Miss Scarlett in the Office with the Scissors?

Brandon Woolley, our Guest Director, blogs about the first four weeks of rehearsal and the run up to opening night of Dial M For Murder!

Dial M 1

That headline above could be an alternate title for Dial “M” for Murder. As we finish up our fourth week of rehearsals, it feels like we have narrowed down our choices and are making headway on piecing together everything in our own game of CLUE.

A few days into tablework it occurred to me that it might be a fun cast bonding experience to bring in the timeless board game and play a few rounds. While it may not have helped us along in staging the play, it certainly was fun and informative in other ways.

Cassie Greer (Margot) is quite the strategist, I’ll have you know…

Keeping us in line throughout our CLUE escapades is our cracker jack Stage Management team.

Dial M 2Emily Trimble (SM) and Sammy Sugar (ASM) work to make sure all the blocking we’ve set down as we are working thru the play remains the same. Emily’s script becomes a Bible for both her and us as she prepares to “call” the show.

Here they are pictured up in the Piazza Room at the Venetian – no doubt on book and waiting to give actors their lines when called upon.

That’s Dennis Kelly in the background. He plays Lesgate – the would be murderer in Act 1 – and a few other folks in Act 2.

As we have worked thru the play it has become increasingly clear that putting together a thriller/mystery piece is a puzzle.

Just when you think you’ve fixed one moment, you realize that an actor needs to be all the way on the other side of the stage to open a door or reveal a clue. The second act in particular has had many of those moments creep up on all of us.

Dial M 3Pictured from left to right: Andrew Beck as Tony, Judson Williams as Inspector Hubbard, Balloon, and Cassie Greer as Margot

One thing that has worked to my advantage is the spectacular cast and crew.

They are quick on the draw and full to the brim with ideas. It’s my first time working with most of them and with Bag&Baggage, but it feels like the perfect combination of people in the room.

Without them, I’d probably still think it was Colonel Mustard in the Bathroom with the Candlestick.

Come join us on opening night at the Venetian to see just how thrilling and interesting this 1940s classic can be!

Who knows, maybe we’ll even have CLUE set up in the lobby for ya!

Brandon Woolley
Guest Director