The Broad Stage Presents “Jane Austen Unscripted” directed by Dan O’Connor and Paul Rogan.
I’m ashamed to say that this was my first visit to The Broad Stage.
What a gorgeous venue! It’s really the perfect place to take in some Christmassy theatre and what could be more Christmassy than Jane Austen?
This production of “Jane Austen Unscripted” is entirely improvised, I really can’t imagine the extraordinarily high level of sheer nerve these actors must have in order to attempt such a thing.
We begin the evening with a theme picked from the audience, this evening it happened to be marshmallows and then the actors improvise a play around that theme. It was masterful. Each actor took on a character in front of our very eyes, and collectively and quite magically pursued the story together to its ultimate conclusion. The timing was perfect, the subtext profound, and the performances electric.
This kind of long-form immersive improv takes a skill level and a commitment to detail that’s really in a class of its own. But just because something is difficult doesn’t necessarily make the results always good. These actors, however, with the brilliant support from the lighting and sound technicians, create an evening of sublime storytelling filled with intricate plot twists and sweetly engineered romances.
Impro Theatre was founded in 1988 and began as purely short form improv.
It has now thankfully evolved into this truly stella company and has established itself as the preeminent and rightfully treasured L.A. improv group, performing year round as well as internationally.
Its members are virtuosos of the form, as skilled with language as they are with action and able to manipulate, enunciate and extrapolate with “Austen-tacious” abandon. I beamed like a fool throughout the entire performance and rocked with laughter and delight…they are really that good.
I cannot recommend “Jane Austen Unscripted” enough. This is a play of such epic brilliance that it must not be missed. Bloody fantastic !! Miss Austen would be thrilled I’m sure.
It’s only on for a few more nights so dawdle at your peril!!
Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Madi Goff, Kelly Holden Bashar, Paul Hungerford, Stephen Kearin, Jo McGinley, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Mike Rock, Paul Rogan
ENSEMBLE GUEST ARTISTS
Nick Clark, Sara Mountjoy-Pepka, Matthew Pitner
IMPRO THEATRE STAFF
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Rick Bernstein MANAGING DIRECTOR
Nick Clark, Madi Goff ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS OF THE IMPRO THEATRE SCHOOL
IMPRO STUDIO PRODUCER
IMPRO STUDIO MANAGER
Emily Rose Jacobson SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
McKenna Ryan PRODUCTION INTERN
ORIGINAL SCENIC DESIGNER
Sandra Burns COSTUME DESIGNER
Leigh Allen LIGHTING DESIGNER
Emily Rose Jacobson TECHNICAL IMPROVISER