To Watson, it may be elementary, but in Marion, theater is all about the high school.
In two weeks, MHS students will perform “I Haven’t a Clue: Sheerluck Holmes Case 23,” the third melodrama from Matthew Schuler, an MHS graduate and resident of Manhattan.
The production, a murder mystery set in early 20th-century London, will be at the Marion City Auditorium March 16-18.
“I Haven’t a Clue” weaves a cast of 20 into a plot that resolves itself differently depending on the audience, Schuler said.
There are three alternate endings, he said. A “jury” comprised of audience members will place guilt on one of three possible suspects during the intermission. Which character they choose determines the entire second act, he said.
Audience involvement isn’t the only thing that sets the play apart from his others.
“The humor is a lot more situational,” he said, explaining how the scenes are more like collections of situations that are funny even apart from the story.
“We’ve laughed a lot,” director Janet Killough said. “Probably when we should’ve been practicing, we were laughing.”
In addition to all this, Schuler said the actors also re-perform parts of the play as flashbacks, allowing the audience another look at the crime scene as Sheerluck deduces clues.
“It’ll be a surreal, cinematic feeling for the audience that I think they’ll enjoy and won’t have seen before,” he said.
Schuler said basing the melodrama on well-known characters helps the audience identify with it. Besides Sherlock Holmes, the fictional British detective, Schuler included most of the murder suspects from the board game Clue, such as Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum and Miss Peacock.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.