DALLAS -- The British are coming! They're arriving temporarily for their comic cameo appearance in the play "Noises Off," written by Michael Frayn.
Dallas High School will open their auditorium doors for these foreigners and, for a small price, everyone can see them Nov. 9 to 11 and 16 to 18 only.
"It's a farce with wacky, impossible situations and characters," said senior Aaron Humphrey, who acts as tongue-tied Garry Lejeune and Roger Tramplemain.
These eccentric characters are actors themselves who are working on their latest production, "Nothing On," which opens (and closes) a lot of doors for them.
Within the boisterous bunch, fast friendships and many intimate relationships are formed during the play.
"Nothing On" features Flavia (played by senior Lauren Gorden) and Philip Brent (played by senior Andrew Butterfield) as married fugitives on the run from the Inland Revenue (IRS) trying to escape tax evasion. Their real-estate agent, Roger, enjoys the perks included in selling their house and realizes he should have been more careful in locking the door when an Arab sheik shows up unexpectedly.
The results are hilarious. "It's one of the funniest plays I've ever seen. It gets better and crazier every act," said director Blair Cromwell.
With so many crazy actions on stage, the audience "has to be on their toes to catch some of the things going on," said Humphrey. Also, body language is more important on stage than verbal language. "The words aren't as important as the actions," said senior Lauren Gorden. The audience is also let into some of the secrets that many of the characters don't know. "The audience gets the joke, but the characters don't," said Cromwell.
To pull off these crazy antics, the DHS cast has to be funny, which is harder than it sounds. "It's hard to be funny on purpose," said Gorden.
But, if anybody can do it, they can. "We have a really good cast; I'm constantly amazed at what we can do," said Humphrey.
One of the amazing feats this cast and crew had to pull of was building their set. The huge, two-story set, which rotates on wheels between acts, weighs about 2,000 pounds and took a lot of effort and dedication to build.
"The time was worth it," said Cromwell, who mentions that, "without the assistance of Willamette Industries for the lumber, we couldn't have done it."
"Noises Off" also couldn't have been done without the tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes help. The volunteers who came to build the set on Saturdays, the DHS Stagecraft class, the stage managers, the prop assistants, the lighting crew and auditorium manager Linda Griffith all contributed to the overall production.
"They make sure every little detail is taken care of, they're really excellent," said Gorden. "It takes a lot of teamwork and there's more to the production than the nine people on stage," said Cromwell.
Not that the actors don't work hard, too. Aside from memorizing their lines, they also must recite them with a British flair. "The British accent is like a language barrier. It's hard to be consistent with it," said sophomore Brian Mosher who plays stage manager Tim Allgood.
Mosher feels that they will overcome the barriers and the show will go on. "We work so well together, and we'll come together to put on a great show," he said.
"We've put a lot into this show and we've made sure it's entertaining and worth it for people to come see," said Gorden.
Director Cromwell said, "I wanted to do this play forever." With the construction of the new theater and relentless team effort, dedication and support, her wish is coming true in a way that everyone can enjoy.
Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for DHS students with an ASB card, senior citizens and middle school students. Tickets go on sale Thursday, Oct. 26 in the bookkeeping office.
For more details call Dallas High School at 503-623-8336.