Clue: On Stage

Jason Harrington

There are few things that bring people and families together like sitting around a dining room table and playing a game. This year, I have started a game design class because of my love for games and my tendency to study them. It’s a strange coincidence that this year the fall play is actually based on a game.

I remember having a ball playing Clue as a child with my family. I would stand in the hall waiting for my father, dressed in his mustard colored suit, to get home from work. I would have the game in hand and ask to play as soon as he walked into the house. I gave him no time to lounge around and decompress from his day.  Sometimes he would have a bad day and he would say “No.” His “no” would hit me in the gut like a dagger and my face would wrench in pain. I was never the sort of kid to hold my breath till I turned purple as a plum. Whining was more my tactic. Usually, his answer was “Yes.” My brother would run up from the basement where he was playing billiards on our green felt pool table. My mother would join us after flipping through a few more pages in her library book. We would sit around the kitchen table with candles lit around the room as we tried to deduce whodunnit. I always wanted to at least beat my brother to prevent him from bragging like a colorful peacock showing its feathers. Playing games strengthened our relationships.

I vaguely remember a version played with a VCR. A movie then came out about the game and it is a very funny – almost cult comedy – film with a brilliant cast. For me, there is a strong connection between games, theater, movies, and family. I met my wife during a Roman play called “The Merchant” while at a theater conservatory in Florida. I was the lead and she was the “piping hot slave girl” named Pasacomsa. Little did I know then that without theater, I may not have met my wife and I may not have had my daughter. Now when I get home from work, my daughter waits at the door for me with a scarlet smile on her face, white teeth from corner to corner. Like a bullet from a revolver her words fire: “Can we play?” No time to rest. Her version has a beach house on one side of the board. The game keeps changing but the family bonding remains closely knit like the fibers of a rope.

Please join the cast and crew of Clue: On Stage, November 1st and 2nd at 7:30.

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