By Chris Occhiuzzi
Skillful directing, strong acting and intriguing plot lines await the audiences for the Huntsville Theatre Company’s newest production.
While the title may draw a few smiles and even a chuckle or two, the performances will certainly bring outright laughter as Mounting Sex in the Afternoon Zone takes the stage at the Studio Theatre in Chaffey Hall.
Being co-directed by Jodie Auckland and Andy Bartle, who are an amazing pair, the play takes the cast and audience through a variety of performing arts themes.
The story is of a professional theatre company putting together a production called Sex in the Afternoon Zone. The playwright ends up making several alterations to the play right up until shortly before it is set to be performed.
The play within the play goes from a British farce to a Canadian comedy to a musical comedy and finally a science fiction musical comedy.
“It’s a comedy of changing genres,” says Bartle. “There’s four changes happening through the course of the whole production.”
Having been both a part of several productions in all aspects of theatre, Auckland and Bartle found Mounting Sex in the Afternoon Zone to be quite appealing. They are both especially interested in comedic plays because they offer a variety of challenges to the directors and actors due to their character-driven nature.
“As far as comedy goes, for the audience to buy into it, the characters have to be really believable because we put them in these really bizarre and silly situations,” says Auckland. “All six of our actors have a really in depth knowledge of their characters.”
The Huntsville Theatre Company cast for Mounting Sex in the Afternoon Zone consists of Sonny Allinson, Frank Berg, Jayne Drinkwater, Michele Ineson, Carrie Schiffler and Emilie Stroud.
These six performers are tasked with telling a tale of a love triangle between three actors within a love triangle between three characters they are playing who are all connected by the play Sex in the Afternoon Zone. On the side, there is also a past relationship between the production stage manager and the director.
Mounting Sex in the Afternoon Zone runs on Jan. 29 and 30 plus Feb. 4, 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a wine and cheese party on opening night before the show begins. Matinee performances take place on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. The Jan. 31 show is a Sweet Sunday Matinee event with tea, coffee, and biscuits served at intermission. For more information visit www.huntsvilletheatre.org
There is a lot going on in the play and some cast members actually have to back and forth from playing an actor to playing the character that actor is playing.
“Three of our cast have to be able to be quite different when they’re being themselves as the actor and then when they’re putting on the play inside the play. They also have to be able to sing and dance.”
Chris Occhiuzzi aka Mr. O will be providing stories and photos for Huntsville Today on a weekly basis. He has spent the past several years as a Muskoka journalist. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisOWhatsUp. Those with story ideas or comments can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org