Parallelogramophonograph loves to make up dynamic improvised plays and theatre in the moment.
They have used their on-going weekly show, first at The ColdTowne Theater (Oct 2006-Feb 2010), now at the Hideout Theatre (PGraph Presents, Friday nights at 10pm), to create and experiment with new and original improvised play concepts.
In addition to their organic improvised narratives (no previous prep), their original improvised play concepts (researched and developed formats) have run the gauntlet of styles – from historic and highly stylized period dramas like “The 1930s“, “French Farce” and “Some Like it Improvised” to compelling relationship and character-based shows like “After School Improv“, “Family Portrait“, and “Unanswered” to the much darker, dramatic, and twisted tales showcased in “Villainy” and “GRIMM” to “Dick & Jane“, which is a combination of the darkness of Film Noir and the lightness of Jane Austen.
And PGraph has now ventured into new arenas of storytelling, character, and relationship exploration with shows like “ERIS 2035“, a gritty and at first seemingly grounded journey into the void of space itself and “Reverend Goodman’s Cure-All Elixir Traveling Revue“, which puts the audience front and center at the feet of 1909’s seemingly innocent, elixir-peddling, vaudeville-esque, con-men and women. “Look Hear!” is their most challenging multi-media venture, juxtaposing a 1920s-style silent film (complete with improvised title cards) and a 1940s-style radio drama (complete with live improvised sound effects). “Quick Study“, in which the group studies a randomly selected book, play, or other piece of reading material right before performing an improvised show inspired by that work, has allowed to them explore a gauntlet of new styles and genres that they might never normally tackle.
Parallelogramophonograph is always playful and funny, yet never afraid to let dramatic moments add the bitter to their sweet improvised stories.
Parallelogramophonograph is Kareem Badr, Kaci Beeler, Roy Janik, and Valerie Ward.
Pgraph has performed nationally and internationally in over 40 cities and at many festivals including the Chicago Improv Fest, Slapdash Festival in London, Vancouver International Improv Festival, Twin Cities Improv Festival, Montreal Improv Festival, Seattle Festival of Improv Theater, Toronto COMBUSTIONfestival, Out of Bounds, Out of Bounds West, The Big Ha! Festival in Omaha, The Providence Improv Fest, The Hawaii Improvaganza in Honolulu, and the Frontera Fringe Fest in Austin.
PGraph made their European debut at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where they lived and performed together for an entire month. This led to their 2012 UK tour including stops in London, Brighton, and Bristol. In early 2014 PGraph toured Australia for 3 weeks and performed and taught in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney – with a notable 5-night season at The Butterfly Club that garnered a 5-Star review from Melbourne’s Theatre People.
They also perform, teach, and direct shows at the Hideout Theatre, and generally make their presence known in the growing Austin artistic community. All four members have directed and produced some of Austin’s most popular regional improvised productions including Austin Secrets (twice nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award), Manhattan Stories (nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award), A Bedtime Gorey (nominated for a B. Iden Payne) Holy 1960s Batman, Batman!, The Violet Underbelly: Improvised Film Noir, Dickens Unleashed, and After School Improv.
They are recipients of a prestigious B. Iden Payne award for Outstanding Work in Improvisational Theater and a 2012 “Best of Austin” Austin Chronicle Critics Award for ‘Most Continuously Innovative Improv Troupe’.
You can read even more about them (and their travels as a group to Edinburgh) in this 2011 Austin Chronicle Arts Feature.
But to truly know what PGraph does, and how well they do it, come see them in person! PGraph performs in PGraph Presents every Friday night at 10pm at the Hideout Theatre (http://www.hideouttheatre.com/shows/PGraphPresents).