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Improvisation reigns at latest BPC drama performance
|BPC performance students in a scene from the Dec. 7 “An Evening of Improvised Comedy” are Omie Scott, from left, Kim Knighton, Corrine Bird, Jacob Knighton, Justin McCalla and Max Owens. (Photo by Casey Hutcheson)
Kelley M. Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—Move over “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Brewton-Parker College’s drama troupe is mastering a new genre – improvisation.
Thanks to several unforeseen casting trials earlier in the semester, what was supposed to be a scripted, three act play of Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte play, “The Servant of Two Masters”, turned into an audience-inspired, improvised free-for-all to the delight of all ages Dec. 7 in Gates Auditorium on the Mount Vernon campus.
In short, the play’s pivotal character, Sal, was never concretely cast.
|Justin McCalla (left) and Jacob Knighton perform in Brewton-Parker College’s Dec. 7 “An Evening of Improvised Comedy” in Gates Auditorium on the Mount Vernon campus. (Photo by Casey Hutcheson)
“As soon as we found a suitor, he had a conflict,” said “director” Mark Stokes, BPC drama instructor.
The result of this unexpected casting problem is the once-in-a-lifetime performance, “Commedia dell’Morte: An Evening of Improvised Comedy.” The goal of the evening’s “play” was to discover who or where Sal really was, and if he was dead or alive. Through a series of four deliciously-twisted scenes, which were “directed” by the audience, who anonymously gave descriptive words, nouns and places before the start of the show, Sal’s well-being was uncovered.
Among the many places the cast looked for Sal was a Christmas tree farm, a coffee shop and a locker room. The four scenes featured improv set-ups similar to the popular improvisation television show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?” with comedian Drew Carey. The cast included students Justin McCalla, Jacob Knighton, Max Owens, Kelly Inboden, Kolby DePratter, Corinne Bird, J.W. Gibson, Kat Chrisitan, Kimberly Knighton, Hayley Boisseau and Omie Scott. More than 70 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the event.
“The (play) went really well,” Stokes said. “I was very pleased with the end result. Improvisation is always unpredictable but it was a pleasant experience. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it.”
To learn more about the college’s drama studies, contact Stokes or check out the college’s website, www.bpc.edu.