ISU Theatre opens its season with a laugh

Noises Off

Personal relationships are the comedic downfall of the third-rate theater company featured in ISU Theatre's Noises Off production. (Left to right) Kelly Marie Schaefer, Taylor Diles, Taylor Sklenar and Shongedzai Matangira portray the actors in this play within a play. Photo illustration by Nancy Thompson and Mary Bendgen.

Off-stage antics, personal relationships and physical comedy are the focus of ISU Theatre's season-opening production of Noises Off. The Michael Frayn comedy opens its two-weekend run Friday, Sept. 28, at Fisher Theater.

In this play within a play, it's the behind-the-scenes action of a sub-par theater company that earns the spotlight. Jealousy and ineptitude are among the obstacles that strain personal relationships among the troupe, taking an obvious toll on the production as it progresses from a bumbling dress rehearsal to full-blown chaos at the end of its run.

Among the backstage distractions is a rocky relationship between actors Dotty (theatre lecturer Kelly Marie Schaefer) and Garry (sophomore Taylor Diles), which Dottie exacerbates by manufacturing "moments" with fellow actor Frederick (junior Taylor Sklenar) to pique Garry's jealousy. Meanwhile, a love triangle is brewing between the play's director (junior Brandon Brockshus), assistant stage manager (sophomore Elizabeth Thompson) and clueless female lead actress (sophomore Shongedzai Matangira).

Tickets for Noises Off -- $16 adults, $14 seniors and $8 students -- are available through Ticketmaster or at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.