A live improv comedy show, featuring the Metro Detroit Improv troupe, will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at Barefoot Productions, 33735 Five Mile Road, in Livonia, with the proceeds supporting the community theater.
The group includes Madeleine Bien of Royal Oak as the host, with Steve Ainsworth of Ferndale, Paula Dirkes of Berkley, Stanley Guarnelo of Melvindale, Anne Harris of Detroit, Timothy Majzlik of Canton Township, Brian McFarland of Dearborn, Michael Micheletti of Livonia, Scott Ryan of Southgate and Jim Snideman of Union Lake.
Bien said the group has been keeping her sane since its inception in 2017, and has been a constant source of genuine, organic comedy.
“The players in the show each bring their own unique quirks and experiences to each scene, which keeps things varied and interesting,” she said. “I love the energy the improvisers bring to rehearsal, and their quick wit is addictive, and sometimes funnier than anything you can find on TV.”
Bien said her day-to-day cares dissolve when she arrives at a rehearsal.
“We leave our ‘real life’ struggles at the door, and come into rehearsal ready to have fun and make fools of ourselves,” she said. “It’s very restorative for me to be able to let go of whatever the day or week might have brought and to completely absorb my mind in a ridiculous scene.”
Dirkes said MDI is a diverse group that supports each other in its creative endeavors.
“I’ve formed some great friendships and sharpened my skills,” she said. “Short form improv offers what I like to call ‘smart fun,’ highly entertaining moments where scene partners are in such an amazing flow that it seems they are speaking from a script, yet everything is made up in the moment.”
Dirkes encourages people to see the show not only to support local theater, but to spend time with creative people.
“You get to try to throw us off with your random suggestions – we love that,” she said.
Snideman said improv offers the same kind of adrenaline/endorphin boost as stand-up comedy, with the instant reward of audience laughter.
Guarnelo said he loves being in the moment and thinking on his feet.
“Doing an improv show is a collaborative effort, and there is a lot of trust in your fellow players,” he said. “I enjoy entertaining people, and making people laugh and forget their problems for a little bit.”
Ainsworth said improv lets him experience the joy of being on stage without the work and stress of memorizing lines, while McFarland likes the supportive and friendly community.
Ryan likes the challenge of thinking on his feet.
“It’s never the same show twice,” he said.
Ryan said attending the improv show is a good way for people to ease back into live theater.
“It’s a fundraiser, and the arts need our support,” he said. “Laughter is the best medicine, and after the last year and a half, we are all due for refills on that prescription.”
Tickets are $15, and are available by calling 734-855-4922 or at justgobarefoot.com/tickets.
P.S. CENTER STAGE PLAYERS TO HOLD AUDITIONS
P.S. Center Stage Players will hold auditions from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 at First United Methodist Church, 72 Oak Street, in Wyandotte for Music Theatre International’s “All Together Now,” a global event celebrating local theater.
The brand-new musical revue, featuring songs from MTI’s beloved shows, will be royalty-free Nov. 12 to 15 to local theaters to perform live, streamed or a hybrid combination.
P.S. Center Stage Players will perform the revue Nov. 12 to 14, with children, teens and adults.
The show features 15 slots for musical performances, with multiple song options per slot, to provide theaters with flexibility that best fits their group’s talent pool.
To date, more than 1,600 schools and theater groups in all 50 states and 36 countries have signed up to participate.
The song choices include, “Be Our Guest,” “Pure Imagination,” “Matchmaker,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Tomorrow,” “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Consider Yourself,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “Seasons of Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”
Ages 5 and up are welcome to bring an audition song of their own choice. Those auditioning should be willing to take part in a movement audition, as well.
For more information, go to the group’s Facebook page, PS Center Stage Players Community Theater Downriver, or go to its website, pscenterstageplayers.com.