Cast makes 'Noises Off' stage
Farce finishes run this week at Portland Lutheran School
Lucas Buchanan, 17, a junior at Barlow High School, plays director Lloyd Dallas in Black Swan Youth Theatres Noises Off.
Hes mean in a nonchalant way, Buchanan says of Dallas. Its kind of fun some of the things I get to say and the things I get to do.
In order to fully explain what he means, Buchanan invents a new word.
Ive gotten to channel some of my own sarcastic-ness through this character.
Sarcastic-ness could be considered the premise behind Noises Off, written by Englishman Michael Frayn.
The play within a play, which debuted in 1982, makes light of the backstage antics of the cast of a fictitious play called Nothing On. The two plays begin to interlock as the characters make their exits from Nothing On, only to find themselves making entrances into the even worse nightmare going on backstage.
The Black Swan productions actors and producers, aside from the director, Susan Scott, are teenagers from the Portland area.
I think those who are in theater who have done theater before will find it hilarious because some of these things really go on, Buchanan says. You just want to laugh your head off.
Black Swan premiered the play last weekend at Portland Lutheran School, and it concludes its run there from Thursday through Saturday, June 6-8.
Like Buchanan, Valerie Warman, 16, a junior at Oregon Connections Academy, says the play allows her to channel emotions she doesnt normally display. Warman has taken on the role of Dotty Otley, who plays Mrs. Clackett, the housekeeper in Nothing On.
She loves attention from everybody, Warman says. Shes a huge flirt as well. A bit of a cougar.
Warman says she and her brother, Jason, 18, who plays Selsdon Mowbray in the play, spent a lot of time working on her character.
I really like kind of being someone really dramatic because Im not so much, Warman adds.
So what does a real live stagehand veteran think of Noises Off? Monica Debord, 16, a Clackamas High sophomore, has worked a number of years offstage for Black Swan and says Noises nails what its like to coordinate set changes as actors come in and out of the spotlight.
Crazy, she says, thats how it is backstage, how everybodys running into each other and stuff.
She hastens to add that shell do her best not to let life imitate art when she directs folks backstage for Noises.
I just like the sense of control that I have, and I always know whats going off.
At the other end of the theatrical spectrum is the stage-loving Ellie Leach, 16, a Barlow High sophomore who plays Belinda Blair in Noises and Flavia Brent in Nothing On.
Shes a very upbeat peppy character whos been in showbiz since she was little, Leach says. She tends to be the gossip of the group she pretty much has the scoop about whats going on.
Leach adds that she can see a bit of herself in her extroverted character.
I can understand wheres shes coming from, she says. I do like to gossip, but Im not as malicious as she is, she adds with a laugh.
Its a challenge playing her role, Leach says.
You need to put your entire body and everything into the play, she says. I never stop moving in the second act.
Leach speaks for the cast and crew when she says she thinks Black Swan has picked a winner in Noises.
I think the audience will have just as much as of a fun time as the people on stage.
If you go
WHO: Black Swan Youth Theatre
PRESENTS: Noises Off
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 6-8
WHERE: Portland Lutheran School 740 S.E. 182nd Ave.
COST: $7 for students, $8 for adults.