By Leah Korte
ACU’s Department of Theatre will present Laughter on the 23rd Floor starting Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulks Theatre.
Laughter on the 23rd Floor’s director, Adam Hester, said the production is centers on a group of writers similar to those in 30 Rock.
“The comedy is about a group of writers and what they bring into the writing room, and the jokes that they are trying to make for the Max Prince Show, a thin disguise of Sid Caesar’s Show of Shows,” said Hester, professor of theatre.
The play is autobiographical for Neil Simon who started his career as a writer on Sid Caesar’s “Show of Shows.”
The cast and crew have rehearsed since Jan. 11. The theatre department requires the theatre majors to try out for the productions to put what they have learned into practice.
Student actor Braden Clark, sophomore theatre major from Olathe, Kansas, plays the role of Lucas, a young writer who narrates while surrounded by chaotic comedy.
“The characters are so large and dynamic that it can often become chaotic on the floor, which is where the comedy sets in,” said Clark. “Lucas is the one who brings everyone back, who grounds the audience a little bit back to Earth because it is so hectic.”
The theatre department not only provides roles in the shows, but also the opportunity to work on the production staff. Diego Gonzalez, sophomore theatre major from Mission, is working as an assistant stage manager for the first time. He explained that the stage managers job is crucial to the production. The position includes making sure the set is safe and placing props in the correct location, all while keeping everything organized.
“[The actors] are great,” said Gonzalez. “From day one they all came up and came into rehearsal with great ideas. You can tell they’ve really done their homework on their characters over Christmas break.”
Hester said comedy can often be harder than dramatic pieces. From punctuation, to the timing and the deliverance of the line, the combination is crucial for the audience to respond to the comical scenes. Hester said the cast and crew have worked hard, with a great work ethic and an energetic attitude.
The show opens Friday night and tickets are available online or through the box office at the Williams Performing Art Center. The production will run for three weekends, Feb. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 at Fulks Theatre.