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Marvelous Impro Theatre takes on ‘Shakespeare UnScripted’

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Marvelous masters of improvisation Impro Theatre are taking on Shakespeare in their newest production, “Shakespeare UnScripted,” directed by Brian Lohmann and Dan O’Connor. They have wowed audiences with their two-act, fully improvised plays in the style of Jane Austen and “Twilight Zone,” but imagine what it will take to pull off iambic pentameter in Elizabethan English on the fly. “Shakespeare UnScripted” begins preview performances on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre (upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse) in Pasadena. Opening is set for 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

“Shakespeare UnScripted” is a completely improvised play in the style of William Shakespeare. The Impro Theatre ensemble starts with a single audience suggestion and builds improvised, full-length, never-before-seen plays inspired by Shakespeare's poetry, colorful imagery and bawdy innuendo. Every show is totally unique and brings to life the monarchs, spirits, lovers and fools that make up Shakespeare’s world. Said Impro Artistic Director Dan O'Connor, "Brian Lohmann and I are very excited to roll up our sleeves, dive into the world of Shakespeare's romantic Italian comedies, and bring this brand new production to the Carrie Hamilton Theatre."

The cast is a rotating ensemble, including (in alphabetical order) Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Kelly Holden-Bashar, Brian Jones, Stephen Kearin, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Paul Rogan, Michele Spears, and Floyd Van Buskirk. The set and costumes are by Sandra Burns, the lighting design is by Leigh Allen, stage manager and lighting improviser is Michael Becker, and sound improviser is Alex Caan.

Impro Theatre is an Unscripted Repertory Company that has brought innovative, unscripted theatre to Los Angeles and the world. The company’s goal is to take core narrative and style elements of great playwrights and writers, and create a new play using no more than the essence of an author’s work and an audience suggestion. Most recently, unscripted explorations of great literary figures has included Shakespeare, Dickens, Stephen Sondheim, and Tennessee Williams. For more, visit www.ImproTheatre.com.

“Shakespeare UnScripted” previews 8 p.m. beginning Thursday, March 20, opens 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30 and performs 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through May 4. Tickets are $20 for previews and $30 for regular performances ($15 student tickets are available; student ID required at the door). Call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

The Carrie Hamilton Theatre is located upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. Lot and street parking are available.

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