Hickory – Eric Seale, the new Artistic Director at the Hickory Community Theatre, is stepping on stage for the first time as Lloyd in the British Farce Noises Off! The antic comedy begins performances on Friday, February 5 and runs through Sunday, February 21, broadcasting live from the Jeffers Theatre. Tickets are available online at hickorytheatre.org.

(L-R) Jennifer Canterbury is Brooke, Eric Seale is Lloyd and Allison Finch is Poppy in Noises Off! coming February 5th to the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances run February 5-21, 2021, broadcasting live from the Jeffers Theatre. Photo by Lauren Albers.

Noises Off! is a play about a play and Seale is playing the director, Lloyd. Seale is a Lexington, Kentucky native with over 20 years of theatre experience, as an actor, director, producer and theatre administrator. He started as a teen in the education program at Lexington’s Studio Players and as an actor has performed in over 30 plays. Two of those, Not Now Darling and Out of Order were British farces, a genre he greatly enjoys and of which Noises Off! is a favorite. “It’s such a wonderful script,” he says, “and it’s a play about theatre, which I love.”

One of the many subplots within the play is a backstage love triangle, as Lloyd juggles romantic relationships with Poppy, the stage manager, and Brooke, the attractive young ingénue. In the HCT production Poppy is played by Allison Finch and Jennifer Canterbury is Brooke.

Finch made her HCT debut last spring in the ensemble of Shakespeare in Love. Her previous roles include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost, both with the Green Room. When asked about her role in Noises Off!, she replied, “Having stage managed I really identify with Poppy.” Finch is a North Carolina native who grew up in Connelly Springs. She currently works as a jeweler’s assistant at Charles Babb Designs.

Canterbury is a familiar face to HCT audiences after making her debut in The Little Mermaid in 2014 and has received three Kay Awards. This latest role marks her ninth show with HCT. When asked to name her favorite thing about HCT she replied, “Currently it’s the fact that the theatre provides a safe atmosphere to continue performing in the time of Covid, and this show is hysterical.”

Performances are Friday and Saturdays (Feb 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20) at 7:30pm, Thursdays (Feb 11 & 18) at 7:30 and Sundays (Feb 14 and 21) at 2:30pm.

This production will be broadcast live online. Tickets are $12 for a single viewer and $30 for a household. Tickets for the general public are available through the theatre’s website at hickorytheatre.org. Due to limitations by the ticketing service provider, reservations for subscribers are only available by contacting the box office at 828-328-2283 or emailing christine@hickorytheatre.org.

It is hoped that state restrictions will be relaxed to allow live audiences before the play opens. That announcement will be made as soon as information becomes available.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Noises Off! is produced by Paul Sapp, Christy Lohr Sapp and Betty Lohr. A Cleaner World, Paramount Automotive, the City of Hickory, the United Arts Council of Catawba County, Sunbelt Xpress and Dr. George Clay, DDS are the sponsors of the 2020-2021 Season.