Tim Mahoney of Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, 124 W. Taylor St., will direct Unscripted, a new series of improv plays. The plays don’t start until April 10, but auditions are being held Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 starting at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience level. You must attend both auditions.
So, what’s your interest in improv?
It kind of encompasses, like, all of the things in my life. It makes me who I am. I’ve been doing improv for … seven or eight years, at this point—teaching it, performing. … It’s the thing in my life that I have stuck with the longest. That might not be the most ringing endorsement of it, but—as a person who tends to gravitate toward the shiny object in the room pretty quickly—improv has been that constant shiny object for me. It’s a thing that I love. I’ve been doing it four days a week for the last seven years, pretty much. It takes up a lot of my time, but it’s what I always have more time for.
Is improv easier for actors with experience in scripted plays or for newbies?
I think it depends on where you’re coming from. … I think it depends, really, on the person. For some people, improv is a really natural and freeing thing to go into. For some people, it’s terrifying—but I’ve come across both. I think with an open audition for this project, we’re going to see a lot of people who are excited about it, so we won’t see those terrified people. But I’ve also gone to theater companies and taught, like, … improvisation for scripted actors and had people terrified and literally asking for directions at every turn. … I think, too, this specific project, being that it’s a long-form narrative—we’re doing improvised plays—I think for an improviser that can be scary, too, because it’s not solely comedy-based. We’re working at creating improvised theater, so we’re really looking to touch all of the emotions and have those moments of sincerity and sadness and heartfelt moments, but also comedy as well. Improv is at its best when you’re not aiming to be funny, when you’re just aiming to create real connection and genuine moments on stage.
Improvised plays—how long are these things going to be?
So, they’re going to be 90 minutes long. … Obviously, given that we’re making up these stories every night, it’ll be a different play based on some audience suggestion, based on whatever is inspiring in that moment for the actors. … The one things we are certainly going to be doing is a musical. … That will be the last of our shows. And we’re also going to be doing an improvised murder mystery. I’m going to go ahead and put those two on the map now.
It’s an open call. Anyone can show up to the next two audition days—both of them, right?
In the note to everybody and the messages that went out about the audition process, it says an improvisation background is certainly helpful. … I think we saw that today [during the first auditions], with some experienced folks who have some background in improv. They looked great, and they did a fine job—but they also bring up the people around them. You don’t have to have improv experience to be a part of this show. We’ll take you on and teach you all about it. I’m also a big believer in the fact that having those wild card folks that have never done improv before will keep the improvisers that have experience on their toes.