Theatre West recently introduced us to a comical, witty, and laugh-out-loud production, Noises Off. The show was a huge hit, receiving great reactions from those who were there in the jam-packed audience on the 2nd and 3rd of December. This lively drama consisted of 9 actors, who assumed the roles of characters who are also in a play. The plot set-up of Noises Off demonstrates the “play with a play” concept. The actual characters in the play are six actors, a director, a stagehand, and a technician. All kinds of farfetched, improbable, and humorous events occur between the actors through a series of three different acts. The first act depicts the rehearsal of the crew: how they desperately struggle to get everything together. The second act displays the events occurring on the actual day of the characters’ performance. However, this is behind the scenes of the play they are putting on, as the third and last act is the events of the actual play that are happening simultaneously to the events of the second act. This is definitely an interesting and unique, even confusing, interpretation of how a play should be formatted, and it resulted in much positive feedback from the audience.
Although many would agree that the play was a huge success, not everybody is aware of what the directors, stage-crew, and actors had to go through for preparation. Many students and teachers who were somehow involved with the play emphasize the fact that it was an extremely difficult process, as opposed to many other previous productions. Everyone certainly went through a lot to make sure the play came together. Mrs. DeStio, the head director of the play, commented, “This was the most difficult production I have ever attempted, and everybody executed it very successfully in the end.” This play was a standout from many of the preceding ones, thanks to its unique method of presentation and plot set-up, which also made it very hard to put together. In fact, junior Lauren Toscano, an actress in the play, explained how it was one of the “most interesting experiences she has ever had.” One of the most notorious stages of development in the play is known as tech week, or informally as “hell week.” In these grueling few days, the stage-crew quickly works to apply various finishing touches to all aspects of the play and to make sure the set is perfect for the show. Virtually every night becomes a strenuous late one, but many people see good in this. Sophomore Doug Notti, a member of the stage-crew, stated how the “overall experience of working on the play was hysterical and I got a lot closer to many people throughout it, especially the last week.” In addition, some people think that the last week is vital to the play. For instance, actor Daniel Rudin, said, “Hell week is obviously tough, but it is just as necessary at the same time.” Without this last week, the show may not have been what it was. Everyone involved had a great time and were pleased with the end result. Jason Zalamsky, an actor, said, “It was such a great experience and I was very happy that everything really came together.” Another actress, Brianna Robinson, expressed how much hard work the committed to and that they got an amazing outcome as a result of it. The audience certainly enjoyed the final product just as much as the cast and crew did. Students at West are all definitely looking forward to any future productions by Theatre West.