Spring Play: ‘It’s mainly just supposed to be funny’

By Shun Graves

Branson theater students continue to prepare for “Not By Bed Alone,” a French comedy and the school’s spring play.

Actors have been investing several hours weekly for nearly a month for the March performance.

“We started rehearsals a few weeks ago, so we have been rehearsing twice a week during the weekdays and then on Sundays we meet for five hours to really dig into the production,” performer Margot Mead said. “We’ve been looking at each act, there’s three acts in this show, and we’ve been starting to get to know our characters and what they want and what they struggle with.”

Noah Loiacono, another performer, stressed Maura Vaughn’s leadership.

“Maura Vaughn, our director, has created a rehearsal schedule, so every rehearsal we have specific scenes that we’re going to be working on,” Loiacono said. “We read through the scenes, and then we block the scenes, which is basically choreographing on stage where everyone is and where their movements are. [We then] run through those scenes.”

Choreographically, “blocking” has been the rehearsals’ focal exercise, Mead said.

“I would say that we also do a lot of blocking, which is when we kind of decide where we’re going to be standing in relation to the other people, or if we’re going to be standing or sitting,” Mead said.

“Not By Bed Alone” was written by playwright Georges Feydeau, a preeminent French figure at the end of the 19th century. His work expresses the timeless appeal of the farce, the Branson performers say.

“One of the principal messages of this show is, let’s say, the importance [of] or emphasis [on] humor and entertainment. It’s not a show that’s meant to be necessarily heart-rending or inspirational; it’s mainly just supposed to be funny, it’s a really light-hearted production, and the story is really exciting in a really non-serious way,” Loiacono said.

The comedy good-naturedly explores individualism through relationships in the era’s “chaotic” French society.

“It’s basically a very chaotic rendition of what the life of certain upper- and lower-class members of French society might have looked like,” Loiacono said.

Regarding the plot, Mead said, “There’s a lot of action involved. It is, as its core, about a man who is in a relationship with a woman and fails to tell her that he is also engaged to someone else at the same time — and about his journey through that process.”

She added, “I would say if there is any deeper level, it’s kind of about, at least for my character, who is Lucette Gautier, about finding your own individualism, because I would say that each character has a very unique personality in this show.”

Loiacono and Mead urged students to attend the comedy — scheduled for March 26, 27 and 28 — stressing the endless entertainment and novelty of the relatively unknown farce.

“I am actually thinking about what is going to be the most interesting angle, and I think really, regardless of any descriptions we can give about this play, the most we can say is that it’s going to be really, really funny and that it will, by under no circumstances, be boring,” Loiacono said.

Mead said, “While not a lot of people have heard of this show, that kind of adds to the excitement because it lets you have a completely new experience that hopefully you’ll really enjoy.”