In any given semester, LEAP Ambassadors do volunteer service, attend presentation by leading public figures, tour art museums, explore civil rights and history, and, when possible, attend performing arts events. This semester was no different and, in fact, the Ambassadors began the semester with Chicago and they ended it with a performance of Noises Off at the Owen Theatre in Conroe, TX.
This was a rare treat for us, in that none of us had ever been to the Owen Theatre before, although several of our party had seen Noises Off. Indeed, Victoria McClendon was attending tonight as an alum, but her very first LEAP event was a production of this play at SHSU in 2016!
This time, in addition to Victoria, we had Olivia Discon, Professor Yawn and Ms. Stephanie, and Dr. Hyman and Carol Hyman–the latter of whom generously treated us to dinner!
Noises Off is a full-on farce, a play within a play about putting on a play.
It is a crowd pleaser, but with all its moving parts, and it’s abrupt changes in persona from each character, and its frantic pace, it’s also a difficult play to put on, especially for a community theatre. But the Owen actors did a fine job, with Jillian Linton (as Brooke Ashton), Robert Faber (as Lloyd Dallas), Jeff Linton (as Sheldon Mowbray), and Allen Dorris (as Frederick Fellowes) standing out.
The first act of the play shows a rehearsal, one that is not going well, much to the chagrin of the director, “Lloyd Dallas.”
The second act depicts the opening, albeit from “behind the stage.” The real audience (us) is not seeing what the imaginary audience sees; rather, we are seeing the drama, spectacle, and chaos going on behind the scenes.
The third act, which is the most madcap, puts the real audience (us) in the perspective of the imaginary audience, allowing us to see how much of an impact the behind-the-scenes drama is having on stage.
Apparently, it’s not easy to put on a play in general, and especially when there are two separate love triangles (and maybe a love quadrangle) occurring, along with a cast that includes a drunk, a dimwit (or two), and a gossip. But those difficulties make for a fun time for the audience, and helped produce much laughter and enjoyment for the LEAP Ambassadors to cap off a long and rewarding semester.