The Wait is Over!
We're back and we have some really exciting shows coming up for you! I'm excited to tell you about the program that we've got coming up in October and November AND a little bit of the reasoning behind it.
In these next two months, you are going to see a smorgasbord of different improv approaches and concepts, each spearheaded by a different company member. Every member of our performing company has been given a night with which they can do anything they want - design the cast they want, explore the improv they want, maybe even showcase other improvisers from other groups, all in the name of putting fantastic improv into the world.
It means you are likely to see some fresh faces as company members have total freedom to invite folks from our community to participate, and see some improv ideas explored that may be brand new to you (and us!).
To give you a taste, you'll be seeing some of our alumni come back (October 23, dir: Jenny Rosen), a post-apocalyptic drama (Oct 24, dir: Kimberly MacLean) and some exciting tales of horror in Pulp Playhouse (November 6, dir: Regina Saisi).
We are excited about this for a few reasons. One, it honors the visions and inspirations of every member of our company, including those who don't do a lot of directing in our normal show schedules. Two, it encourages us to reach out and play with some new folks, building relationships with the incredibly talented community of improvisors outside the BATS company. Three, it stimulates innovation by truly taking the limits and boundaries away and inviting folks to follow their visions - whether it's a two-person show (October 9, dir: John Remak) or a chance to showcase an outside group doing really exciting live animated short films to improvised music (Storyboard on November 14, invited by Tim Orr).
When we took time off, we were looking to initiate the process of reflection and exploration about how to become an anti-racist, inclusive and welcoming community. This long term journey is just beginning. The commitment to move forward and make progress is key, and the proof will be in the ongoing commitment and action toward that work. In addition to engaging trainers and consultants to get some important training and guidance across the organization, we are also looking for ways to simply open our doors to more folks and be conscious about inviting diversity into our community. This new show structure is one step toward shifting our system to foster more openness, welcomeness and inclusivity, and is certainly not the last.
We expect that at the end of this couple months, we'll have learned a lot, played with bunches of new folks, tried out some things, and had a good deal of fun, and we're excited for you to join in on the journey.