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Impro Raises the Theatrical Bar | AMERICAN THEATRE

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 05:01 -- rprice

In the years since, I’ve been privileged to watch Impro rehearse and I’ve seen the company perform UnScripted takes on Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Stephen Sondheim and John Ford. (They also do Tennessee Williams, Charles Dickens and L.A. noir, among others.) The beloved authors and genres they enrich are both refreshed and irrevocably altered by their touch. It is the most impressive sort of homage—the kind that tells you these improvisers are essentially slumming in some literary neighborhoods (sorry, but Rod Serling never wrote anything as good as Impro’s riffs on his themes). Above all, Impro’s work has taught me to demand more from the theatre, and from the culture in which it is embedded. The people who would entertain us have got to reward our faith. Trusting Impro to invent a long, inspiriting story has become one of my life’s most reliable enjoyments.