The Rapidian

Local theatre company presents comedic play "Noises Off"

Called the funniest farce ever written, “Noises Off” presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called “Nothing's On.” Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play.
The cast of "Noises Off"

The cast of "Noises Off" /The University Wits

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Tickets are available at the door and online. Prices range between $12 (Students & Seniors) and $18 (General Admission). Additional ticket information at theuniversitywits.org.

Follow The University Wits on Facebook! www.facebook.com/uniwits

More info: theuniversitywits.org

 

/The University Wits

Official poster for "Noises Off"

Official poster for "Noises Off" /The University Wits

The University Wits are a Grand Rapids theatre company in their fourth season and are recognized for excellence in theatrical design. They are best known for creating original works as well as producing published classics. Their upcoming production “Noises Off” was first seen on the stage in 1982 by English playwright Michael Frayn. Performances will be April 1, 2, 8, 9, 2016 at 8 p.m. and April 3 and 10 at 3 p.m. at Dog Story Theater on 7 Jefferson Ave.

Past productions from The University Wits include original collections of “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Marilyn's Kennedy,” “In a Single Bound,” “The Sixth Guest,” and “Shadows at the Sanford,” and published works such as “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Lucky Stiff,” and “Barefoot in the Park.”

Called the funniest farce ever written, “Noises Off” presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called “Nothing's On.” Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play.

“One of the main challenges of directing “Noises Off” is that you are, in reality, directing two plays simultaneously” says Director Charles Fortenbacher. “There is the play “Nothing's On,” which the acting company in “Noises Off” is performing, all the while adding the complexity of elaborate mishaps and mix ups that are throughout “Noises Off.””

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) alumnus, Charles “Chuck” Fortenbacher, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre. While studying at GVSU, his areas of focus included acting, directing, scenic design, and construction. He later went on to found The University Wits and has directed “True West,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Lucky Stiff” and his own original work, “Murder at Graves End.”

Most who are familiar with “Noises Off” know it to be an immense two-story production; though Fortenbacher wanted to challenge himself by presenting it in a black box. A venue that seats around 50-60 people. “Noises Off” is recognized as one of the most difficult straight comedies to stage” says Fortenbacher. “Not only because of the complex scenic requirements, but the litany of physical and farcical comedic elements.”

“Our set is composed of seven doors on multiple levels and the entire set is on wheels so it can be turned around to watch the performance from backstage in the second act” continues Fortenbacher.

When Fortenbacher first announced he wanted to do “Noises Off” at Dog Story Theater, the general response was, “Are you crazy?” Fortenbacher admits maybe it's a little crazy, “but we can pull this off.”

The cast includes: Claire Mahave as Dotty Otley, Anessa “Anna” Johnson as Brooke Ashton, Ashley F. Viersen as Belinda Blaire, Kristin Tomlin as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Patrick Hendren as Lloyd Dallas, Matt Hartmann as Garry Lejeune, Michael Duane Pollock as Fredrick Fellows, Mark Moran as Selsdon Mowbray, and J.J. Lindke as Tim Allgood.
 

Tickets are available at the door and online. Prices range between $12 (Students & Seniors) and $18 (General Admission). Additional ticket information at theuniversitywits.org.

Follow The University Wits on Facebook.

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