Noises Off opens at UNO

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November 17th, 2010

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Noises Off (Photo Coutesy, UNO Theatre Department)

Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s theatre department kicked off its run of Noises Off with an impromptu sketch last week.  On a makeshift stage by the fireplace lounge in the UNO Student Center, graduate student Bill Grennan, performed the character Lloyd, who plays a television host in this play-within-a-play farce, before a handful of students who’d gathered to watch.

“Our second guest goes by the name of Dotty Otley,” he bellowed. “She’s an actress who has struggled with her sardine addiction for years, and she doesn’t even know she has it.”

The 1982 piece by, English playwright, Michael Frayn takes a comedic look at the life of theatre folk.  This week, the UNO theater department brings the production to the main stage.  D. Scott Glasser is the director of the play and Beth Thompson is the assistant director.  Thompson said actors and non-actors can relate to the story line.

“The first act we are at a dress rehearsal,” she said, “The second act we are on the road performing the show, and by the third act, things are starting to kind of fall apart.” “They’ve been on tour for quite a few months and romantic entanglements and personal feelings start to sort of come out to play, and have… taken these actors kind of down to their lowest point.”

Grennan, who describes his character Lloyd as a smug man who thinks he knows everything about his actors, said the most challenging part of the play is that it’s an ensemble piece.  He said preparing for the production required a lot of physical effort.

“The set for the show is huge,” he said, “two level set stairs, the actors are running around left and right, props everywhere, mistaken identities, a lot of fighting physical fight choreography.” “So to prepare for this type of role ,” he said, “you study a lot different types of comedy, and study what it take physically to perform it and to perform it well.”

UNO’s production of Noises Off opens Nov. 17th in UNO’s Weber Fine Arts Building.

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