You played the board game when you were a kid. You saw the movie in 1985 (if you were born then), and now you can see the stage play at the Willingham Theater in Yadkinville.

Based on the screenplay by Johnathan Lynn and written by Sandy Rustin, Clue is one of the silliest shows ever written. The characters are intentional caricatures, and the acting throughout the ensemble was hilariously stylistic.

Directed by Amanda Barnard, with set design by Charlie Kluttz and lighting design by Jacob Aaron Reeves, the show includes original music by Michael Holland that helps move the action along with choreographed mayhem. Becky Beamguard ably stage manages all the craziness.

Clue is mostly an ensemble piece with Wadsworth the Butler acting as a kind of droll and longsuffering ringmaster. Todd Gerber performed quite brilliantly as Wadsworth, using his excellent comic timing and lively physicality to keep the action flowing and keep the other kooky characters in line. Gerber gets a star turn toward the end of the show when he unravels the mysteries and does impersonations of every one of his fellow actors. It’s a madcap scene underscored with clever music and lighting.

The well-cast and well-matched ensemble includes Yvette, the maid (played by Madison Robertson); the Cook (Robin Patterson); Colonel Mustard (Sean Farrell); Mrs. White (Shannon Grimes); Mr. Green (Robert Evans); Professor Plum (Alex Wilson); Mrs. Peacock (Jean Wentz); Ms. Scarlet (Shakara Canter); Mr. Boddy (Xander Grogan); Motorist (Brooklyn Bradford); Unexpected Cop (Gerianne Hannibal); Singing Telegram Girl (Liz Gambill); Chief of Police (Dee Matthews); Cop (Jasmine Cynthia Rosario); Newscaster (Chad Barnard); and the Newscaster Voice Over, done by Fallen Trees Recording Studio.

Of course, it is a dark and stormy night when the party of supposed strangers meet for a mysterious dinner party at the grand Boddy mansion/country house/house on a hill.

As the guests arrive, Wadsworth assigns them pseudonyms and exhorts them to talk among themselves without revealing their actual identities. A condition of the lavish evening is that they must play the roles of Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. White, and so forth.

The mystery guests chat among themselves – but testily – they are important people, it seems, unaccustomed to being kept waiting and worse, kept in the dark. Wadsworth assures them that their host, Mr. Boddy, will be along soon.

All of the guests have their secrets. The self-righteous Mrs. Peacock is a closet drinker who can’t keep her mouth shut. The flirtatious Ms. Scarlet’s profession is impossible to conceal.

Along with directing, Barnard also designed the costumes, and special note must be given to Yvette’s adorable crinolines, which seem to have a life of their own, along with her fishnet stockings and heels. Colonel Mustard is covered in medals, and Professor Plum is, well, plummy.

When Boddy finally appears, the purpose of the gathering is revealed and the game is afoot. Boddy’s “gifts” are distributed to the guests, and soon bodies start dropping from the library to the study to the billiard room and beyond. Unfortunate passersby, including a motorist whose car has broken down, an unexpected police officer, and the most delightful, a Singing Telegram Girl, all fall victim to the murderers-run-amok at the Boddy mansion.

Clue is just one example of the creativity coming out of the Willingham Theater and the Yadkinville Cultural Arts Center. They have a full season of shows as well as music performances on the roster. When you go see the current play, you won’t want to miss Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, the current exhibit by Winston-Salem artist Emily Clare in the Wellborn Gallery.

The Yadkin County Arts Council acquired the 10,000-square-foot space in 2002. Under the leadership of board chairman John Willingham, the building was gutted and renovated in two phases in 2010 and 2012. It now serves as a home for arts and education in Yadkin County. The physical location of the center used to be an automobile showroom and parts store. In addition to the theater and gallery, the building houses artists’ studios, and The Center Bistro, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.

To enjoy the Yadkinville Cultural Arts Center yourself, check out Clue, playing through Sunday, April 16. For more details on this production, please view the sidebar.