Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Director Scott Waldman to be “Almost ATLANTA" Guest Playwright Sept. 15 at Annoyance Theatre

CHICAGO -  Take a quick-witted group of improv performers, toss in the narrative skill of a playwright, stir in dramatic scenes unusual for this venue, and you have an exciting theatre piece playing on Saturdays in September, 10 p.m. at Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway.

Titled, “Almost ATLANTA” (poster image), the unusual melange has ambitious goals: to introduce traditional playgoers to the spontaneity of improv and to bring to improvisation some of the gravitas of serious drama.

Rebecca Sohn (photo), spokesperson for the troupe, which includes director Scott Woldman and other well-known improvisers: TJ Jagodowski, Noah Gregoropoulos, Linda Orr, Annie Donley, Ted Tremper, Annie Calhoun, and Brian Wilson, said the response from audiences where “Almost ATLANTA” has been performed -- like Steppenwolf’s Garage Theater and Chicago Dramatists -- has encouraged the actors to continue this new blend of theatre and to bring it home to the Annoyance, where it was first launched.

The addition of a different playwright at each show -- Scott Woldman is on board for September 15 and Tony Werner for September 22 -- is key to the group’s intent, Sohn says. “This is new for the playwright, and for improvisers. Instead of the audience suggesting location and theme, it’s the playwright in charge. After the cast creates characters and story in Act One, there’s a three-minute pause with the audience staying put and able to listen while the playwright gives direction for Act Two.

“Improvisers and writers approach the work differently.  The audience is invited to be part of this blend as we create a two-act play with the tension of drama and the humor of improv, that will disappear after the night’s performance.”

Jennifer Estlin (photo), Annoyance’s executive producer, said, “Mick [Napier, creative director] and I are excited to have Almost Atlanta back home. We hosted a series of their shows in 2011, and are anxious to see how the concept has evolved. It's the kind of innovative work our audiences appreciate."

Tickets for “Almost ATLANTA” are $12, $8 for students, and can be purchased at the company’s website theannoyance.com or by calling the box office: 773.561.HONK (4665).

No comments:

Post a Comment