Once again, Constant Reader, I have totally neglected you. And as always, for that I am deeply sorry. At least this time, I have a good excuse. (And what’s that you, ask?) I’ve been rehearsing six days a week for the past six weeks, and finally, the moment has arrived: Tonight is opening night for Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of NOISES OFF. It has been an exhausting process, but once we got our first live audience last night (it was a public dress rehearsal of sorts) it was all worth it.
So, today, I’m going to share some of the local media coverage (pictures, videos, interviews, etc) because…well, it’s nice to have it all in one place (or something).
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — In film comedies, actors have the luxury of multiple takes as their crack-ups wind up on blooper reels we see on DVDs.
Stage performers don’t have that luxury. If an actor genuinely finds the lines they’re reading funny, it could spell trouble for a live theater performance.
So how does the Theatre Tuscaloosa cast for Michael Frayn’s popular “Noises Off” farce find the focus to go through one take without cracking?
“It is very difficult when you crack up on stage and generally people just turn upstage away from the audience and try to pull it together,” says Tuscaloosa acting veteran and “Noises Off” cast member Gary Wise.
Having had some high school parts and a role in a George Washington University production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in 2005, the University of Alabama doctoral student says once he saw “Noises Off” was being performed locally, he had to try out for it. Getting back in the acting saddle was definitely a challenge, especially when performing with seasoned pros in Tuscaloosa.
“It was strange for a while,” Nevin said. “These people here have worked together a thousand times with each other. It was a bit like meeting the in-laws. You’re thrown into this new situation where everybody else knows each other. But you get up to speed really quick. These are great people here. It’s been a blast.”
Nevin says finding the confidence to get on stage with veterans when you have such little experience takes “a little bit of crazy,” especially when the Ph.D student is taking and teaching classes at UA. But if it’s something you enjoy, you find time for it.
“It kind of informs my teaching in a way in that part of teaching is you have to get up in front of a lot of people and be confident and know what you’re doing,” he said. Doing something like this kind of helps that. If I can do a run of eight performances, in front of hundreds of people, then I can teach undergrads. No offense to undergrads.”
Ben was actually awesome enough to record and post my interview — which you can see here. I would totally embed it if I could. I think the video is great because you can see my funky costume.
Something I can embed, however, is our segment from the local TV news station, WVUA:
See, that’s much easier, isn’t it?