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2012 November 17

Teen improv Dec 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 12:01
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Dinosaur Prom logo

logo by Hunter Wallraff

On Sunday, 2012 Dec 2, two different teen improv troupes will be presenting shows in Santa Cruz:

  • Water the Weeds, 2:00–3:30 p.m., Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center, 1060 River St Studio #111, Santa Cruz
    Adults $5, kids and teens free.
  • Dinosaur Prom, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Broadway Playhouse, 526 Broadway St, Santa Cruz
    The Dinosaur Prom show is titled “Creature from the Marine” and is free.
    More details about Dinosaur Prom can be found at their temporary web site, which will move to a more permanent location after it is completed.

Both troupes have shows every few months (maybe 3 times a year).  I believe that both troupes will be participating in the Santa Cruz Improv Fest (along with several adult improv troupes) next May.

My son is part of the Dinosaur Prom troupe (see my post Dinosaur Prom improv), and so I’ve seen several of their shows. Like any improv troupe, not everything they try works, but they’re usually pretty good.

I’ve seen fewer shows by Water the Weeds—it’s a larger troupe with a wider range of abilities and I have no predictions about how good this particular show will be.  It will be interesting to see both troupes on the same day, to contrast the styles.


2012 March 12

Dinosaur Prom Improv

Filed under: home school — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 00:20
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Dinosaur Prom logo by Hunter Wallraff.

My son had his first performance tonight with the Dinosaur Prom improv troupe.  This was only their second performance with an audience, but they managed a full house (about 64 people), mostly family and friends.  It was a free show—they plan to do a few more free performances before they start charging. Their next performance is 22 April 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Broadway Playhouse.

The group is a relatively new teen improv group run by West Performing Arts as a  weekly class for $75/month. The troupe has 9 teens in it, roughly ages 13 to 16, but with huge variation in height, which is sometimes used to comic effect.

New students start in the beginning improv class that meets just before Dinosaur Prom, and students are gradually advanced to the troupe as their improv skills and ability to interact improve.  A few of the newer troupe members (including my son) remain with the beginning class to make sure that there are enough students in the beginning class to do the improv games.

Dinosaur Prom is not the only teen improv troupe in town: Joya Winwood runs Water the Weeds which currently has 16 members.  Several members of that troupe were at the Dinosaur Prom show.

Water the Weeds had a show the day before, but my son and I were unable to go because we were at the county science fair all day.  I presume, however, that many of the Dinosaur Prom troupe were at the Water the Weeds show, as the instructors have asked them to see as many other improv troupes as they can.  The annual improv festival in Santa Cruz will be mainly at the Broadway Playhouse this spring, so they will have plenty of opportunities.  My son has already been to see the troupes Freefall, You Had To Be There, and Loose Cannon (twice). He’s also watched all the illegally uploaded episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on YouTube.

My son once performed in a Water the Weeds show, when they were a young kids troupe (he was in 4th grade) and Joya’s teen troupe was called Dracula’s Molars.  At that time he liked improv ok (and was pretty good for a 4th grader), but preferred scripted theater.  He still slightly prefers having a script and rehearsals, so that he can think about the performance ahead of time and not have to rely on spur-of-the-moment reactions for everything.

The improv troupe practices and going to improv shows count as part of my son’s theater class for home schooling.  It is nice to be able to treat important long-term projects like theater and science fair as curricular, rather than extracurricular, parts of his education.

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