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Zac Hammons, Angela Funches Thomas and Donna Cespiva appear in a scene for

Zac Hammons, Angela Funches Thomas and Donna Cespiva appear in a scene for "Noises Off!" (Rick Hickman / American Press)

'Noises Off!' not just a comedy for theater people

Last Modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:56 PM

By Alex Onken / American Press

It’s a play about a play.

ACTS will premiere its production “Noises Off!” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in its 1 Reid St. theater.

“Noises Off!” — written in 1982 by Michael Frayn — centers on a theater troupe and their experience performing a play titled “Nothing On” while everything possible goes wrong backstage and onstage.

“It is a love story,” said Walt Kiser, director of “Noises Off!” “It’s a love story of the theater. Is it about finding romance and living happily ever after? No. It’s about love of theater and love of farce. It is a love story.”

According to Kiser, “Noises Off!” is written by a theater person, for theater people, but it has comedy that will translate for all audiences.

“I think it’s correct when they say that this show is a show for actors,” said Angela M. Thomas, who portrays Belinda/Flavia in the play. “Because so many of the things that happen backstage in the shows happen in real-life shows such as missing lines, missing cues and drama backstage.”

Thomas said it took some time to adjust to playing two characters.

“With this show being a play within a play, you’re trying to distinguish character from actor. I had to make a whole bunch of notes to keep my characters straight. It’s almost like becoming one character then playing another character as her.”

The show will feature a large set that will be rotated from the ‘Nothing On’ set to a stage that resembles the wings of a theater. The set is 24 feet across, 16 feet high and 12 feet deep. The curtains will be left open while the set is changed to show the transition with the cast and crew rotating it.

Unlike the play within “Noises Off!” Kiser feels assured that there will be no surprises and mishaps.

“This show is ready to open. I’ve been in shows where opening night, the paint is still wet, and that’s the scary ones. This show is solid. This show is ready.”

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