10 Best See How They Run Moments

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

It is hard to believe that nine months ago I sat down for my first See How They Run production meeting. Saying goodbye to any show is difficult but I find it especially hard with a show that is so hilarious. I know Philip King’s show inside and out but tonight when I watched the show again, I laughed. I laugh at the clever actors, the roaring audience, and the memories of all the inside jokes we’ve made since starting this project. Before the cast says “and that’s how it all began!” for the last time on Saturday night, here are my top 10 favorite See BYU Run memories:

10. 8am production meetings every Friday morning.

Occasionally they turned into nap time.

Occasionally they turned into morning nap time.

9. Auditions.

This was my first opportunity to sit behind the desk and be auditioned for instead of being the auditioner. We had a wonderful pool of actors audition and I couldn’t help but feel their nerves as they stepped to the mark. Thank you to all who auditioned.  Continue reading

See How They Run Character Quiz

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run_BYUBuzzfeed quizzes are all the rage so with the help of the cast, I created one for See How They Run! Take the quiz and find out which character you are. Share with your friends (and let us know in the comments below!) and don’t forget to use our hashtag: #seebyurun

Take the See How They Run Character Quiz!

Happy Quizzing! Continue reading

Meet the Cast, Part 3

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run opened on Friday, November 7. Before one of our final rehearsals, I sat down with each member of the cast and asked them to introduce themselves, talk about their character, the show, and if they had any fun bloopers they wanted to share. To meet the other members of the cast, check out Part One and Part Two.

Interview with Canute Peterson

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself.

Canute Peterson plays the escaped Russian spy.

Canute Peterson plays the escaped Russian spy.

Canute Peterson: I’m from Blue Springs, Missouri which is just about an hour east of Kansas City and I am the eighth of ten children. My older siblings did theatre in high school and when I got to that age I started doing it and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I also enjoy drawing, playing frisbee and soccer.

AY: Tell me about your character, the Russian.

CP: The Russian is an escaped spy so he is in a tricky spot when he enters. He is trying to get away without being detected so when he is kind of forced into a position where he has to lean on other people to not be detected it’s a stressful situation for him. For him, it isn’t a situation of a silly misunderstanding, this is a question of his freedom. He will use whatever means necessary to make sure that happens.

AY: What is your favorite part of the show?

CP: I like his (the Russians) presence. The show is very comedic but my character really isn’t. There are some funny things that happen as a result of the fact that I’m there but I don’t really do anything that is funny. A lot of the roles that I’ve played in the past have been more comedic roles. It is especially funny to me that my character in a farce is more serious than the comedic characters I have played in the past that were not in a farce.

AY: Do you have any bloopers you want to share? Continue reading

Meet the Cast, Part 2

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run opened on Friday, November 7. Before one of our final rehearsals, I sat down with each member of the cast and asked them to introduce themselves, talk about their character, the show, and if they had any fun bloopers they wanted to share. You can read part 1 of the “Meet the Cast” series here.

Interview with Ann Lopez

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself.

Ann Lopez plays Miss Skillon

Ann Lopez plays Miss Skillon

Ann Lopez: I’m from Harriman, Utah. I just got back from my mission in El Salvador, Santa Ana mission. I’m a pre- acting major and this is my second year at BYU.

AY: Tell me about Miss Skillon.

AL: She is crazy! She is really interesting. She is not afraid to tell people what is wrong or correct people. She has a good moral code. She knows what is good and what is bad and she lets people know. A lot of time that is overbearing for other people but deep down she thinks she is doing what is actually good. That has left her incredibly alone and that has made her loved starved. She gets really drunk and that is really fun to play in the show- the first time she gets drunk in her life.

AY: What is your favorite part of the show?

AL: I love farces. The energy is what is what I love about the show in general and making people laugh. I think when you’re doing a show, a comedy, people laugh and actors get the energy. That drives everything forward and I love that feeling. Specifically, my favorite part is the beginning of act two when I’m drunk. That is my favorite part to be in. Continue reading

Meet the Cast, Part 1

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run opens TONIGHT (Friday, November 7). Before one of our final rehearsals, I sat down with each member of the cast and asked them to introduce themselves, talk about their character, the show, and if they had any fun bloopers they wanted to share.

Interview with Noelle Houston

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself.

Noelle Houston plays Ida, the Maid

Noelle Houston plays Ida, the Maid

Noelle Houston: I’m in the BFA Acting program. I’m a senior and this is my senior project actually. I’m from New York City, born and raised in Manhattan because my Dad was a professional Ballet dancer. I’ve actually never been in a farce and my mom and dad love farces and when I found out this was a farce I was like, “Oh my gosh, I need to be in it so I can be in a farce!”

AY: Tell me about Ida.

NH: Ida is the maid. She is cockney. She is actually the youngest in the play, she is 18, and she came from a poor class family. She is younger, lower class, and thinks it’s a scream to be with this American actress housewife. She loves American movies and Americans and everything like that so it is the most wonderful thing to work for them (Lionel and Penelope). She worships Penelope and because she works in a vicarage she feels that she is part of a bigger thing.

AY: What is your favorite part about the show?

NH: I think my favorite part about this show is the third act when everything has gone berserk and poor Humphrey comes in and gets rushed into it all. He has no clue what is happening. I think it is hilarious how everything unfolds.

