‘Backstage’ laughs at theatre mishaps



    Valley Center Playhouse’s “Backstage” opened the audience’s eyes to the chaos and mishaps that can happen backstage in a theatrical performance.

    The script, written by Jody Renstrom, included actual events that have happened during past Playhouse productions.

    “It is fascinating to see what goes on backstage,” Director Joyce Gunther said. “You never know what kind of chaos is going on back there and it’s really fun for the audience to see the other side of the curtain.”

    “Backstage” is a play within a play that follows the Encore Theater company from auditions to opening night. In the opening night scene, the audience is able to see the hilarious chaos that is created when someone misses their cue or when props are misplaced.

    The cast of 10 include a know-it-all actress named Barbara, the foreign costume designer and the nervous and stressed-out director.

    “The script did a fabulous job at stereotyping the different kinds of actors involved and what really goes on between them backstage,” said Lynette Anderson, an audience member from Salt Lake City.

    Mike Gray did a wonderful job assuming the role of an over-dramatic actor who is reduced to playing the part of a butler. His facial expressions and animated voice added to his character.

    “I just tried to ham it up as much as I could,” Gray said.

    Kevin Gulledge, who played the role of Ken, also performed in the Villa Playhouse’s production of “The Nerd” in January. Gulledge said he had to adjust to performing in the Playhouse’s arena theater because the style of acting was much different from the style he used on the stage of “The Nerd.”

    Ironically, some mishaps similar to the ones in “Backstage” actually occurred during Friday night’s performance. In the scene where the actors are practicing their dance, Paula’s dress got caught on the heel of her shoe and kept ripping. The costume designer, Ingrid, immediately stepped in and acted upset with what was done to her masterpiece.

    “It’s not a traditional play where you sit back and people run lines — it’s spontaneous,” Gulledge said.

    “Backstage” is running now through March 24 at the Valley Center Playhouse located at 780 N. 200 East in Lindon. Performances are Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. For tickets and more information call 785-1186. Detailed directions are available at the same number.

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