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.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read