Play­ception: behind the scenes of “Noises Off”

Ever wondered what goes into having actors look natural on­stage? SCC’s latest comedy
explores the unseen world of stage actors and pokes fun at the long, and sometimes arduous,
process of making a production work seamlessly.
“Acting is all about a sense of play,” Bryar Golden said, “and the (actors) that are successful in
both the student and in the professional world are the ones that come up on stage and want to have fun.”

Estelle Golden, who goes by the stage name of “Bryar,” is a professional actor, one of the
Drama teachers at SCC, and the director for “Noises Off.”
The comedy was written by Michael Frayn in 1982, it’s about a dysfunctional group of actors
putting on a play­within­the­play: a British sex farce called “Nothing On.” The idea came to
Frayn during an unrelated play when he noticed that backstage antics had comedic potential.
“Noises Off” at SCC is still in the works; cast members have just started rehearsing onstage in
the theater. The set is unfinished and no one has all their lines memorized, so they all walk
around the stage with their scripts in 3­ring binders.
“There’s a plethora of talented students on this campus and I am lucky enough to get to
work with them, so I am thrilled,” Golden said.
Steven Vederoff is a film production and acting major, and this is his first drama production at
SCC. He plays “Selsdon,” an old alcoholic burglar with poor hearing who constantly forgets his lines.
“I’m used to film acting where you only need to memorize 10 or 15 lines in a shoot,” Vederoff
said. “Theatre is one take, so it’s an added challenge.”

Since Vederoff’s prior acting experience is primarily film and improv comedy, where
remembering lines isn’t as important, he may come to understand his character’s struggle.
Students taking drama must meet daily for practice, so being able to make the time commitment
is an important consideration. Golden believes it’s important for students to be serious about
their drama work, but also to have some fun.
“The most difficult part about being in theatre is juggling practice and work,” Monika Michels said.

Michels plays “Brooke,” a character who she describes as “an idiot who spends most of the
show in her underwear.” Michels is a theatre major who has been in “Shoreline Shorts” in the
past, but “Noises Off” is her first full­length production.
Not all of the actors are in performing arts, students Holly Taylor and Joshua Wagner­Smith’s
involvement in drama is purely out of self­interest.
“I’m a nursing major, but I liked theater in High school so I decided to come back and
experiment,” said Taylor, who was involved in “Texarcana Waltz” last spring.
“I like being a part of the theater community, it’s a good bonding experience – everyone here is
into drama,” said Wagner­Smith, who is currently undecided but has been a part of a few
productions in the past, such as “Texarcana Waltz,” “Big Fish” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

While Golden is excited to be working with the students, she is also thrilled about working with
the other professionals, such as SCC theatre manager John Nold, and Richard Schaefer from
Sound theatre, who are constructing a set on wheels which will revolve during the play.
One side is a stage and the other side is the backstage area, that way the audience can see
what happens while the play­within­a­play is going on through a window in the set.
“I think humor is universal and I think this speaks to everybody: humans are very similar in what
makes them laugh and a good comedy is a good comedy,” said Golden. “I think it would appeal
to all ages.”

The show will be running in December, before and during finals week, and by then who wouldn’t
want to take a load off and laugh?

_Randy Hatfield

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