Abby Smith relishes role as bold, glamorous Miss Scarlet in “Clue: On Stage”

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It’s anyone’s guess “whodunit” as the Hartland High School Drama Club presents “Clue: On Stage,” Friday through Sunday, Nov. 8 to 10, at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road in Hartland. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday.

From now until opening night on Nov. 8, The Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of “Clue: On Stage.”

Playing the role of femme fatale Miss Scarlet in Hartland Drama Club’s “Clue: On Stage” took Abby Smith out of her comfort zone at times, but it was a process she thoroughly enjoyed. The Hartland High School senior, who also is the club’s president, looks forward to showcasing the iconic character’s glamour and confident nature when the production hits the stage this fall.

We caught up with Smith, the daughter of Timothy and Theresa Smith, to ask her about her experience with the comedic murder mystery.

Abby Smith (Photo by Joshua Archer)

Was the game “Clue” a part of your childhood?
Yes, “Clue” was absolutely a part of my childhood. I was never a huge board game fan (much to my brother’s disappointment), but I always loved to play “Clue.”

How does “Clue: On Stage” compare to other Hartland Drama Club productions?
For me, this production has varied a lot from other HHS productions since I have previously only been in the spring musicals. It’s been fantastic really focusing on acting skills. It’s also been quite different, as instead of having a few leads and an ensemble, there is an ensemble of leads, allowing for a really focused and fun dynamic at rehearsals.

Did anything about playing your character make you uncomfortable at first?
There were times that I felt a little out of my comfort zone, as I am not usually as provocative and bold as my character is, but once I got into the rehearsal process it became a lot easier and super fun to act like someone who is so different, yet, in some ways, very similar to myself.

Did you hold any preconceived notions about Miss Scarlet?
When I first started the show, Miss Scarlet seemed to be all flirtatious and sarcastic. Although she is definitely both of those things, I also came to realize she is quite clever and uses her flirtatious manner strategically, not carelessly.

Was it a challenge to manage the variety of props on stage?
It was a bit strange getting used to always having a cigarette holder, as well as managing other props like letters and murder weapons. Once I got used to it, however, it has been super fun using these props to enhance my character and tell more of a story. There are definitely a lot of props to keep track of, but that’s just another thing that makes this show so much fun.

How do you balance this role with your other activities?
It’s definitely not easy, as most days I go from seven hours of school to color guard to rehearsal, then home to do homework for AP classes. It can get stressful, but by staying organized and focused I am able to do all these things that I love. I have gotten very good at managing my time efficiently. It is also important to recognize when you need to take things off your plate or say no.

Would you have a girls’ night out with your character? What would you do?
I would definitely have a girls’ night out with Miss Scarlet. We would probably spend a lot of time getting dressed up all fancy to go out, then hit up some fun, classy parties. It would be a very glamorous night.

Why do you think people should see this show?
Everyone should see this show because my friends on cast and crew have all been working so hard. When this show opens it is going to be hilarious and full of great acting, beautiful costuming, an amazing set and more props and tech than I have ever experienced before. It’s gonna be fantastic!

— Jennifer Stang

Tickets are available online at and at the door. Individual tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, children and seniors. Group rates are also available.

For more information, contact Mary Jo Del Vero at (810) 626-2360 or via e-mail at


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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.