I spent a lot of time at the theatre this weekend. Here’s a weekend in review:

Thursday – Counterpoint/Theatresports show
This was the first show of the new year, and the the first time we’ve played since the beginning of December. I felt quite rusty, but was helped out by the new things happening in the Theatre this year. For instance, there’s a new artistic director who has an actual plan about how improv will be performed. 😮 So, the show felt very professional and there was a good energy and vibe amongst the players. We had a closed workshop for players called The Clinic before the show, which really served as an excellent warmup and got us all in sync. We were kept downstairs instead of backstage until just before the show, which somehow also felt more professional. The show itself was fun. It wasn’t spectacular, and there were some problems with sound and lights, but overall, it we had a good time playing, and it showed.

Afterwards we did notes (critique from the artistic director). In the past, these sessions were open to the audience. I used to think that was a good idea… transparency and a “behind the scenes” look for the audience. Now I’m convinced that a closed notes session is the best way to go. It avoids the ego problems that pop up when someone is being criticized in front of strangers. Also, letting people watch us getting torn apart by the AD reduces the mystique of the performer/audience relationship, and can ruin someone’s perception of a “good show.”

Friday – Oddacity
Went to see KPR, Amica and Gary Reid perform a longform. It was a good show. Lots of funny stuff. All three of them are very talented. Amica is a real engine in that show. She’s got such positive energy and creativity, and really shines on stage. Fun to watch.

Saturday – Teacher’s Meeting
I’m going to be teaching Wednesday night improv classes at the Theatre. This meeting was for all improv teachers to go over strategy and organization for the year. I’m looking forward to it. We’ll have a unified approach to teaching improv, which is better than the crazy free-for-all methods that were in place before. We’ll be communicating with each other regularly to see what the others are teaching, so our classes fit into the whole much better. We’ll also be keeping a journal of what we taught in our classes, and the progress of certain promising students that we might wish to promote to higher levels or performance. :nod:

Sunday – Purgatory Cafe
One of my colleagues at the Theatre was filming a sample episode of a TV sitcom he wrote. He asked me to shoot some production stills, so I spent a couple hours there taking photos. It was a new experience for me. I’m not used to taking this kind of photo. I used exclusively ambient light, and avoided flashes because of the distraction and hassle they would cause. It’s not my favorite kind of photography. I felt very constrained by it, since I had to position myself wherever I could get good light, instead of what would make the best photo. But, the production was quite interesting to watch. Lots of activity and people doing different jobs. Kinda fascinating, and kinda boring at the same time. Scenes were being shot and reshot and reshot from every angle. This is why my attention deficit brain loves improv. You do it once, and it’s done. 😛

Purgatory Cafe production still