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Make graceful and lasting change

Listening to Charna Halpern

Cindy Tonkin - July 13, 2016

Day 1 of Summer School always starts with a chat with Charna, and a few questions.
Here are some quotes.

“We were kicked out of 14 theatres [before I founded my own]. Our audience didn’t drink enough – they were sober and they paid attention.”

memorable improv scenes:
A tender scene about a guy lined up to be executed, talking about his life and final wishes. Playing basketball with the warden: “if you sink this basket, I’ll get you a pardon”. A member of the audience jumped up and “tipped” the ball in, so the prisoner could get pardoned. He was offered free classes for being so brave. he didn’t want them, because he wasn’t interested in performing: he was just so carried away by the emotion of the scene!

Christmas show: Caroling. As they were singing Christmas songs, Neil Flynn climbed on a chair and hanged himself. The next guy [also a famous name I’ve forgotten] shoots himself. Etc, till in the end all that was left on stage was Rachel Dretch, who sang silent night. With special emphasis on “All is calm”….

Mid scene: Neil Flynn says “Can I talk to you in the mistake booth?” (Am i your father from that other scene? Are you married to her?). Once the mistake booth was established it ran as a joke through the entire show. Till the monologist in their final monologue made a slip of the tongue, and he walked into the mistake booth, and the lights went down.

Del wanted us to treat each other like artists, geniuses and poets. If you treat each other like that on stage, sooner or later it falls offstage and we make better people offstage too

Intelligent, high-brow, slow comedy.

It’s a thinking man’s game [sic]