Kyle Tierney is a 2022 graduate of Henning School
There are so many things right about “The Play That Goes Wrong.” Hailed by critics as one of the funniest plays to ever hit Broadway, this award-winning comedy proves what wonderfully good fun it can be to watch a terribly bad show.
From bumbling actors breaking props and forgetting their lines to inept stagehands failing to fix broken set pieces, “The Play That Goes Wrong” serves up one theatrical calamity after the next. Centered on an amateur theatre group’s ridiculously disastrous staging of a 1920s murder mystery, the play parodies both the challenges of live theatre and the whodunit genre.
“This play shows us what happens when everything that could go wrong, does go wrong,” said Stefanie Gerhardson, Theatre Faculty at M State in Fergus Falls. “Audiences are usually shielded from behind-the-scenes mistakes, but this show takes the opposite approach, intentionally throwing production mishaps and backstage mischief into the spotlight, over and over again—and the result is hilarious!”
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is the M State theatre department’s fall 2023 production, and Gerhardson is directing. The cast includes M State students and alumni Maezyn Haugen (as Annie); Kyle Tierney (Trevor); Andrew Rasmusson (Chris); Brodie Sandford (Jonathon); Jacob Berg (Max); Alyse Fiedler (Sandra); Devin Cordahl (Robert); and Austin Hess (Dennis). Stage Manager is Faith Nord, while the crew is made up of Ashlee Donley, Amelia Eide, EmmaLeigh Marvel and Angel Grenvik.
The show will be held at the Waage Theatre on M State’s Fergus Falls campus, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28 as well as November 3 and 4. A 2 p.m. matinee will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Tickets are available for $12 in advance or $15 at the door, and may be purchased online at www.mstateuniversitytickets.com, on campus at the M State Campus Store from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, by calling the store at (218) 736-1556, or at the door shortly before each performance.
“The Play That Goes Wrong” was written in 2012 by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre Company. It was named Best New Comedy at London’s Laurence Olivier Awards and won a Theater Fans’ Choice Award for Best Play and Broadway.com audience choice award for Best Play.
“I became familiar with the Mischief Theatre Company in 2020, through their series, ‘The Goes Wrong Show,’” said Gerhardson. “When the pandemic shut down the world, they took the concept of the successful Broadway show to television. Being a theatre person, I loved it, and since then have wanted to do the play at the college.”
Gerhardson said the M State theatre department has been having a lot of fun putting the show together: “In live theatre, things can and do go wrong. There are no second takes when performing in front of a live audience, so we can all relate to the panic an actor or director feels when something goes wrong.”
A member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities, M State (Minnesota State Community and Technical College) serves more than 6,500 students in credit courses each year in over 70 career and liberal arts programs online and in-person at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. The college also partners with communities to provide workforce development services and other responsive training programs to 500 businesses and 9,000 participants.