Noises Off

Information regarding the SRDS Fall 2009 production, written by Michael Frayn. 

Congratulations to Jeff Virchow, our set designer, for his recent "Achievement in Set Design" nomination from the Montclair State University High School Theatre Awards!

Additional congratulations to our technical crew for their recent "Outstanding Technical Crew" nomination from the Montclair State University High School Theatre Awards!

(The awards ceremony is May 21, 2010.)

With love, to our cast and stage managers...

Tis the night now of openin’, and all through the scenes,
Not a creature is stirring, not one small sardine.
The sheets are all hung on the hook in the back,
In hopes that Brooke’ll remember the one that is black.

The doughnuts are nestled all snug in their boxes,
What’s next, Mr. Frey, bags filled with bagels and loxes?
And Jeff with his Ozzy, and me with my apples,
Are settling in seats, prepared to be dazzled.

When off from backstage there arises such a clatter,
Team Virchow springs up to see what is the matter.
Away to the green room we fly like a flash,
Throw open the door and in we do dash.

The cast looks up quickly from mirrors and shoes
Putting last touches on costumes and hair-dos.
They sit down quite promptly—even Reg hushes
“’Tis time for that tradition,” the director, she gushes.

 Now, young ones, this custom, perhaps new to you,
Is one we’ve been doing for cast and for crew.
It’s the way I say “thanks” and “break all your legs”
And now to the freshman, my poem does segue.

Her hysteria’s brilliant, her boo-hoos a dream,
But we’re not too surprised from this drama queen.
Whether Lloyd’s bellowing or knocking her up,
Whether she’s got a cough or just the hiccups,
‘Laney’s delightful, yes, of this I am sure,
Though no longer young Wendy, yet still she does soar.

At times he is lost, but most often confused,
And rightfully so—for all Lloyd’s abuse.
A toolbelt on waist and a beanie on head,
We hope he’s just dropped off—not finally dead.
As much as we love Tim, we love Jason more,
(So long as he ‘members t’enter through the right door).

Whether wrestlin’ a handle or dropping a box,
Whether crawlin’ with sardines or trying to knock,
Belinda’s got things under control, you see,
(Except, perhaps, screeching like a howler monkey).
Regan, love, you’re so talented, that’s clear to me,
(But please don’t drown Zach at the end of act three.)

With his sardines and his doors, his baxes and bogs,
And a co-star whose brain is smaller than a dog’s,
He has got his fair share of troubles, you know,
And to top it all off, his own accent’s his foe.
Yes, Zach, I make fun of you ‘round every turn,
But the truth? Well, that’s what you’re about to learn:
The truth is, you know, well, really, you see,
I’m quite impressed by who you’ve grown up to be.

With a grin on her face and a Starbucks in hand,
She drops her racquet, and in rehearsal she lands.
Though her voice is so sweet and her smile sincere,
Lauren commands her crew, and instills in them fear.
But the big secret Lauren’s been keeping from us?
Apparently, as Brooke, she can make quite a fuss!
Two years ago I worried you might be shy…
Now, you’re a leader, and I just stand by.

She attends each rehearsal, script in her hand,
When I call her name, beside me she lands.
When you call for “line”, she’s got your back,
And when Lloyd screams a cue, she turns the stage black.
But ‘Manda’s far more than a stage manager
She’s the one who ensures there’s a sane director.
Amanda, I couldn’t be prouder of you,
When you’re not by me next year, what’ll I do?

This next verse begins several long years ago,
With a raucous young boy to whom I often said “no”.
“He’s a handful,” I complained, “he just can’t grow up.”
“I cast him as Chinese, and now he won’t shut up.”
Oh, Georges, how you’ve grown since I wanted you dead,
Now you’re divine (but watch out for Reg’s head).
But truly, I’ve grown to admire you so,
Make me proud, mini-director, in tonight’s show.

Always so earnest, he tried out for so long,
But it took several years to know where he belonged.
It seems Shakespeare Honors’ where he found his voice
And, Chris, now you know, the stage is the right choice.
Your very first fall play, you captured a lead,
And lovely you are (as in a bag you do breathe),
You’re a shining example: it’s never too late,
That on stage you belong, there’s just no debate.

In Kate she served beer to a table of boys,
And in Alice, as hedgehog, she rolled like a toy.
But I didn’t know what she really could do,
‘Til she played Cordelia, honest and true.
Now finally, a senior, she’s got a lead role,
And we can’t help but grin at her Cockney “’ello?”
Though she forgets a line, newspapers, sardines,
One thing she recalls: at last, Shay’s fulfilling her dream.

Oh Brandon, my Brandon, where do I begin?
With an eighth grader whose French one-act did make me grin?
No, perhaps later, as Bishop on the sea,
(The play where I loved Brandon but hated Georgey.)
Hold on, just a minute, a theme starts to emerge!
You’ve played a drunk twice—that’s what I’ve heard.
But the truth, my sweet walrus, is painfully clear,
You’ve a piece of my heart, take it with you next year.

