Stage company opens doors

It’s that time of year again! As leaves are turning shades of orange and red, Stage Door Productions cast members have been involved in rehearsals for their fall production.

This season, Stage Door will be presenting a double feature for its fall performance beginning Oct. 7 at the White River High School theater. “Black Comedy” and “The Real Inspector Hound” will be directed by Lucus Amundson.

Those who have attended SDP performances have had the privilege to see Amundson perform as Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha” or most recently as Rooster in “Annie.” He resides in Tacoma and is active in live theater throughout western Washington. SDP cast members, of whom I am one, are excited to work under Amundson’s fine direction.

“The Real Inspector Hound” is a short, one-act play by Tom Stoppard. The plot follows two theatre critics named Moon and Birdboot who are watching a ludicrous setup of a country house murder, in the style of a whodunit. By chance, they become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching. It is a parody of the stereotypical parlor mystery in the style of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” as well as of the critics watching the play, with their personal desires and obsessions interwoven into their bombastic and pompous reviews.

The title is a direct reference to the ending of “The Mousetrap,” a play well-known for guarding the secrecy of its twist ending, although the producers of Christie’s play could not publicly object without drawing even more attention to the fact.

In “The Real Inspector Hound,” SDP is inviting anyone who would like to be the “guest” dead body that lays motionless in the middle of the scene throughout the entire play. Imagine being a guest star with no lines, with the best seat in the house! Call Amundson at 253-230-4074 or Frank Thompson at 360-825-2212 if you’d like to donate your body for an hour as a special part in this play. Back stage assistance for scene changes, selling and taking tickets is always welcomed as well.

“Black Comedy” is a one-act play by British dramatist Peter Shaffer, first performed in 1965. The play is, suitably enough, a black comedy in which the effect loss of light would have on a group of people who all hold things from each other is explored; as such, its title is a pun. The play is a farce set in a London flat during an electrical blackout and was written to be staged under a reversed lighting scheme: that is, the play opens with a dinner party beginning on a darkened stage, then a few minutes into the show “a fuse blows,” the stage lights come up and the characters are seen shambling around apparently invisible to one another.

The plot in brief is as follows: Brindsley Miller and his fiancée Carol Melkett have borrowed the fancy furniture from neighbor Harold Gorringe’s flat in order to impress Carol’s father, Col. Melkett. Brindsley, an artist, is afraid that the Colonel will not give up his daughter to a starving artist. Things go awry when the lights go out, leaving Brindlsey helpless as characters arrive, one by one. First is Brindsley’s elderly neighbor, Miss Furnival. Col. Melkett, unimpressed by the blackout, arrives, and Brindsley’s worst nightmare comes true as Harold returns early, and Brindsley tries desperately to return the furniture without Harold noticing.

Be prepared for easy parking, handicap access, great seating and a hilarious romp of live entertainment that will have you experiencing many laugh-out-loud moments when attending Stage Door Productions double feature next month at White River High School’s Performance Theater.

“Black Comedy” and “The Real Inspector Hound” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16. Matinees will be offered at 2 p.m. Oct. 9, 10 and 16.

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