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'Noises Off' to open Friday on Little Theatre stage

"Noises Off," a British farce written by English playwright Michael Frayn in 1982, will open at 7 p.m. Friday on Brainerd High School's (BHS) Little Theatre stage - being the first play to be performed on the high school stage in at least four years.

Jacob Fort (back, left) Arundel Arntz, Lizzy Ortmeier, Isaac Nadeau, Nik Mikelson, Chloe-Rose Severson, Madyson Johnson (front, left), Ryan Stout, Taiya Holmberg. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Jacob Fort (back, left) Arundel Arntz, Lizzy Ortmeier, Isaac Nadeau, Nik Mikelson, Chloe-Rose Severson, Madyson Johnson (front, left), Ryan Stout, Taiya Holmberg. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

"Noises Off," a British farce written by English playwright Michael Frayn in 1982, will open at 7 p.m. Friday on Brainerd High School's (BHS) Little Theatre stage - being the first play to be performed on the high school stage in at least four years.

The BHS theater program is back and the program will be presenting a fall and a spring play this school year.

High school theater students will perform their fall play, "Noises Off," at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Nov. 21-22 and at 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 23.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. People can reserve tickets by calling 454-6200.

BHS Principal Andrea Rusk said, "We're thrilled to have our theater program back. In a school of our caliber we need to have a performing arts theater program."

Rusk said the theater director resigned a number of years ago and the program suffered from a diminished interest in theater and the lack of a consistent theater program leader. Central Lakes College Theatre Department helped for a year, but student interest in theater was not there.

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Last year, a student approached Rusk and Charles Campbell, athletic director, about starting the theater program again at the high school as there was enough students interested. Thus the re-creation of the theater program.

BHS English teacher Karla Johnson is the director of the theater program.

"We're ready to go," Johnson said Monday during rehearsal practice. "The kids are excited. It's a funny show. People sometimes think theater is a boring affair, but there are some scandalous scenes in this play."

"Noises Off" is a play within a play. In Act I, opening night for the play "Nothing On," the play within "Noises Off" is tomorrow, and the cast is still not ready. The actors are constantly forgetting their lines and what props to bring on and off the stage. In Act II, one month later, the audience sees what's going on backstage. Chaos ensues. In Act 3, the show is toward the end of its run and the performance is even worse than it was in Act 1. There is a love triangle in the play as well, which causes more drama.

The cast list includes Lizzi Ortmeier, Isaac Nadeau, Nik Mikelson, Ryan Stout, Chloe-Rose Severson, Taiya Holmberg, Jacob Fort, Arundel Arntz and Madyson Johnson.

The students, who are all new in the theater program, have to play two different characters in the production. The students play one character who plays a character in the play within the play.

Holmberg, a junior, plays Brooke who plays Vicki, who is young. Holmberg said playing the role is challenging as she has to try to be flirtatious and that her role is "kind of ditzy and I am not."

"I've always wanted to do theater, but didn't have the option until this year," said Holmberg.

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Nadeau, a senior, plays Garry who plays Roger Lejeune. Nadeau said Garry is an actor in his mid 30s, who has a fair amount of experience in theater. Roger is a businessman in real estate.

Nadeau said knowing how each character speaks and their premonitions they use can be challenging.

Nadeau said he likes theater. He said he was in the Prairie Fire Children's Theatre in Aitkin and he enjoyed it.

Severson, a junior, plays Belinda Blair who plays Flavia.

"Belinda is a very good friend of the cast and she is madly in love with Freddy," Severson said. "She is protective of all the cast.

"In the second act, she runs the entire show."

Flavia is the wife of Freddy.

"She really doesn't do anything in the play," said Severson. "Her husband does the most action, she is more backstage.

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"Belinda's character has more substance and her role is more challenging."

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

Related Topics: BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL
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