For the first three months, she was just “Heather’s sister”,
But now, looking back, how could I resist her?
With legs that fly up at unnatural angles,
It’s hardly a shock that as Cheshire she dangled.
At least, in that show, she had the brain of cat,
This year, Brooke’s intellect’s the size of a gnat.
But, Brit, you must know that I merely jest,
On my stage, in my heart, you’re simply the best.

‘Tis time now for openin’ and from what we’ve seen,
Your audience won’t believe this cast is just made of teens.
You’ve sweated and stumbled, you’ve been healthy and sick,
You’ve cried and you’ve laughed, been slow and been quick,
You’ve eaten my apples and drunk lots of whiskey,
You’ve adopted a mascot—our beloved little Ozzy.
You’ve put in the work, now it’s time for the fun,
You’re our bright shining stars who outshine the sun.
So when you step up tonight to take well-deserved bows,
Know this, kids: You’re the best!

Much love,
Team Virchow

The Cast

 (in order of appearance)


Dotty Otley ... Shay Frey

Lloyd Dallas ... Georges Roc

Garry Lejeune ... Zach Frey

Brooke Ashton ... Brittany Singer

Poppy Norton-Taylor ... Delaney Moro

Frederick Fellowes ... Chris Carillo

Belinda Blair ... Regan Moro

Tim Allgood ... Jason Steckler

Selsdon Mowbray ... Brandon Cudequest

The Crew


Amanda Steckler ... Stage Manager

Lauren Gorab ... Assistant Stage Manager

Matt Guzman ... Assistant Technical Director


Issey Blatt ... Assistant to the Stage Managers

Josh Cohen ... Lighting / Sound Operator

Jeremy Tchack ... Lighting / Sound Operator

Carly Orris ... Costume Mistress

Jake Pressman ... Props Master

  Zak Timmons ... Run Crew / Construction Crew

Ricky Oliver ... Run Crew / Construction Crew

Patrick Killian ... Run Crew / Construction Crew

Phil Sitver ... Run Crew / Construction Crew 


Matt Skeete ... Construction Crew / Usher

Michael Rodriguez ... Construction Crew / Usher

Maddy Tchack ... Construction Crew / Usher

Cast Policies


If you have a conflict with a key date (see the column to the left), you must note it on your audition contract. If you have a rehearsal conflict, I must know about it within 24 hours of the relevant rehearsal schedule being posted. If you do not tell me about the conflict within that 24 hour time period, your absence WILL be considered unexcused (please see below). If you are absent from school, please e-mail me in the morning to let me know (

Unexcused Absence Policy

If you have three or more unexcused absences, your part will be recast. Three latenesses add up to one absence. 
Lateness Policy
A rehearsal begins when all actors called are present. If the final actor arrives late, then their arrival time is considered to be the start of rehearsal, and we will continue to work for the full time allotted. (For example, if six actors are called for a two hour rehearsal starting at 3:30PM, and the five actors are present at 3:30 but the sixth arrives at 3:49, then rehearsal will go until 5:49 instead of until 5:30, as originally planned.)
Tech Crew Policies

1.    If your name is not on the tech crew list, you are not allowed to work on either the backstage or the construction crew at any time. Period.

2.    You may never work without Jeff Virchow, the show’s technical director, present.

3.    If your name is on the list, here’s what to do:
    a.    At the beginning of the week, go down to the PAC and mark which                 free periods (study halls or open commons) you plan to come down 
            for that week. (This way, Jeff can make sure he’s there when you 
    b.    See your advisor to get a pass for that covers all the periods you will 
            be in the PAC for that week.*
    c.    The first time you come down that week, bring the pass and give it to 
    d.    Work away!
    e.    At the end of each week, Jeff will report to Mrs. Virchow how much 
            time you put in so we can keep track.

4.    Each member of Construction Crew must put in a minimum of 5 hours 
on the set (or 8 total class periods). This is in addition to ushering on Friday and Saturday for the performances (November 7-8).

5.    Each member of the Backstage Crew must put in a minimum of 2 hours on the set (or 3 total class periods). This is in addition to your time during tech week (November 7-14).

* Seniors do not need a pass, unless the advisor specifically requests it. However, seniors still must be on the tech list to work.


Left: The Director, hard at work.
Above: The Technical Director, also hard at work?



Noises Off is described as "the funniest farce ever written," and it is often thought of as an actor's dream come true or worst nightmare, depending on who you're talking to. Under the directorial guidance of Lloyd Dallas (and with the assistance of an emotional stage manager and exhausted handyman), six actors attempt a touring production of a badly written and even more poorly executed British farce entitled Nothing's On. The three acts of Noises Off offer a behind-the-scenes look at local theatre productions as the audience first watches a dress rehearsal, then an actual performance--from backstage, and then the closing night. When done correctly, Noises Off is a hysterical tour-de-force--so we intend to do it justice!