Sometimes the real drama takes place backstage.
That’s the premise of the new play The Green Room by local playwright and director Brian March. The play shows what goes on behind the scenes during a particularly unlucky production of William Shakespeare’s famously cursed play, Macbeth.
“Everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong and the play really is about how actors or people in theatre deal with these things and with the understanding that what’s most important is that the show gets done and they put on the best performance possible,” March said. “And so they have to overcome every problem as it comes along and deal with it so that the show’s a success at the end.”
The Yellow Point Drama Group production of The Green Room debuts at Cedar Community Hall on Oct. 5 and continues each Friday and Saturday until Oct 20.
March said it’s the first time he’s written a play about theatre directly, with most actors playing actors except for a couple who portray outsiders dropping in on the frantic backstage world. March and his cast say they’ve all faced tough situations, on and off stage, over the course of their theatre careers.
“There’s lots of things that have gone wrong on stage that we have to then go back to the green room and either discuss or fume over or decompress somehow and process,” said Erik Tully, who plays the actor who plays Macbeth.
Larissa Coser, who plays the actor who plays Lady Macduff, said the play provides a window into those unseen difficulties facing actors and the challenge of their craft.
“You may have had the [worst] day and everything probably went wrong and you just divorced your husband or whatever it is. You still have to go on stage and … you have to just completely leave everything you felt that day, what you did, and become the character,” she said.
March noted that theatre is a collaborative medium, and the beauty is that people pull together because despite problems that arise, be they personal, technical or otherwise, the show must go on.
“It’s a group experience and everybody’s on board,” he said. “So no matter what’s going on in their private lives or behind the scenes, they’re going to put on a show and they’re going to put on the best show they can possibly do.”
Kathleen Ramsay, who plays the assistant stage manager, said stage productions can be stressful, but there is still a lot of fun and co-operation, even when things go wrong or people forget their lines.
“Hopefully, perhaps some of the audience members, by watching this play it will help them say, ‘You know, maybe I could do this. Maybe I wouldn’t be alone. Maybe I would have fun,’” she said.
WHAT’S ON … Yellow Point Drama Group presents The Green Room at Cedar Community Hall, 2388 Cedar Rd., on Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 20 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes beforehand. Tickets $20.