(I’m the shorter girl with glasses if you only know us by our good looks)
I’ve got lots of exciting news for you, dear reader, and some wrapping up to do as well!
I’m going to break this into separate parts for easier digestion.
Reverend Goodman’s Cure-All Elixir Traveling Revue
Our January-February run of Reverend Goodman was exactly what we wanted it to be – an exciting, never-ending challenge that put our audience first.
If you missed it, this was our traveling medicine show-inspired format. Kareem Badr headed our devious quartet as Reverend Joseph Goodman, I played Bess Davis, an English prostitute, Valerie Ward was The Widow Charlotte Payne, while Roy Janik took up the mantle of a scientist-academic as Dr. Percival Sharpe.
We played our characters the entire time, from start to finish, and there was no fourth wall (the audience was always directly addressed and acknowledged). The premise? The year was 1909. We were a group of traveling performers pushing morality tales, miracles cures, and advice to the “towns” (our audiences) we visited. Lots of audience interaction, participation, and unexpected surprises. The biggest surprise you probably didn’t realize? We never worked off a set-list. We made up our games, scenes, and scenarios in the moment – pretending we had this entire show planned out. Some audience members thought we scripted the whole night, but it was far from that, despite the fact that we knew our characters, setting, and purpose. Another fun element to the show was that we pretended to be “Good Christian Men and Women” and then unveiled throughout the show what terrible tricksters, thieves, murderers, and cads we actually were.
For us, we had never so directly tried working with our audience. Pulling up willing participants and giving them a good time, talking to seated members while in character – knowing when to leave people alone and when to play with them – was something we had never done much of before. Our group philosophy is very strongly tied to bringing our audiences along with us into whatever journey we’re going on. We want them to be surprised as we’re surprised. We want them to feel delighted when we feel delighted. This format was our way of honing our instincts with the audience, as well as putting ourselves deeply into a character that we would develop over the course of 2 months.
We don’t know when we’ll bring this show back (it involved lots of props, costumes, and set), but we have a feeling it’ll be in a much bigger capacity with the addition of music.
Pick-Our-Play, Our New Format Gives You The Ultimate Say
If you come see our Friday night show any time in the next few months, you will likely see our new format (I can’t promise this 100%, but we’ve done it 4 times already and are excited to continue). We have a couple copies of the Dramatists Play Service catalog. In each one is just a long list of play titles. For our new format, we have an audience members read out random titles that grab their attention. Then, we pick one as a group that we are most inspired by. THEN we each turn around to face the back of the stage, as a short synopsis of what this “play” could be about pops into our minds, we turn to the front. When we’re all facing front, we present our idea of what this play is about to the audience, then the audience votes on which one they like best. Then, we perform an improvised version of the play based on the audience’s chosen synopsis!
This has been VERY fun for us, and we’ve enjoyed tackling different genres, tones, lengths, and styles of play in this format. Sometimes the play is made up of several scenes, sometimes it is one long scene, sometimes it is in the past, sometimes it is in the present – you get the idea. Our goal is to push ourselves to be true to whatever story we’re trying to tell, and the result of this focus is that we end up doing something very different every week!
Dick & Jane Returns for One Night Only!
If you saw one of our shows in April or May of 2010, then you would have seen Dick & Jane, our very own genre mash-up show. Dick & Jane is set in the world of Jane Austen, costumes and all. It is a delicate place, full of giggling sisters, marriage-happy mothers, coming out dances, and fancy gentlemen. PGraph will take you on a tour of this dainty world and show you what happens when greed gets the best of Mr Darcy, Miss Benet slips her father a micky, and Sir John Middleton ends up face-down in the creek. Noir stories set in the world of Jane Austen! It will be ever-so-devious.
Manners and murder – you heard it right! We’re bringing it back for one night only as part of the 2nd Annual Improvised Play Festival at The Hideout Theatre on Friday, April 13th at 9pm!
Find out more and buy tickets here: http://www.improvisedplayfestival.com/groups/pgraph/
(seriously, it’s worth the price of admission alone to watch Roy and Kareem have to improvise a formal step dance whenever Valerie or I initiate a ball)
A French Farce Musical?!
Saturday May 5th, 8pm, The Salvage Vanguard Theater. Beloved friends Girls Girls Girls (improvised musicals) is putting on a local musical improv festival they are calling JAM-A-RAMA.
We will be performing, for the first time ever, our award-winning French Farce format…as a musical. You heard me.
Fancy French fops singing and dancing?
Even if we fall flat on our faces, it will be fabulous, methinks.
A Narrative Intensive Approaches!
We’re bringing our 12-hour power house narrative intensive back April 28th & 29th!
More information and registration coming soon!
A Trip To Great Britain In June!
PGraph heads back across the pond in June for a 12-day trip to London! We’ll be performing in the London Improv Festival, teaching workshops, and touring to nearby towns to teach!
Live in the UK? Want to know more? Want to schedule a workshop or sign up for one? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll be posting our full schedule as soon as it is confirmed!
Captain Roy’s Muscle Boat – Fact or Fiction?
This is honestly the title for our next developed format (which is still very much in the works).
I’ll just leave you with some key words to wet your appetite: