Friday night’s show was a thrown together in a week, because of last-minute availability of the theatre. There was practically no advertising for the show. Even so, we had pretty good audience attendance. The cast included me, Garry Sled, Gary Reid, Brian Cook, Andy Auld, Kevin Robbins, Liz McEchearn, Colette Kendall and Max Boateng. We performed three different long forms in 2 hours, with an intermission after the first two. The forms were:

The Dream
An audience member is interviewed about what they did that day. Then it is explained to the audience that some psychologists believe that dreams are manifiestations of the day’s events. So, we improvise the possible nightmares and dreams of that audience member, tying it all together as much as possible. The audience member turned out to be a stereotypical geek. He was in his late 30’s, spent most of his time on the Internet as Vlad the Impaler, chatting and having cybersex with a girl in California. He is really hoping to get some new video games for Christmas, and has a dog named Showme the Shitzu. He also spent a lot of time getting “massages” at a massage place. We were hard pressed to make this guy’s nightmares any more entertaining to the audience than his real life. 😮

The Armando
After a suggestion from the audience (usually a single word), the Armando starts out with a monologue. Then there are a series of scenes. Then another monologue. Then more scenes. Then another monologue. Then more scenes. It should eventually tie together and end in some satisfactory way. Friday night, it was just a bit of a mess. Everyone had their own ideas, and nothing tied together particularly well, or went particularly anywhere. But, it was still kind of fun.

All of the improvisors start backstage. One is chosen to get a single word from the audience to start us out. Then the lights go down, and a few people jump out to start a scene. No one else is allowed to join that scene, after the lights come up. When the lights black out on a scene (decided by the tech person), those players leave the stage, and more players can enter to start a new scene. The show continues like this, hopefully reincorporating ideas from previous scenes into new ones to tie the whole thing together. This was probably the most fun to do, but probably the most confusing to watch. We were running around like crazy back stage, negotiating who was going to run out there and do a scene next. Really crazy.

What Worked

  • The opportunity to play with like-minded and similarly-trained improvisors
  • Three very different and very cool forms.
  • What Didn’t Work

  • There was general confusion about who was going to do the intros for each form. No one was prepped, so I’m sure it was very confusing for the audience. No one there had ever seen an Armando or a Dream or 52-Pickup, so I think the audience was very distracted trying to figure out what was going on.
  • Two hours is too long for an improv show. I think it’s exhausting for an audience who’s new to this type of theatre to take it all in. One hour is probably much more appropriate.
  • We need more time to work together before putting on a major show like this. We’re not entirely familiar with each others’ abilities and strengths, so the entire cast seemed slightly out of sync. Sure, there were members of Slurred Vision, and I had a couple of my Affirmative Action people there, but it didn’t quite mesh like it could have if we’d had some more time to work on it.
  • Anyway, it was the first time The Experiment was done, so even though there seem to be more things that didn’t work than did, we at least know where to go from here. Hopefully it will become a weekly or monthly show, and we can iron out the bugs. :nod: