When actors wake in a cold sweat

By Kristin Nikonetz

Every actor has a nightmare. For some it is mixing up lines, forgetting lines, or stage fright. Nickle and Dime Productions start their season with Christopher Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare, which ends up as a nightmare for the main character, George Spelvin.

This performance is actually a play inside a play. Spelvin, played by Guillermo Urra, is literally pushed into a main role because the original actor was not available. Spelvin, who due to panic believes he’s an accountant, does not recall going to any theatre rehearsal and is lost throughout the whole play.

"He [Spelvin] just gets shoved on [the stage]–he has no idea what he is doing," says Communication Director of Nickle and Dime Productions Danijel Margetic.

As the play continues George’s cast members, who are played by Jen Bullen, Chantelle Lomness, Nikki Barran and Ryan R. Beck, work his questionable actions and comments into the play. After all, the show must go on and the cast have no clue why he is acting this way.

"All of a sudden the world of the stage keeps shifting around," states Margetic.

The embarrassing humour at George’s expense gives the audience a hint of how life is for the actors, and how they feel on these occasions. Nickle and Dime chose the show for those very reasons.

"The Actor’s Nightmare stood [as] a good season opener because it is funny and intelligent, which speaks not just to the audience from the drama department but it speaks to the audience from the outside and gives sort of a humorous view about life on the stage," says Margetic. "The best by far is when George Spelvin attempts to improvise Shakespeare and fails horribly."

Nickle and Dime Productions is in its 10th year. Margetic says the last two years have been successful but they are hoping for greater success this year.

"We had up times and down times, and for the past two years we have had quite a success and we’re hoping this year as well is going to go with a bang," he says.

The Actor’s Nightmare is playing Oct. 24-27 at the Reeve Theatre.

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