By Camryn Manning, Staff Writer
February 10, 2023
Every spring, Ouachita hosts a student-led production to showcase the talent and skill of fine arts students called the Muse Project. This year’s Muse Project is a production of CLUE, directed by senior Isabella Owen.
For the Muse Project, the theatre faculty evaluates various student proposals for productions and decide on which proposal is up to merit for each year’s production.
“I told the theatre faculty that I wanted to do the show for nostalgic purposes,” Owen said. “I love the board game and the movie, and I wanted to bring a light-hearted and fun show to our season!”
CLUE is about a group of strangers that are mysteriously invited to a dinner party.
“After several scandalous secrets are revealed, chaos ensues, and the group must work together to find out whodunit,” Owen said.
Having previously performed in Ouachita’s theatre productions, being on the director’s side of things has greatly changed Owen’s perspective.
“This is my first full-length play to direct,” Owen said. “I love directing so far, and it’s completely different from acting. I get to see all of the moving parts as opposed to just how I fit into the picture.”
Sophomore Amaya Hardin will be playing Miss Scarlet in CLUE.
“I’d imagine they chose CLUE because it is very different from last year’s production of Tanglewood,” Hardin said. “It is also a popular game and movie that almost everyone and their mother knows about.”
This production, different from other recent productions, has challenged the performers in different ways.
“Miss Scarlet is smart, seductive and hungry for secrets,” Hardin said. “I have to say it is very different from the other roles I have played. I am usually cast as the goofy young or old comedic character. In this production, I am a middle-aged, femme fatale character. So, it has definitely gotten me out of my comfort zone.”
Freshman Kenzie Tatum is playing the Cook.
“The Cook’s job is to serve her guests, but she may know too much about them for her own good,” Tatum said. “This role is a complete contrast to my last role, which I have enjoyed so much. There’s also a lot of physical comedy, and it’s been so fun to navigate through that, but it has also stretched me as an actor.”
Since Tatum’s character is a victim of murder, her favorite part is “getting puppeteered into the study” by the students who carry her character’s “dead body” for the duration of the show. “It’s difficult playing a dead body,” Tatum said. “I have to truly act completely still, limp and, well, dead.”
As any true theatre-lover does, everyone involved has their favorite line of the show. Hardin’s favorite line out of context is, “I’m frustrated that I find you attractive.” Owen’s is, “Flames on the side of my face!”
Part of the purpose of the Muse Project is to let students get a taste of the full scope of show production, and CLUE has allowed that.
“All of the design for this show has been done by students, from the set to costume design and everything in between,” Tatum said. “Bella Owen, our student director, has been such an incredible director, and it has been amazing to watch her bring everyone on this journey.”
With the production being student-led, it is somewhat different from other shows put on by the department, but not as different as one would think.
“It truly isn’t much different from our regular productions,” Owen said. “Theatre is based on community, and our entire department comes together to put up every single show. I also have a faculty advisor, Scott Holsclaw, who is there to help me along the way.”
One difference in this show as compared to faculty-led shows is that the connection between the students has become even more evident.
“There’s more of a personal relationship between the director and the actors,” Hardin said. “Considering that our director is also a fellow student, she knows more on a personal level about what we’re going through and what has gone on during the day. So, it has made this process a little more relaxed. She always asks what our ‘wins’ are for the day, and we celebrate our accomplishments we have had throughout that day no matter how small. That is something I, and I’m sure my fellow castmates, appreciate tremendously.” T
he show will be around 90 minutes in length and well worth attending.
“CLUE is such a funny show,” Tatum said. “It guarantees a fun experience for the cast, crew and audience.”
Performances will be Feb. 16-19,and Arts Engagement Credit will be given.