As You Will: Shakespearean Improv is the latest, and one of the more innovative, improv troupes in NYC. Performing the first Sunday of every month, through 2017, at 8:30 p.m. at The People’s Improv Theatre at The Underground 123 E 24th St, NYC.
This clever 45-minute show invites its audience to help bring to life all the plays and poetry Shakespeare would have written … with today’s sensitivities (or lack thereof).
Basically, we’ve heard all 884,647 words written by William Shakespeare. What about the words he hasn’t written… yet?
George Hider weighed in on his thoughts on the art and the industry.
Conor Mullen and David Brummer, the other two of the three-man cry of players in this merry troupe were undoubtedly out improv’ing somewhere.
What Inspires You As An Artist?
It’s hard to pinpoint one exact source of inspiration, but I’d say the works that standout the most to me as an artist are created by people who are doing something out of passionate necessity, and who’s work simultaneously challenges the form and conventions with which audiences are familiar. For example, The Play That Goes Wrong on Broadway – a show that has you can just tell has been developing and evolving for years. And the work really shows, both in the specificity of the action and the upheaval of theatrical form. Or Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN., an album that can be enjoyed more than one way, and that both challenges and trusts the listener to figure it out. These are works crafted to be both enjoyed and pondered, made with heart and soul and care. I’d always rather see an Off-Broadway debut of a brand new show over of a fourth revival of Cats. It’s always refreshing to see something new and interesting in a world of Lil Yachty, deliberately blank canvasses and Transformers 6.
Why Independent Theater?
This actually kind of ties in to the previous question for me. Far too often these days, be it through theater, music, film, modern art, etc., we see these large scale, corporate-backed creators churning out the bare minimum, or rehashing old ideas for the sake of getting the largest audience possible. At that point, you’re not taking care of your audience (without whom you would be out of a job), you’re only taking care of yourself. That’s where I lose interest, and why I love indie theater so much. That’s not to say I don’t also enjoy some big-budget type stuff, but it’s like they’re two separate worlds within the same artistic community. I mean there’s so much going against these small independent shows – deadlines, funding/costs, outreach capabilities – but because everyone involved is so emotionally invested in making sure that this little piece of art gets to see the light of day, it somehow, against all odds, turns into something. Something that you remember. It’s not a show designed to get investors their money back, or win X number of awards; it’s something that you’re proud you got to share with the world (or some small fraction of the world, at least). The actor-audience relationship is the heart of the indie scene, and a huge part of what makes the sleepless nights and shoestring budgets so worthwhile