Clue Cast

When Marietta High School’s Speech and Drama Department recently staged a play, it was a rather unique performance. Instead of purchasing a script for their production, they chose a different route to their finished product.

“We were going to perform ‘Aladdin’, but after looking at the script, none of the class really wanted to do it, so we decided to try and come up with something better,” said freshman Dovan Bucher. “One day we had a substitute, and they recommended a murder mystery and we loved that idea.”

The group began to look for plays within that genre.

“We had looked for a script but couldn’t find one we liked, so Dovan brought the idea to me to produce ‘Clue’,” said Sharon Manley, Speech and Drama Teacher at MHS. “I told him that I had always wanted to have a student-directed and -produced play.”

And she got it.

Bucher began working on the script in February and finished it in approximately a month, leaving the group with a month for rehearsals prior to performing the 45-minute, one-act play before a live audience on April 12 and again on April 14.

In the play, several guests are invited to an English mansion for a party. Their host dies, and the guests discover that he has blackmailed all of them, so all have a motive to kill him. Before the police arrive, the guests must then use clues to figure out who killed the host.

“While I was writing, there were times when I would sit with my hands on the keys and I couldn’t figure out what to write that would move the story forward,” Bucher laughed. “I remember thinking it was tough and I didn’t know whether I’d ever want to do it again.”

And Bucher didn’t just write the play – he also directed it. He auditioned and cast characters and the other students helped with the set and costumes.

“Going through it with the cast for the first time was a strange experience,” he stated. “Hearing the people that I wrote these parts for reading their lines for the first time, that was a whole new perspective. I learned I like directing better than writing, and I’d like to have a hand in the direction for next year’s play, too.”

Bucher said that directing is “way more fun that sitting behind my computer for hours.” According to Bucher, he wrote a big chunk of the script during an extended break from school caused by bad weather, a process that he did mostly alone, although he was helped with comedic aspects of the script by a friend and fellow cast member upon their return to school.

But as tough as the writing was, Bucher admitted that having the writer present during rehearsals provided an invaluable benefit.

“Rehearsals are much easier when you have the scriptwriter there,” he said. “When you have another person’s script, you really have no idea how to do the lines, but when you have the writer and you stumble on something, you can stop and say, ‘Hey, how am I supposed to say this line?’ What my castmates did with the script was amazing.”

The play has been deemed a smashing success by attendees, but no one is prouder than Manley.

“Dovan took all of the responsibilities that I would have had in terms of producing the play,” said Manley. “This was a great experience for not only Dovan, but all of the kids. This won’t be the last student-led play. I’m hoping that the next one will be just as successful, if not more so.”

In addition to Speech and Drama, Bucher, the son of Quentin and Tonya Bucher, is also active in Robotics, Tomahawk Talk video production class, Art, and Boy Scouts.

“I love speech and drama, and I’m always excited when we’re given a script for a play, but I don’t know if want to jump right into writing another,” explained Bucher. “That was a lot of effort, and if I ever do it again, I wouldn’t want to try and do it in a month.”