Dakota prepares for ‘Noises Off’ production

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 12, 2016

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Performing a play within a play, Dakota High School’s theater team is giving itself a unique challenge for its spring production.

Dakota will perform the comedy “Noises Off” April 14-17.

“This gives them something different than our winter musical, ‘Mary Poppins,’” Dakota Theater Director Kelly Schmidt said. “It is a staple show for most theater programs, and it teaches a lot along the way.”

“Noises Off” depicts actors who are rehearsing for a show called “Nothing On.”

“The fact that it is a play within a play, there are many things to learn about playing two characters in the same place at the same time,” Schmidt said. “There are many monologues, props and attention to detail which goes into this show, which all are experiences that our students should have from a theater program.”

Schmidt said she was able to double cast the show because of ample depth in talent in the theater program.

The lead role of Lloyd went to senior Zach Miles and junior Peter Dedaj. Freshman Madison Fairman and sophomore Nicole Hollinsky will play the role of Dotty, who plays Mrs. Clackett in “Nothing On.”

Key supporting roles went to juniors Angelina Kanan and Leah DeGregory, who are playing the character of Belinda (Flavia). Senior Jacob Laporte and junior Samuel Khalil will play the character of Garry (Roger).

“It is a double cast because the talent was incredible. It was very tough to cast the show, so we decided to make two different casts,” Schmidt said. “The reason why the characters have two different names is our students are playing actors, and then the actors are playing characters in rehearsal for ‘Nothing On.’”

Schmidt said Laporte is heavily involved in all aspects of the show.

“He (Laporte) is the student director. He is vice president of the drama club and he is also on tech crew, which helps backstage. He’s a great leader. He is a great student and is a huge part of our program.”

Due to a snow day that came during a critical audition day, Schmidt said she had to cast 18 roles in one afternoon, which provided a great challenge.

“Our students were given the choice of auditioning for their desired role. If we saw something in them and wanted to see more, we did a callback later that day and they performed again. We had them read or work with their potential romantic opposite to (establish) chemistry and to see how their dialogue went together,” Schmidt said.

“Noises Off” depicts a cast of characters as they either fall in love or struggle to get along with one another. The characters undermine each other and their superiors while also forgetting lines and creating their own backstage drama.

Dakota’s adaptation of the play is localized to show how the cast prepares for shows over a four-month span at Meadow Brook Theatre, the Fox Theatre and the Fisher Theatre.

Schmidt said the show is recommended for students middle school age and up.

Shows begin at 7 p.m. April 14-16 at Dakota’s auditorium, and at 2 p.m. April 17. Dakota is located at 21051 21 Mile Road.

Tickets cost $10 and can either be purchased at the door or in advance at dakotamusical.seatyourself.biz.

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