The Story Behind the Curtain

7:30 p.m. Shows on Nov. 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19
2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 13

NoisesOffBy Lauren Scott, Publicity Intern

The set is put together, the lights are warmed up, the actors are in their dressing rooms preparing for the show, and props are being set by crew members. The audience walks in, excited for a good laugh from a new show called ‘Nothing On.' The excitement is palpable as the lights dim in anticipation of the first actor’s entrance and the ensuing events soon to unfold. The audience believes this just may be the greatest show they’ve ever seen. Little do they know that the real show, full of absurdity, drama, and hysteria, is happening just off stage.

From experience, I can say that backstage shenanigans are truly a show in and of themselves, but Noises Off by Michael Frayn takes it to a whole new level.

It’s a typical Monday in 1980s London, and a dress rehearsal is under way for ‘Nothing On’ – the play that is the subject of Noises Off. As an observer, however, you would never believe ‘Nothing On’ is just hours away from dropping the curtain to an audience. Actors are honestly baffled by what they bring onstage and off – “I take the sardines. No, I leave the sardines. No, I take the sardines,” – where they enter and exit, and even what words they need to be putting together, or as Dotty puts it, “I open my mouth and I never know if it’s going to come out three oranges or two lemons and a banana.”

Somehow the show must go on, but, unfortunately for this show, a whole month quickly passes and the performance is still in shambles; however, the show backstage is just starting to heat up. Will each actor’s drastically contrasting personalities on and off stage continue to bring ‘Nothing On’ to a messy end, or will the cast finally pull it together?

It’s up to you to see the CSU production of Noises Off in order to find out how the cast of ‘Nothing On’ finishes their ten-week run.

Zack Rickert, junior theatre major, who plays ‘Nothing On’ director Lloyd, describes the show as “a play within a play where everything goes wrong.” Given this, Noises Off is fast moving and keeps actors and audiences on their toes. Frayn’s work is certainly a test for these university actors. As Director Eric Prince explains, “the play is a wonderful vehicle for ensemble acting. It is a real tribute to the art of the actor.”

This style of farce is often neglected in university settings, so it’s an important test for the cast, designers, and crew. As costume designer Dani Crosson clarifies, from a technical standpoint, “…the farce is incorporated really well with both on and offstage action.” She continues, expressing excitement in this opportunity to “mix comedic farce with historic costuming.”

This is a very special piece of theatre that certainly should not be missed.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the sardines!

Noises-off-Dates-2Ticket Information
Continuing this fall, tickets are *no charge for CSU students, and $18 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the Ticket Office. All tickets are subject to a $1 ticket fee for both online and at-the-door purchases. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid lines and further at-the-door fees.

  • The Colorado State University Theatre department and the University Center for the Arts present “Noises Off,” by Michael Frayn, directed by Eric Prince, and sponsored in part by New Belgium brewing.