ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Escanaba’s Players De Noc theatre group is hard at work rehearsing for its next production.
However, the story of how a local business helped make the production possible is worth telling as much as the story in the performance.
The Play That Goes Wrong opens on Friday, October 6 at the Bonifas Theater.
“It is a fantastically hilarious production,” said technical director Jamie Peterson. “It is exactly like its name entails—everything that could possibly go wrong with the show goes wrong with the show.”
The set audience members will see is not one the Players De Noc already had when deciding to do the show. The Play That Goes Wrong has many technical elements—including literal moving parts—required for its set.
“It’s all steel construction, because pieces of it need to be able to ‘come unhinged,’ to quote a line from the show,” said performer Jon Flath. “And, of course, safety is paramount with the actors in mind and the backstage crew.”
The group did some research. They learned Rockford High School Theatre downstate had produced The Play That Goes Wrong last year and constructed its own set.
“They had built their set with the intent of renting it out after they were done with the production, so they took some extra time in the design, thought about how it could be portable and durable enough to be used theater after theater,” Peterson said.
There were some concerns, though.
“We had 450 miles between here and our set, so getting it here was going to entail quite a few expenses that Players De Noc would have to incur,” said Peterson.
“I said, ‘Oh, did we call any of the local carriers?’—who I happened to have worked with before retirement,” Flath said.
That’s when Pike Transport entered the scene.
“Pike Transport graciously offered to haul the set for us and will also haul it back down for us,” said Flath.
Pike Transport’s crew also helped unload the set, ultimately saving Players De Noc a significant amount of time, money, and resources. Peterson says it is also a large contribution to the local arts.
“This is exactly what community theater is all about, supporting each other,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier that Pike is one of our featured sponsors for The Play That Goes Wrong.”
The cast and crew say The Play That Goes Wrong is one of the best they have ever put on. Flath encourages the community to come out and support the production.
“It is hysterical, slapstick farce, a laugh-a-minute,” he said. “Just suspend all belief and let it happen. I think they will really enjoy the show.”
Players De Noc will perform The Play That Goes Wrong at 7:30 p.m. October 6 – 7 and 11 – 14. There will be a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. on October 8.
Tickets are available at the Bonifas Arts Center. To purchase tickets online, click here.