The Redding Improv Players embark on a new adventure with their first non-improvisational production, “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll,” written by Eric Bogosian. Improv Player, Russell Piette talks about the cast, the show and the spirit of Christmas.
Anything with “Sex” in the title is bound to sell tickets. But “Sex,” “Drugs” and “Rock & Roll,” packed house. Tell me what you like about this show.
This show has been on my mind for about 5 years, I saw a fellow actor perform one of the monologues from it during an audition, and just fell in love with it. This show was originally written as a one man show, but I always wanted to use several actors to perform the eleven different monologues. This show is about excess and I think each and everyone of us has something that we need or just have to have. There are some very serious parts in this show and some funny stuff as well.
This is new for the Players to veer from Improv. What went into that decision?
We are all actors looking for the next character to take on. This really is nothing new for most of us, we have all done great theater in Redding. We all felt that this type of theater is not available here very often and the only way we could get a show like this was to produce it ourselves. The Root Theater is another group that is dedicated to giving Redding what it is missing. The show is monologues, so it’s not really straying from what the Players do best. The only difference is we have lines to learn. We bring the characters to life with our ability to think outside of the box. A few of the monologues are being done completely different then what the script has written. Everyone has seen it the way it was written, now see it from the eyes of a different perspective.
I like that you are billing the show as “a break from Christmas.” But you’re not anti-Christmas are you?
No, no, no. Christmas is the best time of the year, actually this was the first opening we had to do a show. But in all reality, isn’t nice to just take a break from all of that shopping and Christmas music and see something totally different. This time of year you are just bombarded with Christmas, you have Christmas movies, sitcoms with the holiday themes, all Christmas music radio stations, enough already take a break with us and see something that takes you away from that for a couple of hours.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with the Players, tell us a bit about the cast.
All of us are current Redding Improv Players, except for one, Bob Koroluck is our special guest actor that we brought in to do a couple of monologues because he is just so good at it. Lisa Drafall, Samantha Clark, Sean Sampson, Ablan Roblan and me are all veteran actors and Improv Players. Jonah Taylor is fairly new to the Improv group and hasn’t done too much acting, but he will really surprise a lot of people with what he can do on stage. Scott Warriner has stage experience in Improv and as a stand up comedian. Acting is new to him, but the stage loves him.
Give us a sample of what we can expect, a glimpse at the debauchery.
A man who is well endowed, a conspiracy theorist high on weed, an aging rock star who talks about his past drug life, an inside look at a phone sex operator(what they really look like), a party animal, an asshole boss, crazy environmentalist. That pretty much sums it up.
Take a break from Christmas and see the Redding Improv Players perform, “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll,” one-night only, Saturday, December 19. Doors open at 7:30. Performance at 8:00. Tickets available only at the door. Old City Hall, 1313 Market Street, Redding. This show is for adult audiences. Learn more about the Players at reddingimprov.com.
Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Reach Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.