A controlled chaos of shouting, slamming doors and (almost) broken dreams made up one of the last dress rehearsals of “[sic],” the newest play in the Strother Studio Series, before opening night Oct. 21.

“If you think about all of the funny moments you have with your friends, that’s this show,” said sophomore musical theatre major Tony Weatherington, who plays Frank in the show.

The comedic play focuses on the ambitions, heartbreaks and growing pains of three young friends — Babette, Frank and Theo — who live in adjacent apartments. As the plot unfolds, the audience realizes they may not be able see all of the action. Director Matt Reeder said that’s part of the fun.

View "[sic]" in Strother Theatre on the following dates. Tickets can be purchased at University Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. or online here.

Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. 

Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. 

Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. 

Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

“The play asks us to explore the notion of limited perspective on the part of the audience. Some of the action of the play is obscured, so they have to figure out how to experience certain moments of the play,” he said. “We can hear a conversation through a cracked door or an open window and we just fill in the details about the person, creating our own path to the story.”

The actors were also excited by the idea of limited perspective and overheard conversation.

“You can sit in one seat one night and it will be a totally different story, just because there’s something you can’t see,” Weatherington said.

Scenic designer Kerry Lee Chipman created the obstructed set with the hope that audience members feel like they’re on the same floor of the characters’ New York apartment building.

“The set is designed to allow us to see the actors interacting with each other, but also alone in their personal spaces,” Chipman said. “Each character has a constructed ‘self,’ the reveal to the other characters, but by virtue of their tight quarters they often overhear things that aren’t necessarily mean to be shared.”

Reeder brought the play to the production committee for consideration last year for many reasons. He liked that the play was written by a female playwright, Melissa James Gibson, and that it dealt with issues students could relate to. The chance to do comedy was also a big draw.

“Comedy is a really specific kind of technical challenge for actors, and we don’t get an opportunity to do it as often as we do dramas here. It’s a very quirky comedy, and has some interesting things for our young actors to work with,” he said.

The actors also enjoyed the challenge the fast-paced as play presented.

“I’ve never done too much comedy, at least not like this where it’s very rapid fire and back-and-forth,” said Sarah Kmiecik, a senior acting major who plays Babette in the show. “The timing is super important and that’s been something we have all had to grasp.”

Though the comedic timing was important, the actors also felt it was crucial to not let the comedy swallow the essence of their characters.

“For my character it was not overdoing it, not overselling who Theo is,” said Nate Shumate, a sophomore acting major who plays Theo. “There were so many bits on bits, so taking a step back and knowing what your character needs is important.”

The performance in Strother is significant for all three actors. It is Weatherington and Shumate’s first performance in the theater — Shumate has performed in the Cave Theatre previously while Weatherington has been in several University Theatre musicals.

While Kmiecik has performed in Strother before, “[sic]” is her last Ball State show before graduation.

“It’s so sad and weird, but I’m so glad it’s this show. I wouldn’t want it to be any other show,” she said.

“[sic]” opened Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and runs until Oct. 29.