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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The uninhibited Unscrewed Theater brings its improv skills to the stage

    Tom Price
    Pictured in photo: Mike (Host with mic on Face), Alan (larger man in black), Billie (only woman), Jon (fantastic moustache), Scott (balding, short), Rick,

    Unscripted, raw comedy, performed by the improv actors of the Unscrewed Theater during its “Improv Show—Family Friendly!” performance transformed an average Friday night into a night filled with unexpected laughter and entertainment.

    “The thing that makes improv so special is it’s a way of communicating with people,” said Billie Maas, a cast member at the Unscrewed Theater.

    The improv show was special indeed, bringing a unique style of comedy to the Tucson community.

    The show took place in a small auditorium in the Unscrewed Theater, located at 3244 E. Speedway Blvd., just a few blocks east of the UA.

    The auditorium held around 24 seats that faced a brightly lit stage. People of various ages occupied the audience, ranging from little kids to senior citizens.

    RELATED: Q&A: Rogue Theatre director talks depicting New York’s HIV/AIDS of the ’80s in new play

    The night started off with host Mike Pierce talking about the Unscrewed Theater and the night’s show.

    Many children usually attend the “Improv Show—Family Friendly!” so Pierce and the cast of the night made it a point to keep themselves—and the audience—kid friendly by introducing the Hat of Shame, a colorful hat that Pierce or the cast will put on the head of anyone that shouts out inappropriate language.

    After Pierce explained the show’s rules, he introduced the actors of the night—Alan Trammel, Billie Maas, Jon Benda, Scott Shaver and Rick Kyle. All the actors took the stage with immense energy and maintained that energy throughout the entire night.

    Keeping the audience engaged throughout the show came easy for the cast of the Unscrewed Theater, as they never had a dull moment on stage.

    The cast evoked constant audience participation with its skits.

    The first skit of the night, “Radio Dial,” had the audience choose different radio stations for each of the cast members on stage to act out what would normally play on that particular station. Cast member Maas performed a hilarious skit encompassing the happenings of a Tucson weather station.

    “Blind Line,” Maas’ favorite skit of the night, had Benda and Trammel start a conversation and integrate random movie, poem and song lyrics, all picked by the audience, into their sentences.

    Maas, an experienced performer, emphasized the benefits that improv comedy brings to people’s confidence and sense of humor.

    “A lot of businesses now have their people taking improv, and a lot of people that don’t have good negotiating skills will take improv,” Maas said. “It’s a way to come together.”

    If you have never attended an improv show before, the cast of the Unscrewed Theater recommends you should.

    “[Improv] is not just people coming up and performing—it’s a whole philosophy of negotiating and playing together,” Maas said.

    Luckily for the Tucson community, the Unscrewed Theater hosts weekly improv shows and various workshops.

    The theater will premiere their “Our Funny Shorts 2” sketch comedy on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 9:30 pm.

    Tickets for this show will be sold on the theater’s website.

    RELATED: What’s playing the Arizona Repertory Theatre during the 2016-17 season 

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