Byron Kjeldsen

Byron Kjeldsen

Anything is possible with entirely improvised Christmas play, Miracle on Paper Street

Paper Street Theatre will be performing improvised Christmas plays based in the 1950s.

The era is the 1950s at Christmastime. But all other details of a unique live show remain unknown to both the audience and the cast until showtime.

Miracle on Paper Street, put on by Paper Street Theatre, is a fully improvised Christmas play. Each time it is performed it is a completely different play, because it is the audience of the night that chooses the name of the play just moments before the curtain rises. The only thing everyone know is that it will be set in the 1950s.

“I thought it would be fun to do a throwback to those old 1950s Christmas classics . . . like Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life,” said Dave Morris, director of Paper Street Theatre. “The beauty of working in improvisation is that we can do anything. Any title that an audience member can imagine . . . [we can] make it feel like a 1950s Christmas movie.”

The only prop on stage is a lamp post that can be turned on or off, and the only costumes they have are 1950s suits and dresses.

Despite not being able to rehearse specifically for the shows, Morris said the group spent two months preparing.

“We start with our research period where . . . we watched a lot of movies together and talked about what we noticed and what we saw, how it sounded, how it looked and what the themes were in all of these movies and where we should be looking for themes in our work.”

Since they do not know what characters they will be playing, Morris said they focus on the style and themes of what they are trying to achieve.

“We work on improvising scenes that have that warm Christmas feeling,” he said. “We know the story will be something about the joy and wonder and happiness of Christmas, but we don’t know any of the plot points, which is the fun part.”

Many of the 10 cast members have been working together at Paper Street Theatre for the past four years, and Morris said the entire cast is comfortable improvising together.

“The first rule of improv is to say yes. Whatever your partner does, you watch and you listen and you stay aware of what they’re doing, and then you accept what they’re doing as truth,” said Morris. “With our company, we’ve been working together and working on those skills for so long, that accepting is second nature.”

Morris said the uncertainty of an improv show is what makes it exciting and fun for both the audience and the cast.

“The audience and the performers are in the same boat the whole time.”

Miracle on Paper Street shows are on Dec. 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Intrepid Theatre Club, 1609 Blanshard St. Tickets are $15 for the evening shows and can be purchased at paperstreettheatre.ca. Tickets for the matinee show are $20 for a family of four and can only be purchased at the door.

 

 

Just Posted

The entrance to one of the tiny homes in Victoria’s Tiny Home Village. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
Victoria Tiny Home Village resident evicted for lighting small fire

No damage or injuries, but zero-tolerance rule stands

Saanich Fire Department is responding to a structure fire in the 3300-block of Quadra Street on May 18. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Smoking pot on stove ignites Saanich fire call on Quadra Street

Traffic impacted in northbound lanes of 3300-block shortly after 11 a.m.

The Victoria Police Department is seeking information on an assault that occurred in downtown Victoria on May 10. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police investigating downtown Victoria assault on youth

Witness also attacked after trying to intervene

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Most Read