Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What’s all the fuss?

Fools open third play, "Noises Off"

Express Staff Writer

Company of Fools opens "Noises Off" on Saturday, July 12, at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey for a "Pay What You Feel" preview at 8 p.m. Photo by Kirsten Shultz

Understanding the inside mechanisms of how a play goes from page to stage is often a mystery to an audience.

Shedding light on what happens behind the scenes, Michael Frayn's "Noises Off" is more than just a lesson on theater, it is a hilarious, door-slamming farce. Up and down stairs, flubbed lines, miscues and lots of drama make the play a classic comedy.

It will open Saturday, July 12, and will close on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.

Guest director Steve Perigard came from Richmond, Va., to work with the Company of Fools Summer Festival. He directs Andrew Alburger, Jana Arnold, guest artist Michelle Carter, Scott Creighton, Jennifer Jacoby Rush, Richard Rush, guest artist Cliff Todd, Joel Vilinsky and guest artist Debra Wagoner in what New York magazine called a "side-splitting farce."

Perigard has worked with John Glenn and Denise Simone in the past. He is the artistic director for two theater companies, Theatre IV and the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond.

"It's a door-slamming farce with great speed," said Perigard. "Technically, there is a lot that happens throughout the play in terms of the movement in and out. The great thing is coming in as an outsider and all these people know each other and trust each other from working together before."

Perigard said he tried a new approach to directing the play. Instead of discovering where and what the actors were doing, he had them jump into all the technical aspects of performing.

"It's time and precision," Perigard said, "In Act 2, we see the play the company is performing from back stage while the play is happening. The dialogue you are hearing and watching back stage is about things going horribly wrong, and it's a challenge."

Perigard said the cast embraced all the action and timing challenges from the start of rehearsals.

"As a theater person, I love back-stage stories," Perigard said. "It gives a glimpse of what happens back stage for people who might not have had that experience."

There will be a "Pay What You Feel" preview for "Noises Off" at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 12. "Noises Off" will be performed in rotation with "Violet" and "Collected Stories" as part of the Summer Fools Festival repertory.

For details and tickets, contact the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 578-9122 or visit

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