BATS Summer Improv Festival
Aug. 1-30, 8pm
BATS Improv presents its annual Summer Improv Festival: 30 days, 22 shows, Shakespearean long-form improve to guerilla theatre.
"Eat the Apple"
Improv with a feminine edge. This time its personal: real-life experiences, political issues, social contretemps and pop culture all get the mash, as all-female improv group "Eat the Apple" tackle all of the above.
The Bard of Avon is back in play; the audience supplies the title and the story takes off from there -- the plot, characters, and lines are made up on the spot using the language of Shakespeare.
"The News Show"
Ripped from the headlines; taking inspiration from the world's newspapers, improvisers riff on the stories of the day.
Five directors, no rules, and one gorilla. Gorilla Theatre is a "directed improv" program. Each improviser in the show takes a turn at directing a scene. At the end of the scene the audience decides if the director was successful or not -- and votes to reward or punish them.
Guest improve troupe "True Fiction Magazine" present an evening of spontaneous theatre. The 'provers take titles suggested by the audience and spin out stories that move forward and backward in time, like flipping pages in a 1940s pulp magazine.
Trivia: Modern improvisation finds its roots in commedia dell'arte, (Italian, meaning "comedy of professional artists") which was a form of improvisational theater which began in the 16th century and was popular until the 18th century, although it is still performed today. Traveling teams of players would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of juggling, acrobatics, and, more typically, humorous plays based on a repertoire of established characters with a rough storyline.
Find it: Bayfront Theater
Fort Mason Center, Building B
Get info: (415) 474-8935
Find more dance/theatre events in the August 2004 issue of "Arte Six".