Laughter and sardines

Noises Off- Courtesy of Isaac BrennemanPlay-within-a-play drives spring theater production


Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” takes center stage at Malone’s theater in Founders Hall April 5-8. “Noises Off” features a play-within-a-play and reveals the hilarious realities of what happens when a production does not go as planned, both onstage and behind-the-scenes. The internal show, “Nothing On,” offers attendees a unique look at the inner workings of theater construction.

“Sardines play a big role with the play-within-the-play. You never fully get to understand the play-within-the-play, but you know that it has to do with sardines because there’s plates of sardines that show up everywhere. They are always being brought up,” said senior communication arts major and director of “Noises Off” Lawrence Hines.

Having series of run-throughs of the play-within-the-play creates a lot of humor that makes the play exciting and engaging for the three acts.

“It has a bunch of slapstick in it: people getting hurt, stupid stuff happening all the time [and] people making fun of one another. It’s just a really comedic piece. People will be drawn to the various levels of comedy that comes out of this play,” said Hines.

The comedic effects stretch across numerous aspects of life.

“You get a couple of love triangles going on. People think they are a love triangle, but it’s just a lot of confusion. You get to watch everything fall apart on stage where relationships start to crumble. I am super impressed with my cast, and I feel like they’re going to knock these characters out of the park and really sell the show,” said Hines.

This play not only treats the watcher to hilarious comedy and real-life relationships, but it also provides technical aspects that are rare to find. In the second act what happens backstage becomes center stage.

“There is a lot of technical aspects about this particular set because I am dealing with a two story element and eight doors. Doors have to be opening, slamming, opening and slamming. There is a lot going on in this play; a lot of action, comedy and intrigue between what’s going on between characters,” said technical director Terry Wilton.

Doors slamming with dramatic entrances is not the only obstacle Wilton faces in creating a successful scene.

“The build is unique in the fact that I have to be very sensitive to the lighting. Not in the sense that the lighting is difficult, but I have to be sensitive of how close the set comes close to the ceiling,” said Wilton.

The uniqueness and craziness does not just stop with the set. It is in the characters themselves.

“There’s a lot of jokes and some hidden things. Each of the characters are really distinct. You can definitely tell there is a difference between each character. There is a drunk guy who is always mishearing when he is supposed to come in or enter,” said sophomore biology major Drew Takacs. “It’s kind of like Murphy’s Law; whatever can go wrong, goes wrong. All of the actors and actresses are forgetting their lines or taking a sardine on or off when they’re not supposed to,” said Takacs.

Seth Byrd is a staff writer for The Aviso.

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