If you missed the big announcement of Off-Center@The Jones's upcoming programming at the theater's season opening event last night, you also missed a big party with lots of free beer. Under wraps until the live trailer show commenced, the venue's third season of nonconformist theater can now be discussed, and co-curators Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin gave Westword the head's up on what viewers can expect.
Cult Following: "Theatre is the new movies" Shows run: October 10, November 14, December 12, February 13, April 10 and May 8.
Cult Following is back for a third season, but this time, the improv-meets-sitcom-meets-live-theater show has a new twist -- it's all about the movies. Three new actors will join three current cast members in this live improvisational extravaganza, which will be guided by film genres picked by audience members at the previous month's edition. The theater will then stock up on an arsenal of props, costumes and visuals that the players can choose from.
"When the audience comes in, they'll be asked to do certain things like, if we're doing a romantic comedy that month, they'll get to cast the lead character, or they'll get to costume a character or select a hidden prop or a plot twist or a character trait," says Tarquin. "They'll get to build a lot of the movie and then the cast will just be given that information to work with."
"Each show will be a completely different movie," adds Miller. "Each (show) will stand on its own, though there may be characters that reappear."
For Cult Following, doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 8:35 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include popcorn and two beers for guests 21 and up.
Wheel of Misfortune: "The scariest game show ever" Shows run: October 25 and November 1.
Brand new this year, Wheel of Misfortune is an interactive event in which participants will compete for the chance to win big prizes. But player beware: This game show has some serious consequences.
"The concept is that we're creating a game show that will be played by the audience -- the contestants will be from the audience, but there will be points where there will be smaller competitions and chances to win things, too. We're still working on prizes -- but they're going to be good," Miller promises.
"We're still figuring out the logic and rules of the game, but there's going to be a big wheel of misfortunes and you'll have to spin the wheel to find out what kinds of challenges or terrifying acts you have to perform in order to win points," adds Tarquin.
Since the production will have a reference to "every game show ever," Tarquin promises elements of Fear Factor, trivia, physical challenges and, of course, Wheel of Fortune.
"There will definitely be an element of a Japanese game show in there," says Miller. "What always happens with Off-Center -- which is both fun and terrifying -- is that we have this initial inspiration, and then we bring a bunch of people together to make it happen; but it is often not until it gets closer to the real show that we know what it really is."
Lived/Re-Lived: "The live realization of true stories" Runs: March 7, 14 and 21, 2014
Another new project for The Jones, Lived/Re-Lived is a collaboration with local storytelling masters The Narrators. Taking the real-life stories of local comedians, writers, musicians and the like and re-imagining them for the stage, the show promises to be anything but a scripted theatrical piece.
"It won't be like a play, at all. It will be the opposite of that," says Tarquin. "It could be a story told on trapeze. It will have some crazy element where some other creative type gets to retell it in their own medium."
Culling entries from The Narrators show -- there's a new theme every month at Deer Pile -- each Lived/Re-Lived will retell three individual stories, but with elements that promise to be completely unexpected.
Doors for Lived/Re-Lived open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
For more information on Off-Center@The Jones's programming or to purchase tickets for any of the shows, visit The Jones's website.
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