This spring marks the first Belfast Area High School Footlights Players full-length play production. Meg Nickerson directs the play-within-a-play “Noises Off,”  which has been called by some the funniest farce ever written.

Performances are set for Thursday through Saturday, May 26 through 28, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 29 at 3 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4 in the gymnasium of BAHS, 98 Waldo Ave.

Act One is set at the dress rehearsal the night before the opening of the play “Nothing On.” The cast is still fumbling with entrances and exits, missed cues, misspoken lines and bothersome props, most notably several plates of sardines.

Act Two portrays a Wednesday matinee performance one month later. In this act, the play is seen from backstage, providing a view that reveals the deteriorating personal relationships among the cast that have led to offstage shenanigans and onstage bedlam.

In Act Three, we see a performance near the end of the 10-week run, when personal friction has continued to increase and everyone is bored and anxious to be done with the play. The actors attempt to cover up a series of mishaps, but only compound the problems and draw attention to the bungling performance.

The cast of nine includes Nathan Howard as Lloyd Dallas, the British director of “Nothing On”; Clare Olson as Dotty Otley, a late-middle-age actress and grand dame of the stage; Tyler Johnstone as Garry Legeune, a stuttering actor who is easily fired up; Dominic Williams as Frederick Fellows, an actor with a serious fear of violence and blood; Kaylee Pickering as Belinda Blair, a cheerful, sensible and reliable actress; Aubrey Hersom as Poppy Norton-Taylor, the emotional and over-sensitive assistant stage manager; Kaleb Hills as Selsdon Mowbray, an elderly, alcoholic British actor who hides his bottles onstage; Taylor Peabody as Timothy Allgood, the over-worked stage manager; and Tierra Knight as Brooke Ashton, a young, inexperienced, ditsy actress from London.

Much of the play’s comedy emerges from the subtle variations in each version as off-stage chaos affects on-stage performance, with a great deal of slapstick. Key to this hysterically funny farce is the superb two-level revolving set designed and built by Gary Grant.

Tickets, available at the door, are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens. On opening night, May 26, tickets will be half price for everyone. All RSU 20 employees will be given half-price adult tickets for any performance.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.