What can go wrong, will go wrong

Ashland High School Theatre's production of Michael Frayn's "Noises Off" literally takes a behind-the-scenes look at the bedlam that occurs on- and off-stage during a performance.

"Michael Frayn got the idea standing backstage during a production and witnessing the chaos there and finding it more entertaining than the actual show," says director Kyle Haden.

Haden and a cast of nine Ashland High students bring Frayn's farce to AHS's Mountain Theatre, 201 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 18-20, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21.

"Noises Off" follows a crew of actors and stagehands as they put on a production called "Nothing On." From slamming doors and slippery sardines to bumbling dress rehearsals and a calamitous closing night, everything that can go wrong does while the actors struggle to maintain their dignity.

The play's characters are director Lloyd Dallas; stagehands Poppy Norton-Taylor and Tim Allgood; and actors Belinda Blair, Garry Lejeune, Dotty Otley, Frederick Fellowes, Brooke Ashton and Selsdon Mowbray.

"There is jealousy between actors, love triangles and all sort of things that come to a head during the rehearsal and during the performance," says Haden.

The AHS cast includes Aurelia Grierson as Belinda Blair, Noah Yaconelli as Gerry Lejeune, Pia Marchetti as Dotty Otley, Rachel Thornton as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Tay Smith as Lloyd Dallas, Eoghan McDowell as Tim Allgood, Uriel Wolfe-Blank as Frederick Fellowes, Rachel Kaiser as Brooke Ashton and Drew Starmer as Selsdon Mowbray.

Haden, who recently relocated from New York, is serving a year-long appointment as an adjunct faculty member in Southern Oregon University's Theatre Department. An actor himself, Haden has performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Off Broadway and at theaters nationwide.

The show's set was designed by Doug Ham and built by carpenter David Pedersen. Betsy Bishop is producer; Bart Grady is light designer; Emily Ehrlich-Inget is costume designer; and Mark Barsekian is voice and dialect coach. Stage manager is Emily Weiser, and Sierra Houk and Ford Murawski-Brown are assistant stage managers.

Tickets for the performances at AHS cost $15 for reserved seats, $10 for general seating and $5 for students and seniors. General seating, senior and student tickets also are available at Paddington Station, Tree House Books and Music Coop in downtown Ashland. Reserved seating is available online at www.showtix4u.com or by calling 1-866-967-8167. For more information, see www.ahstheatre.net or call 541-482-8771.

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