Thursday, April 7, 2011

Red, Red Noses

What do you get when you cross the Black Plague with a priest and a band of misfit clowns? Find out when Wofford Theatre presents the deathly funny comedy "Red Noses" by Peter Barnes!
I confess, like so many out there, that I have not read this play; which means the synopsis that I have pieced together is blatantly taken from other sources. With that said however, I am close with many of the cast and crew involved in this production, and thereby want to support their endeavors.

Being a recent theater grad myself, I may be a bit biased in my opinion--I am a fan of any and all of the Wofford Theater and Pulp Theater Productions.

Think the world's got problems now? In the mid-1300s, the Black Plague wiped out a third of the population of Europe.
People were dropping like flies, and the living had trouble deciding what to do with themselves. Uncontrollable weeping? Self-flagellation?
For one priest, the answer is clear: make 'em laugh. Turning a band of desperate misfits into a troupe of deeply untalented circus performers, he sets out to prove that the best defense against a cruel world is a bad joke beautifully told.

This play is set in Auxerre, France, in 1348 in the midst of the Black Plague. The main character is Marcel Flote, a wandering monk who after an inadvertently humorous run-in with a flagellant discovers what God has called him for--laughter in the face of plague, "bright stars not sad comets, red noses not black death. He wants joy."

It's not your typical comedy, but "Red Noses" highlights death, grief and the importance of humor. "The play is odd”… "and it's hilarious, and it's deeply tender, too. It may be edgy humor, but it also packs a wallop."

Plague and pestilence is everywhere, and humanity is convinced this is Armageddon but Flote sets forth with a troupe of clowns (a new order without order) to make merriment against all odds. Although initially supported by the Church in this endeavor (for its own gain), the Church in the end (not surprisingly) turns against Father Flote and his anti-establishment followers.
In the show, the priest's troupe includes a mute bell-wearing clown, a lusty singing nun, a mercenary turned actor, a reluctant priest, a disaffected member of the upper crust, a blind juggler, a comedienne with a speech impairment and a disabled exotic dancer.

In summary, I can tell you it’s a happy oddity. Flote teachs the audience and the performers, and sends us all off into the world to be clowns among men.

DIRECTED BY: Dr. Mark Ferguson

Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Friday, April 8, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 8 p.m.

LOCATION: Tony White Theater in the Campus Life Building

Call the Box Office at (864) 597-4080 to reserve your tickets!

Break a leg my darlings and not your necks!
--Ah, but after life's drudgery, when you are weary?
--That's the time to be merry!

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