I feel that I can wax philosophically about William Shakespeare with authority, having recently seen Workshop Theatre’s production of “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)”.
I suspect actual scholars might challenge me on that, but they will find me slippery and elusive.
If you tend to prefer your Shakespearean improv information more from the horse’s mouth so to speak, or at least from a reputable representative of say, The Kinkonauts, I offer you a brief Q & A conducted earlier by email with actual Kinkonaut Ryan Sheedy:
1) The last presentation (An Improvised Tarantino) was a blast – and standing room only – are you already finding pre-sales brisk for Shakespeare?
Despite having his little bardy hands influence so much in the world of literature and theatre, the Tarantino garnered a bit more interest prior to the show itself. However, our audience last night was very healthy, and pre-sales have been great!
2) Was there ever any consideration for “An Improvised Willie”???
We’d performed AISP as Much Ado From Nothing last season, and the name stuck, but I see what you did there! Shakespeare is inherently cheeky, so there will no doubt be puns and wordplay galore in the show!
3) For people that may not be familiar with the concept, the night opens with some warm-up improv before the main feature, and then guests can decide to stay (and pay??) to stick around for MixTape, which I was unable to last time – but features the cream of Calgary’s improv troupes?
Yes! At 10PM after our early ASIP show, there are individual players from Loose Moose, Dirty Laundry, Notorious, The Kinkonauts, and Obviously Improv playing as The Mixtape Improv Party. It’s been a great showcase for the incredible talent that Calgary has in its improv community, and has allowed those separate troupes to come together as a part of that larger community. The show will match up players with people they rarely or never have a chance to play with, and features musical accompaniment to inspire scenes!
4) What’s the costume budget for AISP? IS there a costume budget for AISP?
Luckily enough our friends at The Shakespeare Company were kind enough to lend us some costumes, but, being thespians ourselves, we usually have a tickle trunk filled with some costuming goodies and tights.
5) If you had to place a bet, which Shakespeare references do you expect to get the most of this weekend – what would be your guess for the most unlikely?
It’s difficult to be too referential to written Shakespeare since not everyone might be ‘in’ on the joke, so the references we’ll get the most out of will probably be to the story made that night! That said, it’s possible someone will drop a ‘To be, or not to be?’ in there somewhere, or some Romeo and Juliet since that and Hamlet are very popular and/or mandated in the Provincial English Language Arts curriculum. Typically the improvised sonnets are quite impressive since they are so challenging!
6) Is it reasonable to expect a few high school English teachers be to in the audience, just to see if younger attendees even know a Shakespeare reference?
Yes. In fact, several English teachers have promised immediate B-grade marks for students if they come to the show, and A’s if they ‘get’ it. In all seriousness, AISP will be a zillion times funnier than reading Shakespeare in class, and we would expect that even younger students would really get a kick out of it.
Tonight also wraps up the current season, so if you want to get in on the fun along with a lass and poor Yorick, “Much Ado From Nothing: Improvised Shakespeare” gets underway at 8:00 PM at the Bird & Stone Theatre, followed by The Mixtape Improv Party in the very same room at 10:00 PM