Arts and Entertainment

Night of improv inspires the unexpected

Drama Dock veterans (from left) Shannon Flora, Marshall Murray and Stephanie Murray will participate in Improv Night on Sunday.  - Courtesy Photo
Drama Dock veterans (from left) Shannon Flora, Marshall Murray and Stephanie Murray will participate in Improv Night on Sunday.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Get ready for the return of the unpredictable when “Improv Night” comes to the Blue Heron at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Drama Dock sponsored the event last year and due to the show’s success, will host it once again. This year the evening of theatrical antics will be emceed by Kris Corbitt and Jed Thompson of Seattle’s Jet City Improv.

Improv is a form of theater in which the actors collaboratively produce the performance on the spot, with no prior rehearsals and no written script. Corbitt is the founding member of Pacific Lutheran University’s premiere improv troupe the Clay Crows. Thompson has extensive theater experience with the Ministry of Exuberance, a Seattle-based improv troupe. Both are masters of this method, and they promise to deliver a fast-paced, all ages, short-form improv show.

But the fun is not limited to these two actors. Anyone can form a team of three to five members and participate. Using audience-generated characters and scenes designed with a problem to solve, the teams will improvise their way to a solution, incorporating the many twists and turns and surprises that emerge during the creative process.

Unexpected is the name of this game, and last year several unforeseen opportunities arose from the show’s success. Michael Baker, a Vashon resident who co-created “The Play’s the Thing,” has directed plays professionally and taught improvisational theater in Los Angeles. After last year’s show, he formed a 15-member improv group. Called Improv Workshop, the group will participate in Saturday’s event. Pam Hotchkiss and some of her Vashon High School peers walked away as the winning team last year, inspiring the ensemble to keep improvising in preparation for this year. David Gordon, whose late mother Fran was a singer and performer with Drama Dock for many years, gathered fellow student actors from Pacific Lutheran University and joined the event last year.

“David wanted to do it for his mom,” said Drama Dock board member Sue Wiley. “His group is really good, and they are now performing in Seattle with Jet City due to last year’s performance.”

The winning team — selected by the audience — will receive a prize for its inventive improv. Audience members can enjoy complementary chocolates and put their names down to win big on silent auction items. Wine and Cliff’s Beer will also be available.

As Drama Dock is solely funded by ticket sales, all proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the nonprofit.

Tickets are $10 and sold at VAA or www.vashonalliedarts.com.

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