July 29, 2008

A Weekend Recap

Jared Brustad (the inventor of Thunderdome) recapped the weekend:

Wednesday was the beginning of the Kansas City Improv Showcase at the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Mr. Guy Maggio had organized a Wednesday through Sunday improv extravaganza, and got it all under one roof. He acted as director, producer, technical supervisor, host, talent scout, stage hand, and a plethora of other titles during this stretch. The Fringe was a blast to be a part of and Guy deserves all the credit coming his way.

As for me, I had put together a mini Improv Thunderdome to participate in the festivities. Wednesday started the exciting week that was. Round 1 was between Trivial Prov-suit (John Robison of the Roving Imp Theater and James Nelson with the Makeshift Militia) and Loaded Dice (Improv Thunderdome's season one champions). Both sets were great, and in the end Trivial Prov-suit won the match by a vote of 12 to 11. The one vote difference was a Thunderdome first.

Friday, round 2 pitted Improv-Abilties (Organizers of the up coming Kansas City Improv Festival) against Spite (or "the lady parts of Tantrum", Trish Berrong, Nikki DuPont & Megan Mercer). Again, two great sets were presented, and once again one vote determined the outcome. Spite was victorious 16 to 15. An hour and a half later, Jen Roser, Megan Mercer and myself performed in the KC Improv Showcase as three fifths of the Trip Fives. We had a lot of fun. The set went by so fast. I had had one beer before the show (which I NEVER do) and felt as if it went right to my head. I personally felt "off" but nonetheless had a great time performing with Jen and Megan.

Saturday came the original Improv Thunderdome at the Westport Coffeehouse, round two of season two. Scriptease vs. Death Rattle vs. CCC. I thought all teams gave great performances, but to be honest, none of them seemed to have brought their A game. Each set included many great highs and great laughs, but each set also included a few down moment. Nothing down-right horrible, just some lulls that I think each and every performer would agree with, that is the only reason why I feel comfortable mentioning it. In the end, Scriptease received the most votes, and became the first 2-time finalists in Thunderdome's short history. I was very proud of everyone and am so happy that each person was involved. Also, big props to Loaded Dice who performed their first true show before Thunderdome. They all did great.

Sunday was the last day of improv at the Fringe, and the last show was the mini-championship of the mini-thunderdome. Trivial Prov-suit vs. Spite. The crowd, I believe, was the biggest of the week (Not of the whole Fringe Fest, I'm sure, but for the improv portion of it). 50 people came and voted Spite as the mini champs. And once again, for the third straight show in a row, one vote decided the winner. 23 to 22. Awesome, and completely unheard of.

Now that it is Monday, I am looking back on my busiest week of improv since 1998 or '99, or whenever the last Lighten Up/Funny Outfit sponsored improv festival was. This past week was a blast. After talking with Guy after show, we discussed the excitement of next year's Fringe Fest and ways of expanding the talent as well as the audiences. To be honest, the audiences were quite a surprise. Not to mention some of the press we got with the KC Star, the Pitch (both mini-dome & regular-dome), and even the KC Stage. What a week. The improv community should be very proud. And a big thank you should go out to all of those involved.


Thank you Jared, we could not have said it any better ourselves.

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