Mar 26, 2012
Humboldt State University’s Unscripted Sutras invite fans of theatre and comedy to An Unscripted Evening to see what happens when the playwright is tossed aside and a full-length play is made up on the spot, complete with improvised musical accompaniment and on-the-fly lighting.
The Unscripted Sutras are a collection of students and community members who come together twice a week, every week, to practice improvisational theatre with a focus on good scenework. The Humboldt County debut of this new style of theatre starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 13 and Saturday, Apr. 14 in HSU’s Studio Theatre, Theatre Arts Bldg. Room 115. Admission is “pay-what-you-want” with all proceeds going toward future improvised productions.
Each night, the eight person ensemble that comprises the Unscripted Sutras walks on to stage with nothing but each others’ backs and commits to creating an uninterrupted piece of fully produced theatre that will enrapture the audience for an hour and a half. Nobody knows the directions that the improvised play will go in. “There are always laughs,” says Graeson Harris-Young, one of the group’s leaders, “and there’s also some human truth.”
The improvisers themselves report being pulled along in that truth. Watching each other while practicing their craft, they have been drawn to the brink of tears as real drama unfolds and experienced rushes of triumph as it is resolved. The risk in this kind of theatre is hypnotizing, and the spontaneity makes it feel more real than a traditional script. The improvisers bravely drive forward wherever the piece takes them, and the laughs are deeper as a result. Asked why this is, Harris-Young says, “They’re real stories, just in theory, so we care about them.”
The Unscripted Sutras are prepared for the risk. An Unscripted Evening is the culmination of a year’s worth of work building their improvisational chops with twice weekly practice and smaller monthly shows, and now the players are chomping at the bit to share an unpredictable night with the community. They do not seem to mind that afterwards their work will fade in to the ether to never be seen again.
Open workshops are provided twice a year for interested members of the community, and the Unscripted Sutras also offer private team-building workshops to groups in Humboldt County. The troupe performs monthly at Humboldt State University and is available for performances elsewhere. Local non-profit organizations may also contact the Unscripted Sutras to have a show dedicated as a charity benefit. They can be found on Facebook, at (619)-733-5344 and at email@example.com.