AT Theatre introduced an interesting Fall production last night in the auditorium which continues tonight and will have a double showing tomorrow. The Play That Goes Wrong is a worldwide hit London-based production, developed by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre company. The play has gone on to win awards such as “Best New Comedy” at the 2015 Lawrence Olivier Awards and a 2017 Tony Award for its Broadway transfer.
“At the Illinois High School Theatre Festival, a number of students and staff saw Maine East’s production of this show. We loved it and thought it would be a super fun show to produce,” said Theatre director Anna McSweeney.
The Play That Goes Wrong is known most for its comedic nature and riveting storytelling.
“It’s definitely a laugh-out-loud comedy, which we haven’t done in a while. There is also a lot of stage combat,” said McSweeney.
The actors in the production have put a lot of effort into perfecting their performance and their execution of their widely loved characters.
“Students were given a monologue for general auditions and asked to rehearse and perform. Students also have access to the script, so they can read the play before auditioning. I also encourage all students to research and watch different performances, never to copy, but to understand the characters,” said McSweeney.
The audition process exhibits the playfulness that the production will have, with warm-up games to recognize the character dynamics that will be conveyed in the play.
“It was pretty standard for an audition process. We had to read a portion of the opening monologue. We also had a group meetup where we played some warm-up games to get a feel for the dynamic between actors,” said Nathan Redmann, (Need to find out who he plays).
The production comes with its challenges, as everyone will be playing multiple parts.
“Everyone is playing multiple characters, so that is tricky. Also, so much of the show is in the stage directions, and it’s crucial to get that correct in order for the play to work,” said McSweeney.
There are other difficulties that come with such a complex play. As there are things that go on beyond what is normally expected within a production. However, these challenges are what make the Play That Goes Wrong such an interesting theatrical experience.
“The most difficult part has definitely been connecting the lines to the blocking. It’s like there’s a whole hidden script underneath your words that you constantly need to pay attention to,” said Redmann.
Improvising is one of the exciting aspects of the production.
“The easiest part for me was surprisingly my opening and act 2 monologue. You get into the habit of hyper-improvising during this show and the scenes where you are alone really allow that habit to shine,” said Redmann.
Both the cast and crew of The Play That Goes Wrong have put in tremendous effort to create a great production people will enjoy watching.
“Students should come to watch the show because it’s a massive engineering feat and so much work went into the building, lighting, sounds, blocking electro-magnets, and line-work,” said Redmann.
The Play That Goes Wrong will certainly be a play to remember, as it is very different from the productions AT has done in recent years.
“This is unlike any show we have done in the last 10 years. You will laugh and have a really fun evening,” said McSweeney.