BV to perform ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’


Forgotten lines, injured cast members, and broken set pieces are all nightmares for any regular theatrical production, but for the thespians at Buckeye Valley High School, it’s all part of their upcoming show, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” which opens today.

Tickets are on sale now for the comedy show, which will be performed today and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Director Hannah Fuller said she wanted to return to a comedy after last fall’s dramatic play “Radium Girls,” and this show would be a good learning experience for the theater students at BV.

“We did ‘Radium Girls’ last year, so I think it was time for a bit of levity, and the students were definitely interested in doing another comedy,” Fuller said. “It’s a great study in comedic timing and puts an actor in a unique position of when things are supposed to go wrong on purpose, what is the worst way that you could hide it? That goes the same for the crew as they are trying to solve all these problems that the actors and set are having.”

During the show within a show, practically everything that can go wrong does go wrong backstage and in front of the audience, which gives a large amount of students the chance to earn a laugh, Fuller said.

“Everyone has a moment to shine and contribute to it going wrong,” Fuller said. “The students are finding new ways to make these lines funny every night. They are throwing it all out there, and it’s really a joy as a director to reel them in instead of pushing them further. I enjoy how we’ve gelled together as a cast and crew because this is a very complex show. It’s technically complex and acting complex, but we’ve come closer because of it.”

Fuller, who is in her third year at BVHS, said she’s proud of how the actors at the school have honed their acting skills the last few years.

“It’s been amazing watching them grow,” Fuller said. “(I’ve enjoyed) watching them tackle another comedy, watching them grow as performers and people who are exploring theater and what it means to them. It’s so good for the soul to watch that growth.”

Junior Cord Lehman, who plays the director of the ill-fated show within a show, said he enjoys the comedic role.

“It’s really fun,” Lehman said. “I like that this play is a lot more comedic than the last one, although I do enjoy doing dramas. I like the fourth wall (breaking) that this show does. The play within the play is going wrong, and my character being the director is just breaking down. He starts pretty confident but by the end he’s just giving up on life. I like the big movements he does. It’s been weird acting as a person who is also an actor.”

Laura Church, a junior, is one of the show’s stage managers. Her main jobs are organizing the backstage crew, and the “crew” that is visible to the audience.

“I’m organizing chaos,” Church said. “We have a lot of crew, and we all really want this to go well. It’s very different, (but) it’s been really fun.”

Alexis Messenger, a freshman, plays Sandra, an actress in the show within a show who is knocked out by a door in the show’s first act. Messenger said she was part of BVHS’s production of “Annie” as a middle school student, and she was less nervous going into her first show because she knew what to expect.

“I’ve loved it,” Messenger said. “Everybody has been so nice and kind and so helpful. It’s really an amazing experience. I’m nervous but not as nervous because I knew a lot of people here were nice and kind. It’s a wonderful show.”

The show is also a first for Dennis Parker, a senior, who decided to audition as part of his senior year because he has friends in theater and recently developed an interest after a trip to New York.

“I auditioned not thinking I’d make it but I did,” Parker said. “It’s been fun because in a way I get to play myself. My character laughs about (the show going wrong), so if I accidentally break character, it’s fine.”

Parker said he was worried about learning lines at first, but he’s much more confident now.

“It took time but I felt the reward in the end of being able to get there after struggling for so long,” Parker said.

Fuller said after the show on Sunday, she will announce what show the high school will be performing in the spring.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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