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Q&A with Kyle McClaran, Director of G.C.T.'s "Clue: The Musical"

Garland Civic Theatre’s newest production presents a unique feature in live theater: an invitation to the audience to exercise their junior detective skills in solving the mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room, and with what weapon in Clue: The Musical, based on the wildly popular board game.

The murderer, the weapon of choice, and the room are determined by cards randomly drawn by select audience members. Based on the card combinations, there are 217 possible endings to the show. However, the audience participation doesn’t stop there.  

Kyle McClaran, Director of Clue: The Musical, explains in the following Q&A the magic of mystery in Garland Civic Theatre’s “Clue…”

Q1: What’s the audience’s role in Clue: The Musical?

To enjoy the fun and suspense of the show in discovering who the murderer is. For those who wish to, they may follow along in filling out a form that they are given as they come into the theatre, and they can write clues in charts, figure out and compete to win in finding who the murderer is.

Q2: Based on the cards drawn, there are 217 possible endings. What’s your approach to rehearsing that many ways to end a show?

That’s part of the magic and suspense of theater. They (the audience) need to wonder “how on earth did they rehearse those endings,” rather than know that. It would be like asking a magician to reveal their tricks. It’s more interesting if it’s left to them to wonder. 

Q3: Song and dance weren’t a part of the board game or the 1985 movie. How do you think the song and dance aspect augments the mystery and fun of the game?

The songs and dances enhance the pleasure of the moment, and they advance the plot and character development. And sometimes, it’s just simply for pure, musical theater entertainment value.

Q4: From And Then There Were None to CSI: Miami, what do you think is the draw to a Whodunit?

Mysteries have always in stories, radio programs, movies, theater and books presented mass appeal to the human race all over the world. Now, if I knew the answer to why that is, I’m sure I could unlock endless answers to so many things about the psyche of mankind. It is, in a way, kind of a wonder in itself. Why do people like it? I could list reasons, but who knows which in any one of those could be the real thing? There’s always been an appeal to people just like in romance novels. There are certain things in the world that in literature, theater, in radio that always have a touch of magic to them. Mysteries are right up at the top.

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Garland Civic Theatre’s Clue: The Musical will run Friday’s and Saturday’s, Nov. 27-Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. with Sunday performances on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m. There is a Thursday performance on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $27 at GarlandArtsBoxOffice.com or 972-205-2790.