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Twisted improv a real downtown show

Every day people improvise. It's those spur-of-the-moment decisions made or actions taken that make life interesting. In order to follow that theme residents of Prince George are invited to attend Improv Ad Nauseum at the Twisted Cork Saturday night.
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Every day people improvise. It's those spur-of-the-moment decisions made or actions taken that make life interesting.

In order to follow that theme residents of Prince George are invited to attend Improv Ad Nauseum at the Twisted Cork Saturday night.

The improv troupe consists of about nine people, four on each team that perform in a theatre-sports type atmosphere with one referee.

Scott McKay, Scooter the Clown in another life, will be a member of one of the teams that dares to take on a variety of challenges that -- with any luck -- will bring a chuckle to audience members.

"I ended up going to one of Bas' shows (Bas Rynsewyn who referrees the event) and I got to see what it was like and they do a Theatre Sports style improv," said McKay, who was in the Impromaniacs in Victoria for eight years. "I looked them up because I wanted to meet people. I don't hunt or fish, ride snowmobiles or ATVs so for some reason I was having a hard time meeting people. I don't know what is was."

There is audience participation as Rynsewyn calls upon people to be judges that assign points and there's also a policeman who controls foul language or if things get too over the top, said McKay.

"People can be put in a time-out if they misbehave," said McKay. "The points don't really mean anything and don't lead to anything except for pride and self-worth."

Each team plays a game with different challenges, like the 30 Second Fairy Tale or Emotional Transfer where emotions are shouted from the audience and each player is assigned one. As a player uses their assigned emotion to play a scene, another player with another emotion will come on stage and both improvisers have to take on that emotion and so on. The fun hits new heights when someone runs across the stage and for a split second all participants adopt the emotion the streaker brings with them.

There's not much in the way of preparation for this sort of thing, McKay said.

"Basically you get comfortable with the fact that some things will go well and you'll look like a brilliant and well-polished performer and other times you'll lay the golden goose egg and totally bomb on stage and there's a bit of a forgiveness with improv," said McKay. "A lot of the comedy is about struggle. You're given something totally out of the blue and you couldn't prepare for it and it's that struggle that's innately entertaining."

Improv Ad Nauseum is at Twisted Cork, 101-1157 Fifth Ave., Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at Books & Co., o $12.50 at the door if there's any tickets left.

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