The Sopris Sun

‘Consensual Improv’ returns to TRTC

By Will Grandbois

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Thunder River Theatre Compay’s “Consensual Improv” troupe is back for one night with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, and if the debut weekend last year is any guide, it’s likely to sell out fast.

“It was absolutely packed,” said TRTC artistic director Corey Simpson. That kind of response indicates that this is something we’re really hungry for.”

“It’s making all of us better actors,” he added. “It’s a great time, but when it’s done well it can also be surprisingly poignant.”

The group was brought together by Jeff Patterson and features Simpson as well as Nina Gabianelli, Mike Monroney, Cassidy Willey, Gerald DeLisser, Jan Garrett, Don Chaney and Miller Ford. They plan to add to their ranks soon, with auditions scheduled for Jan. 28.

“It’s important for us to stay fresh and keep raising the bar,” Patterson explained. “I want us to continue to really grow and master improv to the point that we start trying new things.”

In the long term, the group hopes to take the show to other venues, try out some long form skits, and more. For now, though, expect about a show a month in between plays at Thunder River.

“We still have work to do, but we’re definitely in a place where the audience can be thoroughly entertained,” Patterson said. “We’ve learned that the important part isn’t the game, it’s the relationships we created and the courage to explore them. People are watching something be created in front of their very eyes, and they’re involved in it.”

There are also some lessons of radical acceptance to be learned by performers and audience alike.

“As we get older, it’s so much easier to say no, but saying yes to someone’s initiative will always lead you to new places,” Patterson said. “Life is exciting when you’re lean into the unknown.”

Tickets are $10 and available at www.thunderrivertheatre.com.

Published in The Sopris Sun on January 12, 2017.