In case you didn’t know, NoHo Arts District is a theatre district. We have 20 theatres in a square mile. So there is always something happening from a show to a class to a workshop. And there’s always something fun for everyone to enjoy.
Meet the The MaD JaCKRaTS. They’re turning five and are celebrating by giving us a gift, “The MaD FiFTH aNNiVeRSaRY Show,” on Sunday, July 21.
LPNSImprov, with The MaD JaCKRaTS, is an ongoing, live, monthly series. From show to show, you will meet some outrageous characters, both new and recurring. here are actually over 100 characters within this cast, cultivated at LPN Studios, and your suggestions can throw them into literally any situation imaginable.
“Our purpose for this show is to make people feel great through healing laughter. It truly is the best medicine and after every show the energy of the audience invigorates us to keep going. We feel blessed to have this creative family and thank everyone who has worked with us or supported us along the way.” – LPNSImprov.
What is the Makin’ A Movie format? The history?
The MAKIN’ A MOVIE format is long form improv like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Improv troupe The MaD JaCKRaTS use an audience suggestion to spontaneously tell a complete story portraying colorful characters, many of which they’ve previously developed and are now fan favorites. Each story takes the audience on a wild ride where anything can happen and all while the cast juggles split screens, flashbacks, props, costumes, and crazy plot twists. The history of Makin’ a Movie began when co-producer and director, Lauren Patrice Nadler, created and cultivated this format over nearly two decades as a warm up for her scene study class. The intention was to help actors create characters and pay attention to the details that are necessary to be great actors with scripted material. Producer Christina Orloff saw the potential to turn it into a theatrical production and approached Lauren to take it out of the studio. So in 2014 they started LPNSImprov and developed Makin’ a Movie starring The MaD JaCKRaTS. It’s been running for five solid years now, and as a result hundreds of unique characters have a emerged. Christina’s husband, Tom Darby, also co- produces the show and members of LPN Studios are on the awesome crew.
What’s a typical show?
Each show has a theme and opens with a brief musical parody by The MaD JaCKRaTS which is based on the theme and can include singing, dancing, and sketch comedy. Then the troupe does three 15-20 minute improvised segments using audience suggestions that were written down by the audience before the show in the lobby. The core cast is often joined by a guest star and sometimes a newer troupe, made up of students from LPN Studios, opens the show for the MaD JaCKRaTS. The show closes with a quick raffle for free tickets for the next month. No two shows are the same and just the nature of improv lends itself to a night full of surprises.
LPNSImprov with The MaD JaCKRaTS, Micky Shiloah and Christina Orloff. Photo by Matt Acho.
Why did you choose NoHo’s Theatre 68 as your home?
Prior to renting from Theatre 68, we were like gypsies for two and a half years. Renting from at least nine different theaters all over Hollywood, North Hollywood and Burbank because we didn’t have a home, was really hard. Makin’ a Movie is a full -blown theatrical experience and we need a sizable theater that can accommodate us bringing in our own set pieces, wardrobe, and props once a month. On top of that we are dedicated to having our show go up every third Sunday of the month. Since we don’t have a typical multi-week run it was hard to book what we wanted on a month to month basis. Lauren had directed several plays at Theatre 68 in their Hollywood location and is friends with the owner Ronnie Marmo. When Ronnie moved into Theatre 68’s glorious current space we jumped on it and it’s been a dream. The timing was right and we love the location. We no longer have to stress about parking in Hollywood! We’ve been at this gracious location for two and a half years, every third Sunday of the month, and we couldn’t be happier.
How can one join the MaD JaCKRaTS?
Becoming a MaD JaCKRaT is hard but not impossible. In five years we haven’t had many openings and we only fill those openings with an actor who knows the format inside and out. It requires at least a year, sometimes two, of training in this specific format that is only taught at Lauren Patrice Nadler Studios, to elevate to the level we require to perform for a paying audience. We require each cast member be accomplished as an actor with scripted material as well because of the complicated storytelling. As students get better at the Makin’ a Movie format, they develop comedic characters that can appear in any scenario devised by the audience. A student who is ready can guest star or become a re-occurring guest star. We’ve had cast members move on due to booking a series regular acting job on network tv, moving out of state or pursuing other dreams. When that happens we fill the slot only when it makes sense. This show relies so heavily on chemistry and team work that we take the utmost care in casting it.
What are some of your improv tips for actors?
Ground your character in a detailed reality and commit to the truth of the situation, no matter how absurd.
LPNSImprov with The MaD JaCKRaTS. Photo by Matt Acho.
Sunday, July 21 at 7:30PM
Doors open at 7PM
5112 Lankershim Blvd.
NoHo Arts District
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