flag image
Beline Obeid

Fall drama teaches teamwork and timing

An announcement stuns the actors in "Nothing's On," the play within Grosse Pointe North High School's drama club's fall presentation of "Noises Off." photo by Renee Landuyt.

September 27, 2012
Director Marty Bufalini hopes that with "Noises Off," the Grosse Pointe North High School drama club's fall presentation, students learn the importance of an ensemble, stressing teamwork and timing on the stage.

"I thought this would be a good lesson for them," Bufalini said. "Because, I mean, you've got doors opening, doors closing, people in and out, props all over the place, pants falling down. It's crazy. It's insanity, and they've got to stay on top of it."

The Michael Frayn-penned comedy plays on the concept of a play within a play, following ambitious director Lloyd Dallas and his troupe of eight itinerant actors' attempts to perform, "Nothing On."

It's broken up into three acts, each of the three containing a performance of the first act of "Nothing On." Acts one and three take place on stage, while act two focuses on the backstage shenanigans involving cast members, of which there are nine — five males and four females.

Peter Gristsas assumes the role of Dallas and the remaining cast includes: Jamie Lackner as Dotty Otley; Jacob VandenBoom as Garry Lejeune; Stephanie Saravolatz as Brooke Ashton; Katelyn Carroll as Poppy Norton-Taylor; Kyle Stefek as Frederick Fellowes; Analisa Guido as Belinda Glair; Jeffery Redd as Tim AllGood and Logan Hart as Selsdon Mowbray.

Students began rehearsing in August. Typically, a majority of fall drama rehearsals are at Bufalini's house and he and students practice scene work on his porch until the set's built and they're allowed to use the school's Performing Arts Center. Thanks to Dan Vicary and crew, Bufalini said, this year they hit the stage a little earlier.

"They had the set built earlier," Bufalini said. "Because we needed the set; it's very, very difficult to rehearse without the set for this particular play. The set plays a very, very important part in this."

Props also play a critical role.

"Props are incredible in this play," Bufalini said. "Bill Dennis, our prop person, he could do this professionally. He's really, really good."

Added Dennis: "I've been doing props here for about nine years now for both the dramas and the musicals. This is probably the screwiest one I've done."

In all, a cast and crew of about 40 students, along with several parent volunteers, are working together through the controlled chaos of constant motion.

"There's a lot of people involved — parents, students," Bufalini said. "Couldn't do it without them. There's no way we can do it without them. It's not an easy play to do. You've got to stay on top of it — the lines, the props, the timing — you've got to stay on top of it. And they're meeting the challenge. We're not there yet, but we will be."

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, all at North's Performing Arts Center. A question and answer session with the cast follows each performance.

Tickets are general admission, $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. They're available at Wild Birds Unlimited or at the door. All proceeds benefit North's performing arts department.

Gold cards are welcome.

To read the rest of the story, log in or subscribe to the Grosse Pointe News >>

Family Center Ask the Experts 1
Grosse Pointe Chamber
Riverbank Theatre 3
Ed Rinke Right