A flag adorning a swastika falls in front of the stage, which is equipped with a series of rolling walls furnished with green and brown window treatments.
These props make up the set of one of the scenes in the Penn State Thespians' production of "The Producers."
The student-run theater organization will bring Mel Brooks' production at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Schwab Auditorium. This is the first major production of the season for the group.
The show, directed by Mike Dodds, will have additional showings at the same time Friday and a matinee showing at 1 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday. Tickets are $5 with a student ID, and general admission tickets are $10.
The play, originally written in the 1960s, contains the message "don't be greedy," Assistant Stage Manager Paulyn Beggarly (freshman-nursing) said.
Jessica Spoll, also assistant stage manager, agreed that the production is a satire on greed but is additionally a "feel-good" musical comedy.
"The Producers" tells the story of famous Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Johnny Falconi) and accountant Leo Bloom (Patrick Kelly). The two scheme and realize that by producing a "flop" production, they can make more money, said Victoria Brahm, the production manager of the musical.
From there, the all-around offensive "Springtime for Hitler" is born and turns out to be an unexpected, huge success, actor Tess Hamsher said.
Spoll (freshman-mechanical engineering) said the show began production in the second week of September and has been able to put it all together in a short amount of time.
The rehearsal period was six weeks, two weeks shorter than most, Brahm said.
Auditions for the show were first held on Sept. 4 and 5, from which the 22-person on-stage cast and the extensive crew of 28 people were established.
Hamsher (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) plays love interest Ulla in the production and said the relatively small cast gets along "awesome."
"A lot of the cast is upperclassmen that have done shows before," she said. "Everyone is supportive and energetic. We're one big family."
Hamsher characterized the show as a "good laugh" and said it is authentic to the original work -- sans a few pieces of music that could not fit due to time constraints.
"All of the offensive and interesting parts are still there," she said.
Brahm (junior-management) said the Thespian production will be unlike any previous performances.
"It's a very different show from the past," Brahm said. "The humor in the show is something students will find amusing."
The production also includes a "good amount of choreography," considering that it is a "musical about a musical," said Hamsher, who doesn't have a background in dance.
On preparing for her role as the seductive love interest of Leo, Hamsher said she dressed nicer for rehearsals, in order to "step up" her game and get into character.
"The Producers" is a unique comedy with a lot of paradoxes," Brahm said. "It's fun to watch."
Event tickets can be purchased at the door, in the HUB-Robeson Center, the State College ticket office, Eisenhower Auditorium or online through ticketmaster.com.