To escape from everyday life and experience unbridled laughter, without a morning hangover, look no further than the Players Guild of Dearborn for Guild-y by Association’s “Mission Improvable.”
The show runs 8 p.m. April 7 at the theater, 21730 Madison, Dearborn, followed by an afterglow in the club room.
Stan Guarnelo said the improvisation show, a PGD fundraiser, features some new games and cast members, while building on its past level of successful shenanigans and hilarity.
“Other community organizations do bake sales or car washes,” Guarnelo said. “We put on a show, and the money we raise helps us stay open, and continue to provide the quality shows for which the Players Guild is known.”
Guarnelo, a member of the improv team, said he likes to entertain people.
“It has always been my goal, with any show I do, to make people laugh, forget their problems for a little while and have fun,” he said. “There is also a lot of trust that goes into doing improv. If one of the cast members has an idea and pulls me into a scene with them, I trust that they have a funny idea, and go with it.”
Meredith Ferry said she is more comfortable doing improvisation on stage than other types of performing.
“I love improv – it’s actually where I feel the most comfortable on stage,” she said. “I like not having the stress of knowing lines and remembering where to be on stage. I can just go up there, be funny and say whatever pops into my head.”
Ferry said one of her favorite improvisation games is “Questions Only,” where the players are only allowed to ask questions, and must always reply with another question. Two people face off, and when one person breaks the rule, they go to the end of the line, and the remaining player continues until he or she fails to answer in the proper format. Outrageous questions ramp up the comedy quotient.
“’Questions Only’ is probably my favorite game, because I’m good at it, and hard to break,” Ferry said.
Guarnelo said “Scenes from a Hat”— an improvisation game adapted from the television show “Whose Line Is It, Anyway,” which requires thinking on one’s feet and developing many characters and scenarios in a short period of time — is one of his favorites.
He said he also likes “The Dating Game,” where the three bachelors or bachelorettes are given an outrageous character to play, and the interviewing party, who must also portray an assigned crazy character, must determine through their questions who each of the potential dates is portraying.
Ferry said one of her funniest moments in improvisation happened during “The Dating Game.”
“I played a lewd, bisexual biker chick who had no filter in her questions to the eligible bachelors,” she said.
Guarnelo said a new game, called “Chainsaw,” will be introduced during the upcoming show.
“It is basically the game ‘Telephone’ done in charade,” he said.
Guarnelo said when the improv team is onstage, the pace is lightning fast, and the crowd reaction isn’t something they gauge during the heat of the moment.
“When we did the first show a year ago, I didn’t realize how good the show was until after we stepped offstage and we could hear the reaction from the audience,” he said.
Guarnelo said the show is escapism without the hangover, and the laughter the show generates is needed in today’s world.
“You can go out for an evening of crazy, silly, even bawdy fun, without having to do the ‘walk of shame’ in the morning,” he said. “We all need to lighten up and laugh more.”
Ferry agreed that more laughter is needed in our lives.
“I think people take life far too seriously, and get offended by far too much,” she said. “Are we an escape? I can’t say for sure, but I would definitely hope so!”
Guarnelo said everyone on the team brings different talents to the stage.
“There are 10 of us, who find different things funny, and we hope to have something for everyone,” he said. “And following the show, we’ll feed you.”
The improvisation team also includes Madeleine Bien, Phillip Booth, Larry Danaj, Inez Hernandez, Diane Manko-Cliff, Michael Micheletti, Jazzmin Sharara and Kevin Walsh.
Tickets are $15. To order, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.