For Jeff Stockberger and Suzanne Stark, it’s only appropriate that the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre regulars appear in the first show of venue’s 50th anniversary season
Stockberger and Stark will perform in “Clue,” which will be presented Dec. 28 to Feb. 5 at the Indianapolis venue.
Stockberger estimated he has appeared in 75 to 80 Beef & Boards productions as an actor.
“If you add in all the shows that I either directed, stage managed, or backstage managed, that number goes up significantly,” he said.
His first show was “Peter Pan” in 1996 when he portrayed Noodler, the pirate.
“I’ve been a part of the second half of the 50 years, especially the last 20 years, and it’s been amazing to watch this theater continue to thrive in this difficult business,” Stockberger said. “Beef & Boards is one of the few remaining Equity (Actors’ Equity Association) dinner theaters in the country. (Owner) Doug Stark and the whole Stark family have proven that you can have a successful business while treating all employees with respect.
“There is a reason there has been so many people that have worked for Beef & Boards for 20 to 30-plus years. We’re family.”
Stark, the former wife of Doug Stark, has regularly performed in Beef & Boards shows through the years.
“I am terribly grateful to Beef & Boards every time they ask me to be in a show,” Suzanne said. “This year, especially, it really is special. Fifty years is remarkable for any business, and I know that many of the employees have been a part of the operation for a good number of those years. I am blessed to have been a part of the story.”
Stark has never seen “Clue” performed live, but said she loved the movie when it first came out (in 1985).
“I really do love these comedy ensemble pieces,” Stark said. “To know we’ve made an entire audience let loose and laugh for an evening is really satisfying as a performer. The waves of laughter are a bit addictive.”
Scot Greenwell plays the role of Mr. Green in “Clue.”
“I love ‘Clue,’ the film, which I’ve seen innumerable times, so I have to put that aside because the play is different in some places,” Greenwell said. “And trying not to break character will be a big challenge with this hilarious cast. I love being part of an ensemble, and I haven’t done a mystery like this, so I’m excited. I enjoy Agatha Christie plays, as well as sendups like the film ‘Murder by Death.’ Like those others, ‘Clue’ will be a fun escape for the audience.
Greenwell has performed in several shows.
“I’ll perform wherever they’ll hire me,” he said. “I’ve acted at Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre, Civic Theatre, and Actors Theatre of Indiana. I’ve worked in the galleries of The Children’s Museum, and even outside the (Indiana) Statehouse, playing the father of gerrymandering.”
Greenwell said he wanted to act since he was a child.
“I loved school programs and singing with the church choir,” said Greenwell, who grew up in Loogootee. “I did high school musicals, alongside community theater, then went to the University of Evansville with broader theatrical interests. In 2004, I remembered how much I loved acting, and I’ve been doing so ever since.”
When not doing a play, Greenwell said he works as a standardized patient, “helping health care professionals and students hone their skills.”
Standardized patients are independent specialists who are trained to portray patients in realistic scenarios to help students learn.
Greenwell had an interesting internship with the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” when he was in college.
“I’d watched ‘Days’ since I was quite young, when my mom watched it,” Greenwell said. “So, in 1999, I lucked into an internship there, and it was thrilling. I learned about the soap industry and rubbed elbows with Deidre Hall, Ali Sweeney and Jensen Ackles. I wrote previews for magazines and attended an awards show. Those three months rank high in my favorite times of my life.”