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UAlbany Go2!Events
Noises Off  is a
 UAlbany Go2!Event

UAlbany’s production opens Friday, November 21, 2003, at 8pm in the Main Theatre of the Performing Arts Center and runs throughout the weekend and then again the weekend of Dec. 3-6. Performances are $12/$8 for students, seniors and staff.

UAlbany actors prepare for Noises Off

From auditions to opening night – it’s our “feature within a feature:” Three days and Counting: Actors’ Journal >>

This week new cast member Bryen Link adds his comments to those of Megan DiNicola on what’s happening behind the scenes.

Caitlin Bopp
  Caitlin Bopp

Our Actors
Caitlin Bopp is a junior pursuing a double major in English and Theatre. From Guilderland, NY, Caitlin grew up loving theatre and active in High School productions. In high school she took some acting classes at UAlbany and the rest, as they say is history. Caitlin plays the part of Brooke in NOISES OFF, who in turn plays the part of Vicki in Nothing On, the play within the play. “My character, Vicki, runs around in her underwear throughout most of the show, opening up lots of doors for humorous innuendo and, well, my own personal embarrassment.”

Megan DiNicola
  Megan DiNicola

Megan DiNicola, a senior Theatre major, originally from Staten Island, NY, began her theatrical career with dancing school at age 2, and since then has been singing, dancing and acting every chance she can. She recently won the role of Poppy, the Assistant Stage Manager, in UAlbany’s production of NOISES OFF.

Bryen Link
  Bryen Link

Bryen Link plays the character of Gary who plays the role of Roger in “Nothing On”, the play-within-the-play. Bryen is a junior English/Theatre major from Chatham, NY. He’s done a lot of acting in his life – Peter Pan, Oliver, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and others. Previously at UAlbany he was in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Funny and fun
Megan: Since this is a farce and the cast is crazy, there's always fun stuff going on at rehearsal. It's kind of hard to focus on one thing that has happened this week because each rehearsal is full of funny stuff. One thing that was really funny was when we spent the rehearsal the night before Halloween with two of our male actors dressed as old women in preparation for Halloween. Chris and Derrick got their costumes for Halloween and brought them into rehearsal that night to show the cast and Leigh. They were dressed as two old women in old dresses and full makeup. We began rehearsal as usual by doing some improv games and Chris and Derrick stayed in their costumes to play with us. If you just use your imaginations and picture two grown men dressed as women, you can imagine the funny comments and things that they were doing that had the cast, including our director, in hysterics. Since Chris and Derrick are crazy as it is, the costumes and improv games just added to the laughter.

Bryen: There’s never a dull moment on this show! This week someone brought their guitar to rehearsal and we improvised a “serenade to Leigh” consisting of the tongue twisters that we use for warm-ups. The song made little or no sense; Leigh was flattered anyway.

Megan: I don't really have too many worries at this point in the run. I'm not worried about missing a line, I'm not worried about tripping on stage, I'm not worried about forgetting a cueNoises Off Rehearsal or missing an action because all of these things are part of being an actor. It's part of the whole thrill. If I've done my acting homework and worked hard in rehearsals, which I have, alone with the rest of the cast, then I can just enjoy being out on stage performing. I'm excited about getting an audience soon, and I'm even more excited about doing the show in its entirety with full set, costumes and props. The only worry at this point that I do have is getting all of my school work done and handed in on time during this whole crazy process. That's the hardest part of being in a show. Remembering your next line is easy, but getting that 10 page paper in on time is another story.

Bryen: No worries so far, but when the set goes up and we have to run all over, up and down stairs with plates of sardines – ask me then!

Megan: I'm also juggling being a full time student and having a part time job. Because rehearsals are so frequent but not every night (until the end of the run) I can work on the nights I don't have rehearsal. My job is very flexible with me and I basically alternate nights of rehearsal and work. I have classes every day and I'm usually at school from my morning class until after rehearsals are over which ranges anywhere from 10 to after midnight. I usually do my homework after midnight on most nights when I get home from either rehearsal or work. I do bring work to do with me to rehearsals and I work on it while I'm backstage. I can get a lot of work done during these times, but most of the time I need my computer, so it's tough getting everything done. Sometimes people ask me why I put myself through this and if I really enjoy being tired all the time and having no time for anything but school, the show and work. I just tell them that it's what I live for. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't something that I loved. I've grown accustomed to this lifestyle and wouldn't want it any other Noises Off Rehearsalway. It's actually a great way to learn how to manage your time and be responsible. But for someone that has never experienced the rush you feel when you finish a show, I wouldn't expect you to understand. Just like you can't expect me to understand why some people find it interesting to spend hours looking into a telescope at the sky, or pouring their hearts into medical books for hours on end, or even spending hours in a weight training room getting ready for the big game that weekend. It's not my life, I don't live for it. I haven't centered my life on it, I've chosen the theatre. You find passion in your thing, I'll find passion in mine, and mine just so happens to be sleep deprivation and mass amounts of coffee. But when the curtain falls and the audience applauds, it's all worth it.

Bryen: Because of classes and then rehearsals every evening, I have little time for family, friends or school work! Because I also love the technical aspect of theatre, I’m also working in my “spare” time in the scene shop building the set and set pieces.

Last week’s installment

Tell Us Your Story




About Noises Off

New York critics called it the “funniest farce ever written.” Noises Off is classic British comedy written by Michael Frayn. It’s a hilarious and witty play-within-a-play following the antics of a second-rate British acting company, both on and off stage, as they prepare for a production of a pants-dropping farce called “Nothing On.”

From the final rehearsals to opening night and beyond, everything that can possibly go wrong does! Watch for actors in their underwear, sardines and slamming doors as the actors try to hang onto their lines and the furniture. The mayhem grows as the audience watches the production descend into chaos. “British Farce is a great experience for students in working in language and physical comedy,” says Leigh Strimbeck, director. “Pace, dialect, and ensemble work are all important elements of the play.”

There’s an old expression in theatre lore that “dying is easy, comedy is hard.” One of the many challenges in the staging of Noises Off is that the complex set revolves 180 degrees at each intermission. The audience gets to view the rehearsals of “Nothing On” and then gets to see what’s happening backstage. Many of the actors are actors, who are actors! All must speak with British accents. There are many props (all the items that the actors handle or deal with on the stage), a complicated script to memorize and lots of physical work – there’s even an elaborate fall down a flight of stairs that one of the actors must do. A fight choreographer, David Bunce of the New York State Theatre Institute is helping to stage that. “The other challenge during rehearsals,” says Strimbeck, “is that the play is so funny—we have to stop laughing and remind ourselves to get down to business!”

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