• Performers create acts instantaneously on stage, based on audience suggestions
By Randi Somers
Improvisation master Martin (aka Martty) Zeller and four of his trainees staged their first show of the season Monday evening at the Art Barn, about a half mile east of the light at the corner of Lake Street on the left on East End Road.
The group’s name is “Blank” and comprises four “sort of grown-ups” from a community workshop Zeller held earlier this year.
“About 10 showed up, and I asked if any of these four were interested in continuing and working toward some performing (worksinprogress) later in the summer,” he explained. “That would give me an opportunity to perform and try some new formats. They said, “yes,” and here we are.”
Performers include Trevor Waldorf, Hope Finkelstein, Donna Beran, Jessi D and Zeller.
“It’s a great blend of teenager, 20-plus, 40-plus, 50-plus and 70-plus, (that would be me),” Zeller said of the chemistry between cast members.
All of these recent players are beginners and have been learning to create their acts on the scene over the last two months, usually in a two-hour class each Wednesday. The show is all improvised, based on audience suggestions.
They perform for about an hour, and mix up some short-form with long-form improvisation skits. The first show took place on Monday, July 15 and drew great audience participation.
Audience members were actually given $1 each as they entered the door. Their ideas for skits tossed out at Zeller’s request, resulted in amazing original improvised skits.
Zeller said two more shows are slated for July 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.
“We are looking for a couple of poets who would like to improvise some poems that we will use to stimulate our scene work for the next two shows,” Zeller said. “Call 235-6589 to add your creativity to the upcoming shows.”
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