By MIKE CHAIKEN
Southington Community Theatre is at it again, hitting the stage with the farce, “Noises Off”
The Observer caught up with the show’s director, Amanda Savio, to talk to her about the genre of farce, “Noises Off,” and the cast of the production, which took the stage starting April 21 and continues through the weekend at Derynoski Elementary School in Southington.
Observer: First of all, what do you like about the bedroom farce genre? As a performer, and then as a spectator?
Amanda: From the point of view of both a performer and spectator, there is nothing I love more than a running-around, door-slamming, hysterical farce. Performing in a show like “Noises Off” is truly one of those all-in-the-timing plays – everything has to be nearly perfect for it to work. It’s an ensemble show like no other I’ve been a part of – the cast members are completely dependent on each other to know where they are and what they are doing next. As the director of this production, I have now watched this production many, many times, and my favorite part is how funny it is. Truly laugh-out-loud funny, all the way through, every single time. And I’m not just saying that because I want people to come.
O: What do you like about how Michael Frayn approaches this genre in “Noises Off?”
A: Well, the action is non-stop, particularly in act 2. It is an enormous challenge from a blocking and timing perspective, but the payoff is huge. And this cast takes the comedic moments to the next level. They try new things out every single rehearsal. What I love about “Noises Off” is it’s a show within a show – it’s a play about theater. And as someone who has been doing theater for over 20 years, I can assure you many of the funny lines hit home.
O: The show has become a staple for community theaters. What do you think makes the show such a classic?
A: It’s a classic for theater people because it’s a show about putting on a show. It’s about actors, directors, stage managers, and all of the crazy personal and technical challenges that come with putting on a production. “Noises Off” is a huge challenge for the actors in terms of the timing and the physical comedy, and it’s also a challenge for our tech crew – the set is rotating and multi-leveled. All that said – it’s so, so funny and an incredibly entertaining night for both the people on stage and in the audience.
O: What are the challenges for a theater company trying to get the show—and a farce in general—just right? Why do you think your cast is getting it just right? (I combined these)
A: I know I already said this, but I can’t say it enough, really – it’s the timing. All of the door slamming, falling down, running around and crazy lines have to be just right. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and patience from the actors to make it perfect. I have been blessed with a group of nine performers who have brought these characters to life in a way that has exceeded my highest expectations. The best thing I did for this production “Noises Off” was cast this particular group of people.
And, of course, the other challenge is the technical end. We have approximately two days to put up the set so we have time to rehearse on it before opening night, and when you are talking about a two-floor rotating set with multiple staircases, that’s not an easy proposition. But when you have tech people like Tom and Kevin Harwood, who love this sort of challenge, you feel can confident that it will all get done, and that it will be great.
O: Why do you think audiences will like the show “Noises Off” itself and why do you think they’ll like your production?
A: I love doing comedies. I love directing them and being in them. It’s a wonderful release from the stress of life. And that’s what I think audiences will get out of it – a nice break, a chance to relax and laugh like crazy. I can’t wait for people to see this production, I really can’t. I’m so proud of everyone involved and I want them to reap the rewards of the laughter.
Southington Community Theatre will present Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” Thursday through Saturday, April 21, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Derynoski Elementary School, 240 Main St., Southington.
The cast is Heidi Bass-Lamberto, Tony Lamberto, Jared Watterworth, Jyllian Perlini, Brett Aiello, Tiffany Sabato, Rich McCarty, John Demetre, and Ammie Kinsman. The show is directed by Amanda Savio and produced by Peter E. Pristic.
Tickets are $15 (in advance and at the door). Tickets are available at Just For You….Country Gifts, 979 Meriden-Waterbury Rd., Plantsville, The Music Shop, 405 Queen St., Southington, and at the door.
For more information, visit www.southingtoncommunitytheatre.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860)543-3865.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com .