Comic chaos invades the Imagination Theater stage


How do you keep a straight face when watching a play in a play where comedy – actors can’t remember their lines or where they’re supposed to stand and they bicker with each other pretty much all the time – and chaos ensues?

From September 13 through October 6, audiences will fall from their seats laughing as talented Imagination Theater actors try to keep their faces straight during the hilarious production of “Noises Off.”

“It’s about being an actor and the chaos that can happen behind the scenes of a show,” said Richard Lui, who plays Selsdon Mowbray. “It is considered by many to be the greatest British comedy ever to perform. “

English playwright Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” made his London debut in 1982. Two years later the show was performed on Broadway. In 1984, it was one of four pieces shorting for the Tony Awards for Best Play.

He told him he had seen the play performed five times in the past 10 years and told Mountain Democrat he had always wanted to play Selsdon, an alcoholic known to be late, take the stage at the wrong time and say badly his lines.

“I have a good time with these actors and this team; they’re awesome, ”said Lui, who has appeared in 20 plays over the past 20 years. “Every time I saw him, I laughed so much.”

Connie Carpenter plays Dotty Otley, who in turn plays Mrs. Clackett. Carpenter and the play’s director, Jody Klemens, started at Imagination Theater in 1979 (when it was called Discovery Playhouse) in the play “Hollywood and Vine”. Forty years later, they meet again. Klemens said she was excited to hear Carpenter will be auditioning.

“She’s the leader,” Klemens said. “This casting shows a real sense of teamwork. Even the veteran actors were helping the newbies and it just feels very consistent.

“When all the actors are pretty much equal in their intensity and talent, it works really well together and that’s what we have here,” Carpenter said, adding that this was one of the best. actors with whom she was able to work. “It’s just phenomenal.”

To complete the impressive cast, the Imagination Theater team built an equally impressive set – a house on a stage.

“It’s an incredible movie,” actress Bethanie Turnbull said of the set. “It looks like the interior of a house. It looks really good. I love it.”

Turnbull, 20, said she had seen “Noises Off” three times and joined the computer cast as the play’s youngest performer. She participated in four years of theater at Union Mine High School, where she accumulated experience with musicals and plays, and in this show plays Brooke Ashton who plays Vicki.

“It’s really quick and I love the door slam and how funny it is,” said Turnbull. “This is my first time doing community theater, so I’m really going to dive into it. It’s a good show to learn about community theater. I am very ready.

Director Klemens is also ready – ready to be laughed at. “In this time when there are so many horrible things going on in the world, watch a play that will leave you rubbing your cheeks because you smile or laugh so much,” she said.

” No noise ” opens September 13 at Imagination Theater on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Sessions are 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets and more information, call the box office at (530) 642-0404 or visit


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