, Salem, MA


January 3, 2013

The art of improv

Local group featuring Erik Rodenhiser performs at Marblehead Little Theatre


Another member, Erik Rodenhiser, is owner and operator of The Griffen Theatre in Salem and makes his living as an actor on the stage, in commercials, and in “corporate gigs and holiday parties.”

Other members are relative newcomers to the stage, but they all share a sense of daring that is indispensable in doing improvisation.

“For most actors, it’s the scariest of all performing,” Whear said. “It’s extremely unique, and not all actors can do it.”

Rodenhiser said he likes to takes risks onstage, which can include physical comedy, but also sometimes adopting an accent or a persona.

“I try to do different characters, which sometimes an improv troupe frowns upon,” he said. “They want you to be you in different situations.”

Rodenhiser compared improvisation to baseball, in which rehearsal serves the same purpose as practice drills.

“You have to practice in order to do it right, to know how to throw, who’s good at this, who’s good at that,” he said.

Where some performers are cerebral and can be counted on to add witty observations, others are oafish and use physical humor.

“If you have three or four different characters, you pull that out, even though you have no idea where the scene is going to go,” he said.

The scenes develop as games in which the actors all understand the premise, but only some know all the particulars of a scene, which are contributed by the audience.

In “pawn shop,” for instance, one of three actors must leave the room, then return carrying an item to be pawned.

He doesn’t know what he’s pawning, while the two actors who remained onstage and were told by the audience what the man is bringing in must inform him through their reactions.

“I have to go through a series of interactions to figure it out,” he said. “When I get it right, the audience applauds.”

IF YOU GO What: Accidentally on Purpose improvisation group When: Saturday, Jan. 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Where: Marblehead Little Theatre's Firehouse, 12 School St., Marblehead Tickets: $15, available online or at The Spirit of '76 Bookstore, 107 Pleasant St., Marblehead More information:

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker