Transactors Improv will present a Valentine’s Day Musical, joining laughter and happiness for people and their loved ones this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, from 8 to 10 p.m. at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
“It's going to be fun,” Director Greg Hohn said. “It’ll be inspiring.”
Starting in 1983, Transactors Improv, the longest-running improvisational theater in the South, and the team has been doing “love shows” for many years.
“I think everybody loves a good love story, and everybody loves a good laugh,” cast member Bart Hubbard said. “The love shows, they really touch on real human emotions.”
While the “love show” is a tradition, Hohn said that every performance is going to be different because there is never a script.
“Is this what we normally do?” Hohn said. “Years ago our motto was ‘If you've seen us once, you've never seen us before.’”
Hohn also said that many people believe improv is about thinking fast, but you don’t necessarily need to think fast to be good at improv.
“Whenever you get on stage, you just have to commit a hundred percent,” cast member Anoo Tree Brod said. “You have to pretend everything you're doing is the absolute right thing to be doing, and that will begin to build your confidence and kinda let that self-doubt get less loud in your head.”
Hubbard said he finds that the skills he has honed through improv are applicable in his everyday life. He said improv has taught him how to be a better listener and how to work with other peoples’ ideas, even if he does not agree with them initially.
Brod said that the “love show” had an interesting start many years ago.
“One of our members at the time came to the group and said I wanna start exploring something that I don't see improvisers exploring, which is kissing each other on the lips on stage,” Brod said. “Everybody in the group was like shocked.”
The cast made a plan that during their show each member of the cast would try to kiss every other member on stage at least once, Brod said.
“It was revolutionary — to do improv where it gets a little more intimate,” Brod said.
The performance will consist of five stand-alone segments, each improvised using audience suggestions.
The group will ask for audience involvement at the beginning of each scene and will try to incorporate whatever idea the audience gives into their performance, Hubbard said.
Each segment will feature songs made up on the spot and, in addition to singing improvised songs, the group is planning on incorporating existing songs.
“People chose songs that were meaningful to them,” Brod said. “I know one of the members, to him, it related to the love he felt when he saw his firstborn child.”
There will also be a piano accompaniment to provide background music to the scenes.
“We're gonna make you feel really good,” Brod said. “There's gonna be laughter, there's probably gonna be human experiences on stage that you relate to, that touch your heart and maybe help you in some way.”
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