Director Fran Carroll describes The Village Players of Hatboro’s upcoming show as a “play within a play.”
“But the play is supposed to be really bad,” said Carroll, who acted in the same show, 17 years ago. “It’s so bad that they can’t afford a set so the furniture is literally painted on the wall.”
Unlike the internal play within the Village Players’ production of the show penned by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, the real thing is funny, Carroll said.
“It might be (my favorite) just because it’s very, very silly,” he said. “I keep telling people, ‘don’t be afraid of going overboard.’ ”
The play incorporates “a lot of slapstick” and “a lot of really bad puns,” Carroll said.
Since rehearsals began in October, Carroll said he’s had fun being on the other side of the curtain, watching parts being acted out and recalling his take on the silliness many years ago.
This time around, Carroll said he’s also enjoyed seeing two first-time actors get into their roles.
“Friends have come out to act and they’re terrible,” Carroll said of his rolling invitation for first-timers to audition. “That’s backfired for me in the past.”
But not this time. One of the two actors, Bob Petrik, who Carroll has known for more than 30 years, is “doing tremendous.”
In all, Carroll said 11 of the 15 shows he directed have featured first-time actors.
Carroll thinks of it as a throwback to the days when he was behind the curtain.
“Somebody gave me a break at one point and put me in a show,” he said.
If you go
The Village Players of Hatboro will stage “Drop Dead” beginning Jan. 11. For tickets, a play synopsis or more information, click here.