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Lights On for ‘Noises Off’

There is a saying that when one door closes, another door opens, but in Lancer Production’s upcoming show, Noises Off, you also get a plate of sardines. After school, the auditorium fills with screams, sardines, and slamming doors. English accents are heard over the whirring of the power drills that are putting the finishing touches on the set. In the makeup room Isabel Connor adjusts a curly red wig on top of her head while searching for a bobby pin. Chase Weida walks out of the dressing room and tightens his tie in the mirror before walking out to side stage. There, Faith Amhof and Kenadi Mason hurriedly organize a plethora of random props, making sure they are all in place on the table. Harmoni Eiland studies her cue notebook in the corner, while next to her, Sydney Kuhel looks over a pile of large objects, carefully selecting which one to appear on stage with first.

Andrea Warhurst, the student director, has been working alongside the actors since June. Standing on the lip of the stage, she looks at the set, pride beaming on her face. She is excited for the first performance, and seeing everything piece together. Warhurst proudly says “It’s the best feeling ever, seeing everything work out. That’s when we know we’ve made it. Seeing this thing that we’ve been working on since June as a finished production is amazing.” She has been under a lot of stress lately as the cast got onto set just a little over a week before they have their first performance.

“It scares the crap out of me. It feels like we don’t have a lot of time to prepare before our first performance. I believe that they’re ready, but it still scares me,” Warhurst admits.

Since the beginning of the school year the cast has been rehearsing in the choir room after school while the set was being built. The show takes place in a two story house, making rehearsing on a one level plane difficult. Finally getting onto a set changes movement, timing, and comedy. Making changes to the show is difficult, especially a week before performance.

Just then Connor LaPage walks by with a pair of pants that have the crotch burned out. Some might say that Noises Off is too mature for a high school theatre to do, since it involves very raunchy elements and crude humor. It is a British bedroom farce, filled with sex jokes, innuendos, and scantily clad actors.

But in the name of artistic expression, Lancer Productions has taken on the task of putting on one of the most difficult comedic plays out there. With a few minor modifications to make sure administration does not have a heart attack, the show is set to open Friday October 16th and run through November 1st, with a weekend off in between. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. After the show closes, LP is taking the production to UNI on November 14 to perform at the State Thespian Festival. This year they have been selected for a mainstage production, which means they will perform in front of the whole conference, over 1,000 people. There, they will be competing for a chance to perform at the International Thespian Festival, held at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska in June of 2016.

The cast includes Emmett Boedeker, Chase Weida, Isabel Conner, Elizabeth Ferry, Harmoni Eiland, Connor LaPage, Charlie Balsar, Sydney Kuhel, and Nick Bennett, with understudies Connor Oetzmann and Maddie Harbour. Since receiving their scripts in June, they have been working hard to get the show stage ready. The end is drawing near to their 5 month journey, with the end only a few weeks away. Through bonding, laughter, and yelling Kelly Clarkson songs backstage, the cast has truly become a family. They hope you can come and see all their hard work!

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