Trisha Arora/Photo Editor

When I sat down to watch a rehearsal of “Laugh Track” last week, I made the fatal mistake of showing up late. Missing even a minute of this hysterical play, written by Keelin Ryan ’14 and Sarah Esocoff ’15, will throw you into a pit of confusion because this show is different than most; there are two storylines throughout the show. “Laugh Track” is about a sitcom called “He’s a Dad,” and it depicts the daily dilemmas and dramas that occur on the set of the show. This intertwining of reality and sitcom provides the comedy-ready setting that Ryan and Esocoff were aiming for when writing this play.

The two met while working on the Ampersand together (which is the first hint that this show will be hilarious) and teamed up to write their play and find the seven-person cast that has taken the script from the page to the stage. Within the show, each character fits into two stereotypical roles, one offstage and one onstage. There is the crazy old lady, the stoner hipster, the girly space-case, the dramatic teen, the diva, and the dorky nice guy. It’s practically a sitcom within a sitcom, with the jokes bouncing around the stage from start to finish.

After their rehearsal, I sat down with Ryan, Esocoff, and Beanie Feldstein ’15, one of the main characters in the show, to discuss the writing, production, and final product of “Laugh Track.”

The Argus: What prompted you to write this show?
Keelin Ryan: I wanted to do a show before I left Wes, because it’s really easy to put up a show here compared to the real world, and I knew that if I left without doing it, it would be a big regret. And I had this idea last semester, and I went to Beanie’s house, because I was really excited about it, and we talked about it and she said that I should do it. So I needed to write it over winter break and I didn’t want to do it alone, so I asked Sarah to help me, and we basically planned out scenes last semester and wrote it over winter break.

A: How has the vibe and camaraderie been while putting on the show?
Beanie Feldstein: The vibe is great! A lot of us have worked together—actually, I think almost everyone has worked together in some way in the past. It’s a very fun, relaxed vibe. We had the whole semester to do it, so it never felt rushed or under pressure.

A: How has it been working with the dual storyline?
BF: As actors, it’s fun that we get to play two different characters, because we get to play the level one characters—the actors that are in the sitcom—and then the level two characters, [who are] the actual sitcom characters. So it’s unique being able to play two different people.
Sarah Esocoff: And that was really fun to write, too. We would sit down to write, and we would have to write an intentionally bad sitcom scene, which was a fun and different experience.
KR: It was also hard, because I’ve never tried to write that kind of thing before, but I think it worked out okay.

A: Did the show translate to the stage the way that you thought it would?
KR: Yeah, our cast is so good that the play just exceeds every expectation I had in my mind. Everyone is just so funny. It’s been very smooth sailing!

A: So the show will be playing at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9, and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. Why do you think people should come to watch the show next weekend?
BF: Everyone should come because—
KR: (Interrupting) The show only runs a fun and flirty 70 minutes—
BF: (Interrupting) Not minutes! Simply mins! The shortness of the show is reflected in the fact that its mins, not minutes. And we don’t have a show on Spring Fling so that everyone can go and enjoy Spring Fling and then come on Friday and Saturday.
KR: We expect every person to come to all three shows, nothing less.
SE: And it’ll be a really great study break! Because we all know that everyone’s RAs are gonna be like, ‘Oh, come to the dorm lounge for this shitty single box of Oreos,’ but our show is much better.
KR: “Laugh Track”: BETTER THAN OREOS.

Trisha Arora/Photo Editor

The Argus: What prompted you to write this show?

Keelin Ryan: I wanted to do a show before I left Wes, because it’s really easy to put up a show here compared to the real world, and I knew that if I left without doing it, it would be a big regret. And I had this idea last semester, and I went to Beanie’s house, because I was really excited about it, and we talked about it and she said that I should do it. So I needed to write it over winter break and I didn’t want to do it alone, so I asked Sarah to help me, and we basically planned out scenes last semester and wrote it over winter break.

A: How has the vibe and camaraderie been while putting on the show?

Beanie Feldstein: The vibe is great! A lot of us have worked together—actually, I think almost everyone has worked together in some way in the past. It’s a very fun, relaxed vibe. We had the whole semester to do it, so it never felt rushed or under pressure.

A: How has it been working with the dual storyline?

BF: As actors, its fun that we get to play two different characters, because we get to play the level one characters—the actors that are in the sitcom—and then the level 2 characters, [who are] the actual sitcom characters. So it’s unique being able to play two different people.

Sarah Esocoff: And that was really fun to write, too. We would sit down to write, and we would have to write an intentionally bad sitcom scene, which was a fun and different experience.

KR: It was also hard, because I’ve never tried to write that kind of thing before, but I think it worked out okay.

A: Did the show translate to the stage the way that you thought it would?

KR: Yeah, our cast is so good that the play just exceeds every expectation I had in my mind. Everyone is just so funny. It’s been very smooth sailing!

A: So the show will be playing at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9, and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. Why do you think people should come to watch the show next weekend?

BF: Everyone should come because—

KR: (Interrupting) The show only runs a fun and flirty 70 minutes—

BF: (Interrupting) Not minutes! Simply mins! The shortness of the show is reflected in the fact that its mins, not minutes. And we don’t have a show on Spring Fling so that everyone can go and enjoy Spring Fling and then come on Friday and Saturday.

KR: We expect every person to come to all three shows, nothing less.

SE: And it’ll be a really great study break! Because we all know that everyone’s RAs are gonna be like, ‘Oh, come to the dorm lounge for this shitty single box of Oreos,’ but our show is much better.

KR: “Laugh Track:” BETTER THAN OREOS.

Twitter