After writing off 2020 as so many in the performing arts were forced to, Canberra’s own improvisational comedy troupe, Lightbulb Improv, will bring a new show to The Courtyard Studio next month.
The Door showcases a long-form improvisational format that relies heavily on audience participation, and centres on the eponymous ‘door’ located in the middle of the stage.
Co-founders Amy Crawford and Lou Maconachie told Canberra Weekly the show will explore fate, particularly as it relates to the many plans people have had to put aside due to COVID.
“We’ll see how the characters evolve and what destiny brings to them,” Crawford said.
“What we like to look at in terms of fate, is perhaps people end up where they were going to end up anyway.”
With audiences throwing out suggestions, The Door will see performers create six characters on stage, then perform six vignettes, and it’s then up to the audiences to decide which vignette is relived with a sliding door moment.
“We train by creating characters that have deep connection to one another,” Crawford said.
“There’s a certain amount of focus you need as a group to stay where you are and not move ahead in your narrative brain,” Maconachie added.
While audience participation drives the show forward, members of the public can rest assured such involvement is voluntary.
“Some people may not come to a show afraid they’ll be put on the spot, singled out and made uncomfortable, but that’s simply not how we do it,” Maconachie said.
“We’ll never pull people up on stage because we want to be on stage … we’ve trained too hard and we want the spotlight,” she smiled.
Alongside their monthly mainstay shows at Smith’s Alternative, over the course of 2021, Lightbulb plan to bring two other performances to Canberra: improvised Shakespeare in July and an improvised Agatha Christie-style murder mystery show later in the year.
Lightbulb Improv was founded in 2016 out of a desire to establish a local improvisational troupe with strong chemistry created by regularly practising together.
“We had a good community and definitely some performing opportunities, but they tended to be last minute,” Maconachie said.
“Amy and I were really keen to develop up a troupe of people who had that really awesome chemistry and knew each other well, trust and camaraderie there.
“I do know one of our troupe members who is considering getting a lightbulb tattoo, which should tell you how committed and dedicated and lovely we are.”
Over the past five years, Lightbulb have also developed the wider improv community, sharing their skills far and wide through workshops.
Lightbulb Improv’s The Door will be performed at The Courtyard Studio, 7-8 May 6.30pm and 8.30pm; lightbulbimprov.com
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