Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thumbs UP Profile - Wit & Will

I was... surprised?  Confused?  Flattered?  Let's go with confused.  I was confused when Parker Cross from Albany's Wit & Will Theatre asked me to conduct his profile dressed as Prospero from The Tempest. Doubly so because we conducted it over email. But he was totally right and I think it comes through in the interview.

Q: How did Wit & Will form?

As we imagine all improv groups do: we were in a production of HAMLET, liked the improv acting exercises, identified more with the Players and the Gravedigger than that whiny guy, and decided to continue as a short form improv group that does scripted plays and long form occasionally. It was either that or do CORIOLANUS, and that's been done to death.

parker cross ~ jennifer vaniderstyne ~ harold gosling ~ andrea kannes ~ matt o'connor

Q: Are there any original members still in the group?

Yes, but mostly in the same sense that Yorick is still part of HAMLET.

Q: You're a short form group... any favorite games? We do a slightly longer form short form game we call "Freudian Slips and other Lingerie" that's like an opening to a Harold that we like because of the name and the fact that we get to weave soliloquies and then unravel them in scenes, which is kind of like HAMLET.

Q: You do scripted plays? How do you remember lines? It just seems so foreign.

It is foreign, so we mostly do just Greek plays and the odd Racine with an occasional Tyler Perry sci-fi thrown in for good measure. Truthfully it's all theatre. We use the same skills, the same fundamental structures, and the improv improves the scripted work and the scripted work adds zest to the improv. And, truthfully, we think that whiny guy in HAMLET was mostly just a really selfish improv player who "yes and"'d himself to death.

Q: Where can people find you to see some improv?

See our website www.witandwill.com to see 

Q: Any war stories about shows gone horribly wrong? Or horribly well?

We once accepted a job to do after-prom 45 minute shows done once an hour starting at 3 in the morning out in a rural Berkshire country club about an hour and half east of Albany. Lot of Yorkicks resulted.

Wit and Will will perform on Saturday, April 9 at the Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival at the St. Clare Theatre in Syracuse, NY.  Learn more about the m in their pre-shilled website.

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