The early show was fantastic and consistently so. TSC, StoryBox Theatre (Chicago) and Uncalled For each used their 20 minutes in different ways.
TSC crammed the most story into their 20 minutes, with a documentary about a kid going to jail for overreacting to a breakup. Their loose structure allowed for some very smooth storytelling and a very easy rapport with the audience. It was also freakin’ funny.
StoryBox retold the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, using a much stricter structure. (They have a 45-page glossary of terms!) Within their structure, though, there is a lot of room for players to narrate, play music, or jump into the action themselves. The most important aspect of their philosophy is for the main characters to experience a change. I quite liked their stylized opening and closing.
Interestingly, the main characters in TSC’s story changed much more subtly than the coming-of-age change of Hansel and Gretel, and yet it was just as satisfying. I think a fairytale does require a more obvious change, but the comparison was interesing.
Uncalled For did a long-form where where it was more about the journey than the destination. Each sentence was inspected and prodded for funniness with great success.
Montreal may have a small improv scene, but I am convinced that our top performers can play with the best of them. Tonight, they certainly did.