Montezuma-Cortez High School Drama will premier “Noises Off,” a “comic farce” by Michael Frayn, on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Ralph E. Vavak Memorial Auditorium.
Other show times are Nov. 11, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and free for children age 5 and under.
The play is a play within a play, according to Nicholaus Sandner, drama teacher, English teacher and Thespian and Drama Club sponsor at M-CHS.
The cast has nine actors, who perform across a three-in-one stage that rotates throughout the first through third acts of the play.
The play begins with a final rehearsal, then shows the actors backstage with their personal drama. It finishes off with the final production of the play within a play, which has become complicated by the actors’ backstage drama.
“The third act, the set rotates back around again, and you are watching one of the final productions of the play they are performing. And it has completely fallen apart because they have let all of the drama get into the scene itself,” Sandner said. “They are missing their lines and yelling at each other, and everything has kind of fallen apart.”
The play is challenging for the actors and crew because of the complex set changes and timing.
“It requires a lot of strategic timing so someone will exit at the same time someone enters. And there are mistaken identities, and one group thinks they are alone in the house, then the other group thinks they are alone in the house, and they are always missing each other,” Sandner said. “That requires a lot of very precise timing on the part of the actors.”
M-CHS Drama has been working on the play since September. Sandner said he purposefully allotted some extra rehearsal time since the play is complex and the small cast of nine carries a lot of individual lines.
The crew is about three times the size of the cast, according to Sandner.
In addition, the two-story, rotating set provided challenges for cast and crew.
“So the tech crew has been working hard as well,” Sandner said. “Our set is an engineering challenge, and keeping it all running throughout the entire run of the show is another challenge – just keeping things in order when people are running around on it.”
Sandner has been teaching drama at M-CHS for seven years and has been interested in producing this show for a while. He said he has seen it performed a few times and enjoys the challenges it presents.
“I hope the people that recognize it will be excited to come see it, and I hope the people that aren’t familiar are interested enough to come check it out,” Sandner said. “I guarantee that anyone that comes to see it will be rolling in the aisles with laughter. It is definitely one of those plays that keeps you laughing for a good solid two hours or more.”