AY: Are there any bloopers you want to share? Continue reading

Welcome to the Margetts Theatre

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

It’s a week until opening night and last night’s rehearsal was the first on set in the Margetts Arena Theatre. The designers, set shop, and builders have worked tirelessly to whip the performance space into shape and we couldn’t be more excited (to see an interview with a set designer, click here).
See How They Run will be performed in the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus. This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the HFAC; built in 1965 by architect William Periera and named after BYU’s 5th President (read the HFAC’s Dedication News Release from 1965 here). It houses the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s School of Music, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, and Department of Visual Arts. It has 281 rooms, 5 performance spaces, 2 galleries, and over 280,000 square feet.

Continue reading

Everyone Pick an Animal!

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

This week included a curiously fun rehearsal. We’ve gotten to what I think is the funnest part of the rehearsal process. The cast has their lines memorized, which frees them to explore more of their characters. Last week our director asked each actor to associate their character with an animal and research that animal. Tuesday night, everyone acted like their animal while exploring each other and their environment. This exercise is meant to find the different energies of the characters in See How They Run.

Rehearsal started with a simple calming exercise.

Rehearsal started with a simple calming exercise.

With everyone calm and relaxed on the floor, Director Barta Heiner gently asked them to imagine their chosen animal and impersonate it. The key is to let go of normal human reactions for the animal’s impulses. The actors were asked to explore the animal’s primitive emotions, how they react to the other animals in the room, and the environment (the rehearsal room randomly set with blocks, chairs, and pads). The room became very active and started to look something like this: Continue reading

Interview with the Set Designer

By Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

Set Designer, Logan Hayden

Set Designer, Logan Hayden

For the interview, See How They Run set designer Logan Hayden agreed to take me to the Margetts Theatre where some of the set has been constructed. We were both very excited at seeing the performance space finally take shape, but he could hardly contain it when he saw the latest construction:

Logan Hayden: “I’ve been waiting for these pieces to come together for so long so I could actually look at them. And… Wah Lah. And now I can stand up here instead of imaging what it would be like!”

The walls are up and the set starts taking shape.

The walls are up and the set starts taking shape.

Abram Yarbro: Why did you want to be a Set Designer?

Logan Hayden: I did design in High School. I started as a lighting designer and I designed four or five shows and then I ended up doing a scenic design my senior year which I loved. And then I went to college, I went on my mission and then I came back and said “that’s going to be a fun hobby but I’m going to find a JOB.” And then I met Rory Scanlon and he advised me to take a scenic design class from Eric Fielding, who used to be the scenic design teacher. I started taking that class and loved it and then I started taking more classes and doing more things. Eventually I got sucked into the theatre vortex and haven’t escaped since! Continue reading

See How They Run: The Costumes

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

The costume designer’s first step when contracted for a show is analysis of the script. They look for time period, setting, social class, theme and more for inspiration. They collaborate with the director and other designers in the hope of achieving continuity throughout all the design elements.

Next comes research. Our designer, Marissa Pack, needed to know how women, men, vicars, bishops, maids, soldiers, and convicts dress in 1940s England. She researched colors, patterns, material, weight, and cut before sitting down to design.

In one of our first Production Meetings, our set designer pulled a YouTube video of a bird feeding frenzy that exemplified the “whirlwind farce” concept our director has envisioned. Much like our characters onstage, the birds in the video fly in and out of the shot, they jump and fight over the feeder, and the mayhem is a little comical to watch. The bird idea stuck and many of the designers worked bird into their design concepts. Do you notice any birds in the design of our costumes?

SHTR Costume 9SHTR Costume 4SHTR Costume 3SHTR Costume 5SHTR Costume Design 1 SHTR Costume 7SHTR Costume 8SHTR Costume 2 Continue reading

See How They RAN- A Historical Timeline

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run was initially written and produced in England during World War Two. At that time British audiences wanted fun, easy humor to counteract the difficulties they faced as a nation at war. Phillip King’s hilarious script caused riotous laughter and gained soaring popularity when it opened in London in 1944 but the play had been garnishing laughs years before it made it to the West End. Take a look at the See How They Run timeline:

Shaftesbury Avenue, London 1940

1904 – Actor and Playwright Philip King is born in Yorkshire, England.

1942 – King’s one-act farce, Moon Madness is staged at Peterborough Rep. Theatre.

1944Moon Madness is extended into a full three-act show and renamed See How They Run. It opens at the Comedy Theatre in London and runs for almost 600 performances.

1949See How They Run is revised for an American Audience and opens on Broadway in New York City. Revisions include changing Clive and Penelope, originally British, to American characters and The Man, originally a Nazi prisoner of war, to a Soviet Spy.

1949 Performance of See How They Run http://www.hebdenbridgehistory.org.uk

1979 – Philip King dies at the age of 74



February 2014 – Reduced Height Theatre Company revives See How They Run with Warwick Davis and a full cast of short actors. Click here to see their video trailer.

Ticket sales begin October 6 on arts.byu.edu! If you want a chance to talk with myself (the dramaturg) and the actors during a Post-Show Discussion, come to either Thursday performance. I look forward to seeing you there!