Nov 6, 2007    #142
Contact: Angela Turner

UMKC Theatre kicks off year with comedy “Noises Off”

Noises Off,” but let loose the laughter. University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Theatre Department graduate students will produce Michael Frayn’s slapstick play within a play, “Noises Off,” for this year’s Comedy UMKC on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007. The third annual benefit will help support scholarships for UMKC theater graduate students.

“Noises Off” offers a backstage look at a company of British actors during the rehearsal and subsequent tour of a bedroom sex farce called “Nothing On.” Each of the three acts of “Noises Off” contains a performance of the first act of “Nothing On,” where the characters forget lines, swill whisky, miss cues and fuss with bothersome props, which include several plates of sardines.

The inspiration for “Noises Off” surfaced when its writer judged the performance of one of his earlier plays “funnier from behind than in the front.”

John Rensenhouse, who has directed the play professionally and acted in more than 300 performances of the National Tour, will direct the UMKC student production.

“With split-second timing, romantic intrigues and flying props galore, Michael Frayn has engineered a modern comic masterpiece that has kept audiences rolling in the aisles since its London debut in 1982,” Rensenhouse said. “Disaster and mayhem have never been such fun!”

J J. Scott Francis serves as honorary chairman and Becky and Drew Loboda serve as event co-chairs of this year’s scholarship benefit. Patron ticket holders are invited to a party from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 6. Both the $125 patron tickets and $50 event tickets include admission to the performance and to a dessert reception at intermission.

Preview Dates: Saturday, Sept. 29 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 7:30 p.m. Opens: Wednesday, Oct. 3 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 7:30 p.m. *Benefit performance Close: Sunday, Oct. 7 2:30 p.m.

“Noises Off” – the first of seven UMKC Theatre graduate productions this year – will be produced at The Performing Arts Center, Spencer Theatre, 4949 Cherry Street. Regular ticket prices for UMKC productions excluding the Comedy UMKC benefit are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for students and $5 each for groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased by calling 816-235-6222.

Other upcoming productions: “Goodnight Children Everywhere,” directed by Ron Schaeffer “Quindaro,” a new original work by Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, produced by Ricardo Khan “The Country Wife,” directed by Theodore Swetz “The Cure at Troy,” directed by Barry Kyle “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” directed by Joseph Price, in conjunction with the Unicorn Theatre “In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project,” directed by Sidonie Garrett, in conjunction with the Coterie Theatre

Single ticket prices vary for productions at Union Station, Coterie Theatre and Unicorn Theatre, and orders may be purchased through their respective theater box offices.

UMKC Theatre has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top graduate theatre training programs in the country. The program trains a select group of highly talented actors, designers, stage managers and dramaturgs for careers in the performing arts. Graduates from the UMKC program are invited to the most prestigious New York competitions and auditions to exhibit their work and secure positions with national and international performing companies. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and is a member of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

UMKC has been designated as Missouri’s Campus for the Arts.


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