Two cops and three crooks, plus eight doors and a pair of connecting motel rooms, will add up to plenty of comedic fun for audiences when UW-Green Bay Theatre presents Unnecessary Farce beginning Nov. 11. Written by Paul Slade Smith and directed by UW-Green Bay Prof. Laura Riddle, it’s a fast-paced, unabashedly silly tale that will leave audiences wondering what’s next.
“The story is, there’s a police sting set up — it’s a very small Midwestern town and the police believe the mayor is corrupt and has embezzled $16 million from the town’s funds,” Riddle said. “And they have sent the two worst policemen on the force to do a sting operation in a motel. … In the course of the play, we start to realize that there’s more going on than what we had originally thought.”
From its initial premise, the play takes off on a frenetic, improbable journey of door-slamming, disrobing, bed hopping and encounters with a murderous villain. Perfecting the comedic timing for Unnecessary Farce has been an enjoyable challenge for the UW-Green Bay cast and crew.
“Farce is very, very difficult,” Riddle said. “A lot of people don’t know how difficult it is unless they’ve actually done one, but to have a good sense of comic timing is really something that is difficult to teach.”
Senior Marta Knodle, who plays one of the bungling cops, agreed.
“There’s been a lot of bumps and bruises, but it’s really been fun,” said Knodle, a Musical Theatre major. “I have so much fun with the other actors and we work together really well.”
Having staged its world premiere in 2006, Unnecessary Farce is a relatively new production — but with plenty of old-school appeal.
“It’s just one of those good old-fashioned comedies,” said senior Matthew Harris, who plays Town Hall head of security Agent Frank. “No matter what, you’re going to come in looking for a good time and you’re going to get it. So when you leave, there’ll be a huge smile on your face and you’ll want to come back and see it again.”
To read more about the UW-Green Bay production of Unnecessary Farce, including performance dates, ticket information, and cast and crew – click here.