lead a full slate
O.C. Arts Center events
founder teaches improvisation
at the Oldham County Arts Center
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (March 2006) Back in high school,
actor Chris Anger decided to take a high school drama class. What he
discovered during a course in improvisation, or spontaneous acting without
a script, was a lifelong passion for the art. More than two decades
later, Anger still has that love and excitement for improvisational
comedy. Anger and his comedy troupe, the Louisville Improvisors, will
bring their skills to Crestwood for an 8 p.m. performance on Saturday,
March 23. The show is for all ages and tickets are $12.
Joshua Lane (center) and Chris Anger (right) will
entertain in Crestwood
on Saturday, March 23.
Anger described improv acting as an extraordinary experience.
Being in the moment is almost magical. He added that being
on stage and coming up with the perfect lines is like having a
metaphysical or out-of-body experience.
Originally from the California Bay area, Anger relocated to Louisville,
Ky., about seven years ago. He is a part-time instructor at Louisvilles
Walden Theatre and teaches a weekly class at the Oldham County Arts
Center in Crestwood. Previously, Anger taught various workshops and
classes in improvisation at several schools in Louisville, including
Spalding University, and Indiana University Southeast in New Albany,
After working with numerous other actors in a variety of shows, Anger
decided to start his own improvisational comedy troupe, the Louisville
Improvisors. He and fellow actor Alec Volz, a full-time instructor and
director at Walden Theatre, co-founded the new team.
Actor Joshua Lane, who has directed and taught improv for years, rounds
out the trio. Lane has only been with the Louisville Improvisors for
about 11/2 years. He was selected during the troupes only audition
Anger said the troupe, which has enjoyed almost seven years of success,
works well together. He said the key to good improv comedy is to work
with a group mind. He attributed their success to good team chemistry.
Anger said that being able to trust your teammates and counting on their
support is essential in this type of comedy acting.
Although the troupe gets its actual materials from the audience during
live performances, there is still a need to rehearse. The trio practices
to perfect their skills and to achieve the cohesion that is so important
in improv comedy. Anger said that while many people are just amazed
out how the improv actors can think so quickly and create comedy out
of thin air, there are a few rules that they follow. The main rule is
to always say yes and
. The second rule is to never
say no. It can end the conversation. Anger also said that
improv actors need to really listen, be positive and work at the top
of their intellect.
the Oldham Co. Arts Center in March
March 11 at 8 p.m.: The 18-piece Signature Jazz Orchestra,
led by Oldham County
percussionist Jim Polley, will perform. Lovers of large ensemble
jazz will thrill to the music of Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Sammy
Nestico, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, Maynard Ferguson and even
Steve Allen. Tickets are $10.
Sunday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m.: The Oldham County
Arts Association, in partnership with Kentucky Humanities Council,
presents a Kentucky Chautauqua® program called Sallie
Ward, Queen of Society. In this one-woman presentation,
storyteller Suzi Schuhman plays Ward, noted 1800s Louisville southern
belle known for her independence and high spirits. The program
Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.: The Arts Center
and Walden Theatre presents As It Is In Heaven, a
play set in the 1830s Kentucky Shaker community of Pleasant Hill.
Tickets are $11. Walden will also present a performance for school
groups at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 17.
Monday, March 20: A student photography show opens
in the Business and Professional Women-Oldham County Art Gallery.
Showcasing the work of students throughout the county, the exhibit,
called Arts Up, will include color and black
and white photography. The exhibit will be in the gallery until
Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m.: The Oldham County Arts
Association will feature another film in its series from the 2005
Bluegrass Independent Film Festival, the comedy, The Wild
Guys. Tickets are $5.
The Louisville Improvisors actually perform what is known
as the longform in their stage performances. In longform, the audience
is asked to pick a general theme and then the comedians perform scenes
centered on that theme for about 15-30 minutes at a time. They have
no prepared lines or themes.
The other type of improv comedy is called the shortform. In this type
of improv, a series of unrelated themes are put together in a game.
The audience suggests the themes to the actors. Many television viewers
have seen shortform performed on the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The troupe welcomes all ages for most of its performances. Anger said
they try to keep all of their material clean and appropriate for children
because many of their students are children. However, Lane and Anger
have worked up a ventriloquist act, called Rickets and Randy, which
is a variation from their normal performances. Some of the material
in that offshoot is directed toward a more mature audience.
Not only have the Louisville Improvisors performed at theaters throughout
Louisville and the surrounding area, the troupe has taken its performance
on the road, touring various cities such as St. Louis and Chicago. The
troupe has also performed at many festivals and even held a national
festival every January.
The festival, the Improvapalooza, is held at the Kentucky Centers
MeX Theater, in Louisville. Since the troupe started the festival, its
popularity has grown nationally every year, Anger said. The event usually
lasts two nights with several troupes of improv comedians performing
each night. Because of demand, last summer the Louisville Improvisors
played host to a summer festival dubbed Improvapalooza 5.5.
In addition to the Louisville Improvisors, several other events are
scheduled for March at the Oldham County Arts Center.
We have the strongest programming schedule in our short history
coming in March and early April, said Harrie Buecker, principal
of the Arts Center. The Center has something for everyone. We
will be filled to the rafters with music, drama, and laughter.
For more information on these events, call the
Arts Center at (502) 241-6018. or visit: www.oldhamcountyartscenter.com.
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