A play within a play, a farce from behind, and an extraordinary production, Noises Off will knock your socks off. The premiere production in the new Clayton E. Liggett Theatre at San Dieguito Academy (SDA) is laugh out-loud funny, and boasts a cast of professional, talented, and poised students.
In a three-act play written by English playwright Michael Frayn, the students at SDA and Theatre Teacher-Director, Stephanie Siers, have designed a production that does the new performing arts center justice. “I figured if we were going to be opening this new building,” said Siers, “we might as well do it with a bang!”
With the differences many between the old roundabout theatre designed by Clayton E. Liggett, and the new one bearing his name, the sentiment and passion of the SDA thespians is the same. Excited to have a whole new world of theatre open to them now that their theatre ceilings are taller than 9-and-a-half feet, the drama production classes can experiment with more intricate and challenging set designs. “Obviously one of the most challenging aspects of this set is that it is two-story and rotates,” said Siers.
“[The play] is also 167 pages long, and mostly dialogue,” said Siers, “which is another challenge for the students, to memorize and block all of that. We’ve participated in theatre festivals before and seen other schools do this production, and the students were always like ‘I wish we could do that at SDA’ and now we have the capabilities to.”
SDA senior Kristin Perkins, who plays Dotty Otley and Mrs. Clackett in Noises Off said, “This production is huge because of the new facility. We couldn’t even think of doing a play like this before.” Perkins estimated her involvement in at least eight productions at SDA, but said this was the grandest one because of the opportunities the new facility opened for the theater students this year.
The teamwork and camaraderie between the various facets of theatre, needed to create such a production, was flawless. SDA seniors and student directors Dakota Speas and Erin Rosenberg did a fantastic job directing the stage crew and cast. Speas said “It’s been interesting to see the artistic production aspects as a director. This experience has offered a lot of perspective for me and it has helped me improve as an actor, getting to see and learn from my peers.”
The cast of Noises Off did a commendable job with their comedic timing and slapstick humor, and performed far beyond any stereotypical expectations of a high school play. Beyond that, the tech crew did an outstanding job installing all the new light fixtures and lighting grid in the theatre. Stage manager, Annie Tarabini, also a senior, said the facility was really a fun space to be in. “There’s more space, and it’s beneficial to everyone. Tech can actually work behind the scenes while actors are using the stage space. Before, everyone was on top of each other and it was chaotic. We have all new equipment too, and everyone has been awesome learning it and setting it up.”
Without giving anything away, Noises Off is highly recommended, pleasantly surprising, and the perfect production to break in the new theatre. The production runs this Thursday, Nov. 3, Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 for Students and $15 for Adults. To purchase tickets, please visit www.seatyourself.biz/sandieguito, and keep your eyes open for SDA’s upcoming productions of Sylvia on December 8, 9, and 10, and Metamorphoses on Jan. 19, 20, and 21.