’s also Mister Boddy and the Detective. Mr. Boddy is similar to an emcee throughout the show, giving out the clues, until he dies. Of course, he has to die because we need a body.

 

  1. Are there the same weapons?
  2. Right. We have the knife, the candlestick, all the weapons, only they’re way over-sized to help us create the sense of the stage being the game board.

 

  1. So everybody in the audience gets to play?
  2. Anyone in audience who wants to take a Clue card at the beginning can try solving the murder. In the end, everyone who gets the answer right qualifies that night for a drawing to walk away with a Clue board game. Then all the audience members who got the solution right during the ten shows will end up in a grand prize drawing at the end, and that winner gets two free season passes to the theatre.

 

  1. It sounds really exciting and fun?
  2. It is, and it’s a new mystery every show. Keep in mind, just like the board game, every time we play it has a different possible solution. At the start of each show, three members of the audience are called down to pull the anonymous cards for the solution of: Who, What and Where. The chosen cards then go into the “Confidential Envelope” which sits out on stage throughout the show until the end, when they’re finally revealed.

 

  1. Are there dalliances and other events to help the audience understand the motivation behind the murder?
  2. Sure, but it’s all comical. It’s meant to be playful. Remember, we’re only playing a game. The characters are meant to be stylized and over-the-top, and the action is pretty campy.

 

  1. So what do you enjoy the most about directing?
  2. I enjoy losing myself in the process. All that noise outside goes away, and I get the chance to create with my cast. The great drama teacher Stanley Meisner said, “The best acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” What we create on stage is all real, but under imaginary circumstances. My job as director is to bring the best I can out of our crew and cast and then for our audience to witness the story that we need to tell. We accomplish it collaboratively by making the best possible entertainment each night.

 

  1. So what’s next?
  2. We should sit down and play a game!

 

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Photo by Ron Greystar

A key moment in the action emerges where Joni McLeod as the Dectective arrives too late to find Ari Sunbeam as the unfortunate murder victim Mr. Boddy–who has already checked into the Hotel Kharma.

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Willits Community Theatre is located at 37 W. Van Lane (behind Shanachie Pub).

For more information on upcoming events, visit us at:  www.willitstheatre.org.

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