A Modern-Day Clue: The Murderous Mansion of Mr. Uno
Caitlyn Scherger '22
It was the butler! Or was it? With “The Murderous Mansion of Mr. Uno”, the inner detective will be brought out as you try to solve this comedic, murder mystery show. Written by Don Zolidis, the production is being directed by Katie Chohan ’22 and Emma White ’22, and is being performed by various members of the college organization Theatre Arts Group (TAG).
“It’s really just supposed to be like a parody,” said Katie Chohan ’22, “it’s kind of supposed to be a spoof of Clue.”
And what a parody! The play opens with the main characters, various members of society with sketchy backgrounds, all gathering for a mysterious dinner party.
The weather is awful, with rain pouring and thunder striking every once in a while, foreshadowing that tragedy is near. These guests all received similar anonymous letters that requested their presence at the dinner. If they didn’t show, consequences would be dished out appropriately. Tensions are high before the dinner even starts as every guest desires answers but receives none. However, before anyone becomes aggressive, the host and sender of the letters, Mr. Uno, arrives at the dinner party and announces that all of the guests are being blackmailed. In order for Mr. Uno to call off the blackmail, every guest has a task that they must complete first.
To incentivize the guests to follow through with his demands, Mr. Uno locks the house from the outside and coats it with a poison that will kill those who try to leave early.
Unfortunately, that night is not an opportune night for Mr. Uno either. The power goes out due to the storm, and within that blackout, Mr. Uno winds up dead.
With Mr. Uno being the only one who could have disarmed the traps around the house’s exits, the guests and house workers must work together not only to figure out which one of them killed Mr. Uno, but also to ultimately be able to complete the tasks that Mr. Uno had arranged for them.
As the play continues, tensions continue to rise to higher levels as suspicions and accusations are thrown about in hopes of figuring out who the killer was. As time continues and the investigations intensify, Mr. Uno is not the only casualty of the night, as other members of the dinner party end up dead, presumably killed by the same person who killed Mr. Uno.
By the end of the play, the killer is revealed, but it might not be who you thought it was. There are many different possible endings that could be selected, each one with a different outcome. This is one of the reasons that TAG decided to perform this specific play.
“We can reuse [the script], cause there’s eleven different endings for who the possible killer may be, so if a different ending is chosen every single time it’s performed, it’s going to be a different play, every single time,” said Chohan ’22.
And this freshness not only prevents the actors from becoming bored with the same script, but also allows and encourages the audience to see it multiple times since the ending is different every time.
There’s always a new twist or angle that can be incorporated into the show to give the performance a new fire and captivator.
It’s not just the different endings that add to the joviality of the play; many of the actors’ own interpretations and decisions, in cooperation with their directors, dramatically affect each performance.
This crucial piece of the puzzle that lies at the theatrical and performative heart of “The Murderous Mansion of Mr. Uno” is one of the things that Chohan is most excited for audiences to see and experience.
“It’s really fun to see how each person embodies their character,” she said. “It’s like the role would be different if somebody else was playing it, like they bring their own little magic to it.”
This magic helps bring the script to life and really gets the audience invested in finding out who the dreadful killer is among the group. “It’s funny, you’ll get a kick out of it,” said Chohan. She further underlines that the show gives the audience an opportunity to “support your friends and fellow Yellow Jackets!”
So, save the date and make sure you don’t miss this show! It is only open to the public for one night, Nov. 1 at 6:30 PM in the Brock Commons Living Room. It is free to see, but donations to TAG are welcome, so they can continue to put on performances. This is a once in a lifetime chance to help figure out who killed Mr. Uno and more while supporting a student-run arts organization.