A Return to Our Improv Roots

One of the things that I really love about the Sean Graney adaptation for The Comedy of Errors is that it has these areas built into the script for us to improvise. As many people know, Dan Matern and I were both part of the Improvisational Comedy Group AH-HA and All L!VE NEWD in the 80's and early 90's. For the two of us this show is a lot of fun for us because we follow the set structure of the script while having these great moments of spontaneity. It's quite a bit how our comedy shows were when we toured all over Chicago and the Midwest.
The other great part of being in this show is that we have this incredible ensemble cast of seven. They are definitely a wonderful bunch of improvisers to work with. Two of our cast members: Peyton Daley and Braden Cleary, are both instructors for our CST Education Programs. Peyton is also a teacher at Chicago's famed Second City and is always cracking us up with her adlibbed portions of the show. Braden too is an awesome partner to work with simply for his ability to add on to whatever anyone else might improvise. His character Dromio of Syracuse has this line where he asks, "Where's this going?" and I think that one of the beautiful things about the show is that we can be like Jazz musicians in how we have this main melody that we follow, but then we get these places to spin off into something new each night. As actors it's a fantastic return to our improv roots; and an opportunity to stay sharp and practice our listening skills.
One of the other really fun aspects is that we also have some really great laughers in our cast. We find ourselves like Harvey Korman and Tim Conway onThe Carol Burnett Show totally cracking one another up. I usuall y like to think I'm pretty good at not breaking but our cast is so talented we've all "gotten" each other at some point or another during the run of the show. There's this friendly little competition over who's going to "get" who each night.
I think audiences feed on that energy and laughter too once it gets going. For us, as actors, this dynamic keeps the show fresh. Audiences are affected too. Each group gets its own personalized show in terms of how they respond to the improvised parts of the play. I think that people who've seen the performances at the park or at the theatre may want to come back to see how the show changes depending on the audiences. For people who haven't seen the play- we have only a few more performances left and I wouldn't want anyone to miss how much fun this show is night after night.
-Eric Brant, Actor