On stage

The Fairbanks Drama Association has announced its lineup of plays for the 2019-20 season.

The Fairbanks Drama Association has announced its works for the 2019-2020 theater season, with five productions slated for the year ranging from farcical comedy to an American classic.

Season ticket packages are now available at the Hap Ryder Riverfront Theatre, 1852 Second Ave., or by calling 456-7529. Curtain times for performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. All auditions for available roles take place at the theater. For more information about tickets or auditions, visit the theater’s website at www.fairbanksdrama.org.

Here’s a look at what’s in store for the season.

Noises Off

Director: Tim Lamkin

Written by: Michael Frayn

Runs: Sept. 20 to Oct. 6

Auditions: Roles already cast

Lamkin on the play: “‘Noises Off’ is a farce. It is also a play within a play. It is about a troupe of actors performing in a farce called ‘Nothing On.’ The first act of ‘Noises Off’ is a final dress rehearsal of ‘Nothing On’ during which the actors are feverishly trying to get through their lines, cues and prop assignments the night before opening while exhausted. The second act takes us back stage during a performance of ‘Nothing On’ after the company has been on the road for a month. The confusion and exhaustion from the first act has morphed into a display of miscommunication, retaliation and revenge due to romantic entanglements within the company. Finally, in the third act we are back to watching the closing performance of ‘Nothing On’ during which sabotage among the company members is everywhere. This is a riotously funny farce that requires solid characterizations, quick-silver timing, demanding physical comedy and a well-tuned ensemble.”

Lamkin on why you should see it: “Above all, and especially if you’ve never been to a play before, this is a fun one to be introduced to live theater. The audience should get a thrill watching an ensemble of actors deal with self-inflicted ensuing chaos as ‘the show must go on.’”

The 39 Steps

Director: William Wright

Adapted by: Patrick Barlow

Runs: Oct. 25 to Nov. 10

Auditions: 7 p.m. today, 1 p.m. Saturday

Wright on the play: “39 Steps is a fast-paced, comical take on the spy thriller movie by Alfred Hitchcock and the original John Buchan novel it was based on. Richard Hannay is an ordinary British man bored with his lonely life when he gets inadvertently swept up in dangerous international spy ring. Plot twists and mistaken identities abound in this hilarious whodunnit murder mystery. The cast includes an assortment of femmes fatal — played by one actress — and dozens of villains, men, women, police detectives and others all deftly played by only two supporting actors. The witty dialogue is loyal to the mystery of the film, yet cleverly presented in the style of classical theater’s commedia dell’arte.”

Wright on why you should see it: “Even if you haven’t seen the 1935 movie, the familiar characters and spy-novel-narrative make this extraordinary theatrical production great for first time playgoers.”

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Director: Rachel Blackwell

Written by: Barbara Robinson

Runs: Dec. 6-22

Auditions: 7 p.m. Oct. 16 and 17, 1 p.m. Oct. 19

Blackwell on the play: “‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ is a story about a group of miscreant siblings that decide to join the annual Christmas pageant put on by a local church. The church has consistently put on the same pageant every year for as long as anyone can remember, but this year the director is in the hospital and someone new is stepping in. The Herdman siblings don’t know anything about the story of Christmas and when they are cast in the pageant, everyone thinks it will be a disaster. The pageant turns out to be the best Christmas pageant ever. The Herdmans bring some much-needed reality to the Christmas story, forcing the church community to think a little differently about the meaning of Christmas. This story will have you laughing and crying by the end. It’s a poignant Christmas story that tugs on the heartstrings.”

Blackwell on why you should see it: “If you have never been to an FDA show, this is a great one to start with. It’s a Christmas show with a large cast and a fast-paced story. This story will feature many young actors and is sure to be a heartwarming start to your holiday season. Come out to ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ it’s going to be the best. Ever.”

Death of a Salesman

Director: Steven Mitchell

Written by: Arthur Miller

Runs: Feb. 7-23

Auditions: 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5, 1 p.m. Dec. 7

Mitchell on the play: “‘Death of a Salesman’ is a haunting, compassionate examination of one man’s failed career, and by extension, the disappointments his obsession with success have wrought within his family. His wife and sons struggle to live up to his creed and pursuit of the American Dream, but are ultimately consumed by Willy Loman’s inability to move beyond his own day dream world. Part of the mission of FDA, I believe, in addition to producing delightful comedies, family shows and musicals, is to stage classics of the American theater. ‘Death of a Salesman’ is truly such a classic. As a teenager, this play moved me like no other. Willy’s poignant journey awakened a profound respect for drama and the power of acting and characterization.”

Mitchell on why you should see it: “I would recommend this play to any newcomer to theater-going and can almost guarantee an experience both affecting and one that might engender a new found appreciation of serious drama.”

You Can’t Take It With You

Director: Peggy Ferguson

Written by: Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

Runs: March 20 to April 5

Auditions: 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12, 1 p.m. Dec. 14

Ferguson on the play: “The story for ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ is set in the year 1937 in the Sycamore family home. The Sycamores are true, original bohemians and the large extended family includes a Grand Duchess; Mr. DePinna, the neighbor who oversees their fireworks factory in the basement; matriarch Penelope, an aspiring playwright; the loud and hairy Russian, Bolus Kolenkhov; Donald and Rheba, who are more family than house staff; Ed and Essie, the husband and wife marimba dance act; Grandpa, who refuses to pay income taxes and the ‘normal’ and beautiful Alice, who is engaged to Tony Kirby. When Tony’s very traditional parents come to dinner at the Sycamore home to meet his betrothed Alice, fireworks literally highlight the evening. This play is outstanding because it is a beautifully written, wild ride of a comedy. Nestled in the heart of the plot is the sweetest love story. The play so very cleverly presents seeming conflicts in world points-of-view between most of the characters, and yet, provides hilarious resolution which results in harmony. It has such current thematic application to our current social/communal environment as it tells us to respect those who hold differing opinions. Plus, it is a laugh out loud big, physical comedy which is the perfect vehicle for our talented actor/storytellers.”

Ferguson on why you should see it: “‘You Can’t Take It With You’ is an American classic with full and relevant issues and the comedy is so big, so raucous and so clever — what’s not to love?”