General Press Release 2000
With three performances last year at The Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, a concert video, two shows at Thousand Trails Snowflower Camp, and a Kiwanis Club membership drive behind them, The Improbable Improvisational Ensemble is planning to reach an even wider audience in 1999. Performances of Interactive Television: Classic TV Revisited are being scheduled for later this year. Their latest video, I2E was cablecast on FCAT (Foothill Community Access Telvision) between June 16th and 21st. I2E features excerpts from the group's early days at the Iron Door Comedy Cabaret. Check FCAT's schedule at http://www.nccn.net/ch11/ for other cablecast dates and times. FCAT frequently recablecasts programs, so it may turn up on the schedule again.
Mike Maginot and Larry Pitts dipped into the archives to produce this half hour program, which features music by local singer/songwriter, Dan'l McIlhenny. Dan'l recently completed an album tribute to John Muir. A non-profit project to support John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. See his home page for more information>
"One of the most important aspects of my job as director is team building. We would like to expand the scope of our performances to the corporate world", says Mike Maginot.
"Besides using the techniques of improvisational theater, The Improbable Improvisational Ensemble uses brainstorming in their workshops. We are also working on a mission statement."
"A great experience for me was coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team early this year. I found that the OM exercises could actually be applied to the improv group and visa versa. OM helps kids to develop their creative skills. Improv gives adults and children a chance to explore their creative side", says Maginot.
"There are many people who perform with the ensemble. Who does a show really depends on who is available. Lots of our people have day jobs or work regularly with local theater groups. Thankfully, there is a great pool of talent in Nevada County, so we've always been able to get enough players together to put on a show"
In 1997, the group performed twice at Thousand Trail's Lake of the Springs. The performances were well received, so in 1998 they had two performances at Thousand Trail's Snowflower Camp.
"We have done private parties and benefits for The Foothill Theatre Company and FCAT (Foothill Community Access Television). In 1997, a few of us put together Sierra Video System's live show for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show in Las Vegas", says Maginot. "We are a bunch of friends who enjoy getting together and making people laugh. It's not like we're making the big bucks yet."
Alisa Austin, an architectural designer, says, "It was like The Full Monty for me." She was rethinking her career when one day she saw an ad in the classifieds for a standup comedian. She felt she had nothing to lose. A few months later at the Iron Door Comedy Club, The Improbable Improvisational Ensemble was born.
Larry Pitts has acted in local productions for many years; people still talk about his performance as Koko in The Foothill Theatre Company's production of The Mikado. Many local theater aficionados fondly remember his manic performance in Kate Kane's production of Intermission. When he isn't cheerfully juggling words and images with the I2E, Larry
devotes most waking hours to his burgeoning book business, Browsers'
Books "Celebrating the joyful match of book with reader".
Debra Burke, best known for her work behind the scenes in local theater, brings her many charms to The Improbable Improvisational Ensemble. When asked what kind of an audience she likes, Debra responded, "Fun people who want to participate and have a good time."
Rex Duarte describes himself as "a two bit actor who has played in a few three bit shows". A smith of precious metals by trade, his great love is theater and the performing arts. Rex has performed in many local musical productions. He was particularly memorable as villain, Bill Sykes in Oliver.
Dan'l McIlhenny, besides being a fine musician and songwriter, offers up another side of himself when he performs with The Improbable Improvisational Ensemble. Dan'l's personal mission is to create a unique musical entertainment experience that is nostalgic, family oriented and action packed fun. As a member of the ensemble, he rounds out his talents as a "total entertainer".
Versatitle, musical/comedy performer Barbara Lynn has performed with the ensemble at the Iron Door Comedy Cabaret, benefits for The Foothill Theatre Company and Thousand Trail's Snowflower Camp.
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