The Drexel Players bring their 2010-11 theater season to an end May 12-15 with Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off,” a comedy like no other. This three-part comedic farce brings to light what really goes on backstage. A play within a play, “Noises Off” takes its audiences to England, where the cast performs a ridiculous sex farce titled “Nothing On.” The three acts of “Noises Off” take place during one act of “Nothing On.” The slapstick comedy will leave audience members clutching their sides with laughter at the hysterical chaos that goes on backstage. This farce provides “Breathlessness, vertigo, and the scary-sweet exhilaration of being out of control,” as declared by the New York Times.
Frayn came up with the idea of “Noises Off” in 1970 while watching a farce he had written called “Chinamen” from backstage. He coined the idea because he found what was going on backstage of “Chinamen” to be much funnier than the actual play. “Noises Off” was originally a small one-act play titled “Exits,” but Frayn later stretched this one-act play into a three-act play at the request of his associate, Michael Cordon.
Peter Reynolds, director of last season’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” is back to command the Mandell Theater. Reynolds serves as artistic director of the Mauckingbird Theater Company and head of musical theater for Temple University’s Department of Theater. Nine vivacious Drexel students with perfect comedic timing will make up the cast of “Noises Off,” and members of the production team include Barrymore Award nominees and winners — lighting designer Shelley Hicklin, costume designer Rosemarie McKelvey and set designer Dirk Durossette,.
The performance will take place in the Mandell Theater at 33rd and Chestnut streets, beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and closing Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students, faculty and staff with a Drexel ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Mandell Theater box office from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday or online at www.drexelplayers.com. For any questions, call (215) 895-2787.
If you cannot make it to “Noises Off,” don’t feel too bad (but really, feel a little bad); you will be able to enjoy the Drexel Players’ rendition of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in the fall. In the winter, Mandell Professionals in Residence Project’s The Riot Group will put on a play about William Shakespeare as a “Bad Boy.” Directed by Whit MacLaughlin (New Paradise Laboratories) and created by Drexel students and playwright Adriano Shaplin, this show promises to be a must-see. In the spring, the Drexel theatre will perform Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ comedy “Urinetown: The Musical.”