Live! Nude! Improv!
They’re getting naked at the Hideout
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
11:07AM, Thu. Aug. 11, 2011
They’re getting naked at the Hideout.
It’s true: Upstairs, in the theatre run by that venue’s
talented cadre of improvisers, some of the performers,
male and female, are doffing their duds in the middle of a show.
And sometimes? Sometimes the audience –
at least some of the audience – is joining them.
“You can blame Andy Crouch [of the Austin Improv Collective],”
says Marc Majcher, who recently directed (and appeared in) one of the Live Nude Improv gigs.
“Andy wanted to do something really risky and transgressive after attending
the Rude Mechs’ production of Dionysus in ‘69.
Risky, both in the sense of the physical nudity and emotional intimacy,
and in blowing out the process of putting together the show itself.”
And what about – the audience?
“Oh, it's completely audience-interactive,” says Majcher, grinning.
“We take out the seats and risers from the theater, and the show’s performed in the round.”
So Andy Crouch was really inspired by that Dionysus in ‘69 –
“Exactly” says Majcher. “The pretense is that everyone, audience included,
is there as part of the first rehearsal for a new play. We've had audience members
demonstrating mermaid seduction techniques, getting into stage combat with Jordan [Maxwell],
and talking about the "script" – that everyone has supposedly read –
in a way that’s set the entire course for the show.”
And so you choose people from the audience, or ?
“Anyone’s encouraged to jump up and join in at any time,” says Majcher.
“There's a weird balance between making sure people are comfortable with that,
making sure that the people who just want to watch don't feel pressured,
and keeping those people who might be a little too active from taking over.
But, overall, the reaction has been unilaterally positive.”
And multilaterally naked.
Live Nude Improv started at the Hideout on July 9th.
It runs on Saturdays at 8pm.
It’s been consistently selling out four or five days in advance.
And it ends on August 27th.
See (maybe some previously covered parts of) you there, friend!