You might find yourself thinking: “How does improv work? What makes it so much fun for the audience and the players?” There are a few key elements that we employ to make it all happen: The scenes we play during our Corporate Recess shows are always unplanned...there’s no script! For us, that means no lines to memorize - but it also means we have to make stuff up along the way, and every show is different!
For our audience it means an unpredictable night of entertainment that we hope you’ll remember for a long time (at least until our next show!). Another one of our principles is that every show is interactive. That means that our shows are up close and personal, in real time! We always want to hear from our audience, during our shows...so we’ll be asking for your suggestions on where to set a scene, what kind of characters you want us to play, and more! Audience participation is instrumental to our success (not to mention, that way we don’t have to do all the work!).
We want you to know what to expect from your shows. You won’t be hearing those “colorful” words that some comedy troupes use. True, our shows are not meant for children (or the squeamish), but by and large you should know that we keep the show at a PG-13 level (more or less). So sit back and relax, and enjoy your evening. We enjoy performing for you, and hope to see you again soon!
Not Quite Sure what to expect from Comedy Improv? Well here's a video from the Whose Line is it Anyway?, the US television version of Comedy Improv. This has to be one of the funniest routines ever. Comedy Improv is unscripted, you never know what to expect, other than a lot of laughs from some very talented people.
Improv is spontaneous, entertaining, and fun. But like all great things, you’ll have to see it first hand to fully experience and appreciate it.
Comedy Improv, (‘Improv’) is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed, with little or no pre-planning. In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds. In some forms, one or more of those attributes might be decided on beforehand while the others are created in the moment. Essentially, Improv comedy involves one or more people making things up as they go along, with often hilarious results.
Improv is unique in that if you see a performance, that’s it… there will never be another show exactly like it ever done again. Improv is different every time.
While it’s freewheeling, it does have some structure. Good Comedy Improv players employ techniques that coupled with a spontaneous personality can leave you rolling in the aisles. Short Form Comedy Improv is built around games played by multiple people, while conforming to the rules of the game.
Whose Line is it Anyway, was a British Radio program that spawned a TV series both in the UK and the US. The show had 4 performers who created characters, scenes, songs on the spot. The audience participation, important for great improv, would drive the ideas and suggestions, along with some ideas from the host. The Comedy Improv on ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ was built around the various short form games, including singing, songs, dialogue, Guessing and Genre games, to name just a few.
The skills and processes of improvisation are used outside of performance as well. It is often used extensively in drama programs to train actors for stage, film and television and can be an important part of the rehearsal process. A lot of the funniest actors on TV and in the movies got their feet wet in Comedy Improv including Tina Fey and Bill Murray.
Improv has a lot of use outside the comedy clubs. It’s used in classrooms and businesses as an educational tool and as a way to develop communication and brain-storming skills. It is sometimes used in psychotherapy as a tool to gain insight into a person's thoughts, feelings and relationships. When you look at the techniques and training used to develop good Improv, you can see it really is a mastered art, and one you should enjoy live.
Brenda is Founder of the Corporate Recess Players and co-founder of Corporale Recess, a company that uses improv for training, team building and other fun activities. She has performed in local theaters, TV and film. Brenda has studied acting in LA with Directors Adam Collis and James Dodson, Jason Alexander and at SCR with Greg Atkins, Chris Best, Greg Ungar and Karen Hensel. Her love is Improvisational Theater and she hopes audiences will experience the fun of "recess" with The Corporate Recess Players. Brenda thanks her husband, Carl, and her daughter; Desiree, for encouraging her to go after her Dream.
Jo, co-founder of Corporate Recess is a former member of the Groundlings, Los Angeles Theatersports, Cold Tofu, Off the Wall, Impromptune and Unhinged. Screen credits include "Contact', "What Women Want" "The Opposite of Sex" and "My Favorite Martian." Great. Just what we needed, another re-make of a childhood classic. On TV you might have seen her on animal Planet's "When Animals Attack" or anyone running out of a Laundromat on "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol."
A veteran of improvisational theater; Bill has performed with several groups over the years (Joan and the Coathangars, Orange County Crazies, Just Us, Act I improv). He has appeared in numerous plays throughout Southern California as well as films, television and commercials. As an improvisational actor in medical conferences he travels around the world. "Improvisation lets you be all the characters in your head" he heard someone remark. Then he realized he was one of the characters.
Wendy did theatre in high school & entered Chapman University with an acting scholarship, but changed directions in search of a more "solid" career. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology & Master's Degree in Human Communication, she became a lead singer in a local band, "The Soul Shadows" in 1999. Along with her band, she's also in a vocal trio, "Three for the Show" with her best friend & her husband. She joined Corporate Recess to build up her creativity chops, revisit her rusty acting skills, & use her Master's Degree to train others in fun & entertaining ways. As they say, "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
Joe has been doing voice over work for the past ten years. This work has included voicing commercials (Shell Oil, Air China, Ameristar Casinos...) audio books and industrials. Joe has been studying acting in L.A. from the likes of Pat Fraley, Lynda McCarrell, Sue Blu, Harvey Kelmenson, and at SCR with Greg Atkins, Greg Unger and Chris Best. He also studies singing with Tom Shelton in SCR’s! ‘Singing for the Actor’ class. (The Singing for the Plumber class was full.) Joe commented that improvisational acting is just great for him because he can never remember where he leaves his scripts. Joe thanks his wife, Chris, for all her love and support.
Paul earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Rowan University and performed in many music, film, television, and theatrical productions. Paul won a CAPE award for his work as a producer, director, performer and cinematographer on the television project Telerific - Flipside, he was a founding member of the Mooncalves family theater troupe, and he can be heard as the voice of Julius Rosenberg in Court Television's Greatest Trials in History and as the voice of Merlin in the Age of Wonders video game series. Paul has worked with the Well Known Garage Theatre, the Alive Theatre, the Capistrano Shakespeare festival and the Rude Guerilla Theatre Company.
Byron performed in numerous college and community theatre productions and even was part of a mime troupe in the 70's. (Who knew that wouldn't last?) Among his favorite roles were Hysterium in A Funny Thing / Forum, Grumio in Taming of the Shrew, and Crooks in Of Mice and Men. The role he wants to play most is Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees, a devil of a role.
Growing up in the mean streets of Lafayette CA., Dane Posey knew what it was like to face adversity. ln fact, his family refused to heat their backyard swimming pool. As a child he dreamed of becoming a textile magnate. However, during his first Home Ec class, a sharp prick with a sewing needle caused him to rethink his destiny and immediately apply pressure. Dane moved to Huntington Beach four years ago to duck a murky restraining order situation. When not performing at iO West or Second City Hollywood, Dane can be found roaming the aisles of JoAnn's Fabrics wondering "What If"?