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James Madison High School Noises Off

By • Nov 24th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

A standing ovation, an honor rarely afforded to a performance. It is the kind of reward that is only given to those that have risen past expectation. James Madison High School’s production of Noises Off was one such performance.

It ended with a standing ovation, but where did it begin? Noises Off began as Michael Frayn watched a farce he had written from backstage. He recalled it being funnier backstage than it was onstage, which would inspire him to write a one-act called Exits. He later expanded it into the three act play Noises Off. The play premiered in 1982 in the Lyric Theatre, London.

Near professional was the phrase that came into mind as the play came to an end. The production was of top notch quality, especially at a high school level. The actors hit their cues, the props were flying, and the comedy was on. With well thought out and rehearsed acting, assisted by solid lighting and sound technicians, the production was, and is truly rave-worthy.

In a play where almost every character has the same amount of stage time, and the same importance to the plot, it is hard to discern leading roles. However, the leads for this production of Noises Off were The Director and Dotty.

The cast of this production had it all, comedic timing, chemistry, and talent. They all worked amazingly together and their organized chaos in the third act was absolutely amazing. Each actor brought their individual skills and abilities to the stage, adding to the melting pot of brilliance.

Backstage, or in the back booth, the entire tech supplied the actors with the environment they needed to make a great show. The sound was always on cue, although sometimes a bit too loud. The lighting was above the average high school light coordination. The backstage techies did their jobs and stayed out of sight, except for when between the second and third acts they rotated the set with a cautious finesse.

All the ingredients were there to earn the standing ovation, the raving reviews, and any nominations and awards that this play might earn. The focus and the energy were high, the actors acted with expertise, the tech were steady shoulders to stand on, and together they made James Madison High School’s Drama Department’s production of Noises Off.

by Max Kosma of Falls Church High School

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is a program which was founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at cappies.com.

2 Responses »

  1. […] ShowBizRadio: Review of James Madison High School’s Noises Off […]

  2. […] Note: Cappies critic Max Kosma’s review of James Madisons’ production of Noises Off was published on November 24, 2008.) Tagged as: James Madison High […]