Thespians performed Noises Off for the State Thespian Conference at Missouri State University in Springfield on Jan. 6.
The bus ride thespians took was about three-and-a-half hours long, and it was shared with a group of actors from Affton High School. The ride to Springfield wasn’t as pleasant as the cast and crew would have hoped after waking up at 6 a.m.
“They were saying that we needed to shut up and that they were trying to sleep, and one of them shouted out ‘no gay,’” said Lia Ashley, senior.
“They were being pretty obnoxious and rude,” said junior Patrick Dugan.
Other schools that performed at the conference included Kirkwood, Villa, Nerinx Hall, some of the Parkways and Afton.
“Watching the other schools performing was really eye-opening. A lot of them were really good,” said Ashley.
This was Ashley’s first time being in a play aside from being a part of Friday Night Live. It was also a first for Dugan. The cast has performed Noises Off at least 13 times in full costume, but only four of those times have been in front of an audience.
The play includes an act that the cast refers to as pantomime. It’s called this because the actors don’t do any talking during it. The set is flipped around so the audience gets a look at what is really happening backstage. This way, the audience sees what the play looks like from the front and the back.
Ashley said this about the play being state-worthy. “We all worked really hard, and put a lot of time and effort into it. Also I think that most of the people who were in the play are pretty funny or at least good at improvisation.” Ashley added since the play was so fast-paced, it was easy to forget lines, and the actors have to improvise when that happens and kind of make it up as they go along.
“But we didn’t get to be judged, because we would have had to pay $900,” Ashley added.
Dugan added, “Noises Off was state worthy because it gave young actors at Webster a chance to actually have a huge audience and see and meet other great actors to compare yourself against. Easily the best experience ever in my years of high school.”