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Drury Stage Company to Perform 'Black Comedy' Farce
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:54PM / Thursday, May 03, 2018
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Ryan Goodell, as sculptor Brindsley Miller, awaits the arrival of the rest of the cast in 'Black Comedy,' being staged at Drury High School this weekend.


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Drury Stage Company will bring the one-act British farce "Black Comedy" to the stage starting Thursday.
 
"This is very much slapstick physical comedy and the students are hilarious," Director Liz Urban said. "It is very funny you will come and just enjoy yourself the whole time."
 
The play, written by Peter Schaffer, premiered in 1965 and follows sculptor Brindsley Miller, who is trying simultaneously to impress Georg Bamberger, an elderly millionaire interested in possibly purchasing his work and his fiancée Carol Melkett's father Colonel Melkett.
 
Brindsley borrows some antique furniture from his neighbor Harold Gorringe without his permission to impress Colonel Melkett and Georg but during a power outage Harold returns early and Brindsley's ex-mistress Clea unexpectedly shows up.
 
Urban said the play will be performed on the black box theater directly on the stage in the Drury Auditorium and will employ a reverse lighting scheme.
 
"So when it is dark on the stage in the world of the play they are in light," Urban said. "When the power outage happens, the lights come on and the audience can see them as they are navigating the darkness. The first three minutes of the show are done in darkness and the audience can just hear the conversions and hilarity ensues."
 
Urban added that she chose to use the smaller black box stage to create a more intimate environment.
 
"This kind of physical comedy, if it was further away from the audience, would not be able to pick up on those little nuances that we have been working on," she said. "We really need it to be close, so I think this is going to be really fun."
 
This is Urban's directing debut with the Drury Stage Company and she said she wanted to start out with a smaller production. She said only eight students are in the play.
 
"This is a show that I have always wanted to direct, and I felt it would be good to start with a smaller cast for my first show," she said. "I wanted to start small and these kids are committed. They are a real positive bunch."
 
She went on to say that she was impressed with how well the students were doing because comedy is challenging even for professional actors. 
 
"Comedy is challenging, and I realized I have really thrown a lot at them, but they have embraced it," she said. "They are doing a great job."
 
The play opens Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. There will also be performances Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 7, at the same time 
 
Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students with a valid student ID. Tickets for the show are available at the door or online.
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