The 2019-2020 George School theater season opens with Michael Frayn’s hilarious comedy Noises Off. The play comes to Walton Center on Friday, November 8, 2019 and Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. Both shows are free and open to the public.
Set during the rehearsals, backstage during a performance, and then during a calamitous show, Noises Off chronicles the hilarious escapades of a touring cast of a farcical fictitious play, Nothing On.
“Farce has been defined as a vehicle of theatrical entertainment in which the characters become involved in situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, and thus unlikely. It is characterized by physical humor, the use of nonsense instead of logic, broadly stylized acting, and plots that are driven by effect rather than deep characterization, said Mo West, head of the Arts Department and the director. “Common elements are the slamming of doors and miscommunication. In short, it is meant to be ridiculous. This sets the stage for Frayn’s brilliant storytelling. As Lloyd says in the play, “this is about doors and sardines . . . that’s farce, that’s theatre, that’s life.”
“Noises Off is a great physical comedy—it’s just a laugh. So much is happening. It is high energy. There are more and more jokes and more and more laughs,” said Katie Kendrick 20 who plays Brooke Ashton. “One of my favorite parts in Act 1 happens behind the scenes. You get to know the actors themselves, not just the characters they are playing. Mine is dull, dumb, and doesn’t pay attention. The director Lloyd goes off on her when he loses his patience.”
Kira Barich ’21, one of the student directors, agrees. “The play is free and so very funny. One of my favorite scenes is the cactus sequence in Act 2.” She encourages the community to take a break before term exams to come together for an evening of non-stop laughter.
Mo chose communication as the theme for this year’s theater season. “This play is perhaps the funniest one I have ever read about miscommunication. While on the surface, farce appears to be fun-loving and effortless, it is actually a very difficult puzzle to piece together,” she explained. “The students in the Performance class and the Design and Production class have worked hard this term to meticulously explore the intricacies of timing and pacing.”
The cast includes Julia Carrigan ’20, Jake Maglio ’22, Eric Ruziskey ’20, Katie Kendrick ’20, Ayzia Alexander ’21, Rex Zhang ’20, Clare Wang ’20, Kayla McDow ’20, and Ben Kessler ’21. The student production team includes Cooper Feiner ’20, Sidney Gibson ’20, Kira Barich ’21, Zoel Boublil ’21, David Xi ’21, Lexi Lazar ’20, Raven Zhan ‘20, Kelly Banfield ’20, and Will Buxton ’21.