The Speaking Eagle
A “Show Within a Show” Prepares for SpotlightTuesday, February 07, 2012 By Rachel Kuhr
With the beginning of a new year and a new semester, Juan Diego Catholic High School is preparing to set the stage for the second time this school year. “Noises Off” is a play; unlike the fall production of “Crazy for You,” there will be no singing or tap dancing involved. The cast is putting a lot of energy into a comical performance they hope will please audience members. “Noises Off” is a play within a play written by Michael Frayn. It tells the story of a performing group in London that is rehearsing a show called “Nothing On.” The audience gets to see the final dress rehearsal, what happens later on in the show, and what happens on closing night. Numerous complications with the performance cause stress for the characters. A comical plot revolves around the romances and arguments that follow the characters on and off stage. Only nine actors and actresses make up the cast, with senior Micaela Mannix as the student director and drama teacher Steve Pay as the director of theater. Additional students work behind the scenes as well on lighting and sound. Pay says about thirty kids tried out for the show, but there were only nine roles available. “I’m not able to involve as many kids in this production,” Pay says. This will be the 14 th show he has directed at JD, and he is excited to see what happens on stage. “I saw this show back in the 1980s, right after it was first written. I have never laughed so hard in my life,” Pay says. “I’m really hoping that the cast will be able to accomplish what I see for them to do, and what I’m looking forward to is being able to sit out in the back of the audience and hear them laugh as hard as I’ve laughed at it.” Mannix has to know the script and prepare the props and cast for rehearsals. She says this job is different from acting because she gets a behind-the-scenes perspective. “When Mr. Pay announced what show we were doing, I knew that there weren’t a lot of parts in the show and that I’ve had a lot of parts in the past, so I wanted a different experience,” Mannix says. “Noises Off” will be the fifth show junior Matthew Illario has been a part of at JD. He says rehearsals are hectic because cast members have not memorized their lines yet and each scene incorporates numerous props. Illario appreciates that everyone in the cast is so perfect for their roles. For example, he says that the old man in the show sounds exactly like an old man is expected to sound. He says adults and teenagers are going to love the show, but because of some crude humor, he does not recommend it for younger kids. Illario enjoys hearing the accents that the actors and actresses have taken on; he thinks that it adds a lot of humor to the show. “I’m most excited about just getting out there and putting a smile on some people’s faces because it is a pretty funny show,” Illario says. Opening night is Feb. 29, followed by performances on Mar. 1-3. Each show will begin at 7 p.m. in the JD auditorium. “I’m really excited to see the production fold together and see the cast become incredible at what they do,” Mannix says.