Theatre-goers, is your relationship with plays getting a little humdrum? Are you looking for more spontaneity in your live-performances? Are you tired of rehearsed scripts, structured plot lines and carefully planned story arcs? Then maybe it’s time to open your mind to other, less “vanilla” theatre going experiences at try a little improv.
You can get a taste of this exotic style of live performance with The Improv Project, which opens March 3rd at the Guild Hall.
The piece will be comprised of 12 separate, serialized “episodes” and will be science fiction-themed, says director Joshua Beaudry. The “sci-fi saga,” as he calls it, will place created characters in a series of situations that will flow organically into each other, resulting in totally unscripted, unplanned theatre.
While each of the 12 performances is a new episode in the series that will feed into each other, Beaudry says anyone can pop in to see a show in the series at any time without having seen any of the preceding shows.
“It will sort of pick up in the middle of the characters’ lives, sort of like in Star Trek,” he says. “The difficult thing about this show is, you really don’t want to plan it at all.”
Beaudry has come to Whitehorse from Saskatoon to specifically to direct The Improv Project. In his home province, he is a 14-year veteran of the improv troupe The Saskatoon Soaps.The Soaps are a character-based improv group that has been performing since the 1980’s, he says.
While Beaudry himself hails from the Outside, the actors in The Improv Project are all Yukoners, some of which are familiar names. The roster includes Stephanie Aube, Mercedes Bacon-Traplin, Erica Bigland, Brian Fidler, Al MacLeod, George Maratos, Greg Murdoch, Mary Sloan, Carolyn Westberg and Jason Westover, with the ages of the participants ranging from 14 to “unspecified,” Beaudry says.
“This town has a lot of great improvisors,” he says.
In lieu of rehearsal – since it’s technically impossible to rehearse improvisational theatre by definition – Beaudry says the actors having been doing improv workshops and games, getting ready to work together on stage.
“Improv is terrifying and exhilarating, like jumping out of a plane. Anything could happen at any time. It’s also about being part of a team. Sometimes (someone) screws up and it’s the best thing that happens in the show.”
The Improv Project runs at the Guild Hall March 3-12. All shows start at 8 p.m. sharp. In addition there are two matinee showings on Saturday, March 5 and Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. sharp. Tickets are available at Whitehorse Motors, at the door or by visiting www.ImprovProject.BrownPaperTickets.com.