Some call this pee-in-your-pants funny. We’re not gonna say who, but some.
“The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong” breaks on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-14 and Sunday, Nov. 15 at Marathon High School Performing Arts Center. The seed for this latest hit from the Drama Club, led by Carrollyn Cox, was planted three years ago.
“We saw this on a trip to New York City,” said senior Sara Gonzales. She plays the part of Annie in the character of the stage manager. (The real stage manager is Calla Jimenez).
“I don’t think I say anything until page 26 of the script,” Gonzales said. “I’m just doing random, crazy, silly stuff. I’ve never done a role like this and I’m enjoying it.”
Cox said the play re-enacts all the major and minor dramas that can happen in live theater: missed cues, small injuries, doors that open when they should be shut and doors that stay shut when they should be open.
“My favorite part is when the characters get stuck in a circle and say the same line five times because they can’t figure a way out of it,” Cox said. “It’s slapstick-y, not my usual genre, but it has given me great pleasure to go to rehearsal these last six weeks and just laugh.”
Even the play program is funny. Where normally the cast and crew would be formally pictured next to their short biography, in this one the photos are all “off-guard” — a blurry boy ducking out of frame, a girl digging out a bra strap. Cox credits assistant stage manager Chase Taylor with that bit of levity and says the cast and crew have even choreographed their own zany bows at the end of the show.
“I always start out with a vision, but really, they are the creative genius behind the productions. I’m just there to facilitate,” Cox said.
Patrick Daniher plays “Dennis,” who plays the character of Perkins, a butler. He said the show’s entertainment doesn’t stop.
“At the end of the show I get handcuffed to a couch and for the rest of it, I am carrying that couch around,” he said, “because another actor lost the key.”
Due to COVID-19, the drama club made many changes in how it rehearses and how it will present the show (see below). Cox said the mask requirement for actors won’t impact the audience’s appreciation.
“The actors had to be overly expressive. They have to use their body and eyes and their voice to portray emotions. It’s better, in a way,” she said. “And, if anything goes wrong, I doubt our audience will be able to tell because that’s what the whole play is about.”
“The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong” was penned by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. It was first presented by Mischief Theatre under the title of “The Murder Before Christmas” in London.
“The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong” will show on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10. Tickets for reserved seats are available from cast and crew members. Tickets for general admission will be available one hour before the show. The seats will be assigned and a maximum of two patrons will be seated together, regardless of group size. Audience members must be masked throughout the performance.