The first ever Paper Street Theatre Improv Festival is over! It was a sold out success that included the remounting of our past shows and special guests from Calgary, Ottawa, and Seattle.
The festival included 5 nights of performances with two shows a night and late night mash-up performances on the weekend, including a Jane Austen Tarantino show, and a ridiculously absurd Beckett-Western.
See below for all the amazing things you missed.
Tuesday is spent in the hot heat where the South meets the West. An evening full of the southern drawls, rich imagery and sexual tension of Tennessee Williams followed by the colourful characters, shoot-outs, and long stares of a Western.
Wednesday is about manners and procedures. The evening begins with the conventions and unforeseen complications that occurs in the world of Jane Austen. The evening ends by entering the strange, mundane, upside down, and often overly bureaucratic world of Franz Kafka.
Thursday is about asking questions. Our Science Fiction Thriller will explore what happens to our humanity when thrown into the far reaches of space. What are we most afraid of? While through the lens of Samuel Beckett we take a tragicomedic look at human nature Why do we do what we do, and is there any good reason for doing it?
Friday is centred around nostalgia. We begin with a look back to the 80's! The hair-do's, music, and romance of your favourite John Hughes films come to life before your eyes, followed by a very special show brought to us from our friends in Seattle. House of Ink will feature classic authors thrust together into a murder mystery, expect to see some familiar faces: H.P. Loecraft, Charles Dickens, and even Margaret Atwood** will be making an appearance.
**Not really Margaret Atwood, an improviser will be playing her.
Saturday ends with grit. The dirty, smokey, dark rooms of a Film Noir start the evening, and we finish with the clever dialogue, grindhouse music and violence of Paper Street's Pick of the Fringe winning Improvised Quentin Tarantino.
There is more than just the main shows at the festival! On Friday and Saturday night at 10pm at Intrepid Theatre there will be late night shows featuring the mixing and mashing of, not only our guests, but also some of Paper Street's most beloved styles. Come see such creations as Quentin Austen, or Science Fiction Western.
There will also be a Family Matinee on Saturday the 16th at 2pm. Bring the whole family for only $20 (limited to 5 people per family) for a fun filled fairytale adventure with plenty of laughs, morals, and puppets!
Our visiting guests will be offering workshops for you to take to learn a little more about the art of improv. See below for more details.
The Kinkonauts are Calgary’s improv laboratory. Formed in 2007 by an abiding love for the longform-style of improvisation, The Kinkonauts have become Calgary’s premiere longform improvised theatre. They are comprised of more than 40 improvisors and numerous troupes dedicated to creating emotional, grotesque and profound play-skits and make-em-ups.
Unexpected Productions is the heart of improv in Seattle, has been performing comedy improv in Seattle since 1983, and is dedicated to promoting the art and spirit of improvisation. It's home is the Market Theater in Pike Place Market, behind the famous Gum Wall.
We have two workshops being offered during the festival! One from each of our visiting guests. You can sign up individually, or sign up for our sign up for both using our Festival Workshop Package option and save yourself $20!
Why are some improvisors able to hold our attention on stage even when they aren't doing much? Some people are great entertainers, and some have a mystery to every performance; the ones who push out the laughs, and the ones who pull them from us. Learn how both skills are essential to skilled scene work.
You can level up your scene work: in this workshop you will learn the secrets to actively “not talking” about what is happening while still building the scene and the relationship. You will learn how to build subtext and layers in every offer you make, and you will come away with skills to know when and how to “play resistance” and still say yes… and!
Hopefully, you spend a lot of time in your real life getting along with others. Why then, do our characters spend so much time fighting onstage? This workshop will explore scenes between characters who like each other, who have love/hate relationships, or who don't get along but who are forced to work together all the same. We'll explore internal conflict, minor conflicts, and odd-couple partnerships.