Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sketch 22 Episode 4

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Some time ago, playwright/comic and improv instructor Patrick Schmitz contacted me about this 22 hour sketch comedy thing that he had going on at the Alchemist . . .and I seem to remember really wanting to go but having a busy time of things and generally not being able to go. Evidently some time has passed. This weekend Schmitz and company present the fourth in the Sketch 22 comedy series.

The premise for Sketch 22 is not altogether unlike Insurgent/Alamo Basement’s Play In A Day or Bunny Gumbo’s “Combat” Theatre thing . . . the idea is this: A group of comedic writers receive suggestions and cast schematics (y’know . . . the number of male an female performers they have to work with.) With these meager bits, the writers go off to make comedy happen. 22 hours later, there’s a fully staged performance that comes out of all of this.

There’s a limited seating arrangement of something like 33 seats . . . and with sketch comedy having the kind of appeal it has, there’s a good chance that late comers won’t get in . . . but tickets ARE available in advance. Interestingly enough . . . the show is captured on video and broadcast . . . into the next room. The Alchemist’s bar TV shows the people in the bar what’s going onstage as it happens, which probably makes for kind of an odd dynamic . . . the people involved in all the shows NOT going on onstage wait for their stagetime in the bar, watching the show on TV . . . which sort of amplufues the bar's backstage feel that makes the Alchemist so charming . . .

Sketch 22 Episode IV: A New Hope makes it to the stage this Saturday, June 13th at the Alchemist Theatre.

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