Contrary to its name, the ORRHS drama production Noises Off! was certainly not quiet.
Each night, the audience found themselves in stitches as they laughed at the on-stage antics of the cast.
Although the show revolved around a dysfunctional theater company and their doomed play, the scale and talent involved in the high school production showed the strength of the club.
“It’s a really difficult show to get right, and each cast did so well,” said Alice Bednarczyk. She was in Cast A and played the part of Belinda Blair, a motherly but gossipy actress who tries to keep the play running smoothly. “The nice thing about this show was that if we did mess up, no one can tell because that’s the whole point of the show. Everyone proved themselves to be able to improve if something didn’t go perfectly, and each of the individual casts became a close-knit family.”
Cast B member Paul Kippenberger played Freddie Fellows, a fairly anxious actor who got a bloody nose at the sight or mention of blood or violence.
“Our days were pretty good as well,” Kippenberger said. “Everyone worked really hard, and since there was laughing, our effort definitely paid off. I know jumping up the stairs with my pants around my ankles was my favorite part, and that drew lots of laughter and cheering.”
The first act followed the actors at their last rehearsal before opening night and set up the various relationships between the characters. From the start, the audience was drawn in as Christian Hotte or Nick Claudio, depending on who played the director Lloyd Dallas that night, spoke out from the back row to criticize the onstage actor.
“It was the first chance I had to really use my voice so much in a play, and I learned how to use it in new and interesting ways,” said Hotte. His strong and deep voice gave his role an air of faux superiority over the other characters.
A difference compared to other productions was that the audience also saw the changing of the set during each intermission, as the house backdrop was spun 180 degrees for the second act to show the backstage drama of the group’s play a month into their run.
The third and final act showed the deteriorated play three months into its tour, and all heck breaks loose as props are broken, lines are forgotten, and actors are at each other’s throats.
Of course, it’s all just impressive acting on stage.
“Aside from my castmates all being incredibly talented, I have never met such a large collection of genuinely nice people all in one place,” Hotte commented.
By Jo Caynon