Off the Cuff Improv is returning with a sketch comedy show at the Mahon Auditorium on Thursday.
The Prince Albert comedy troupe is returning to monthly shows at the John M Cuelenaere Public Library with their first sketch show in a few years. They had their first family improv show at the library on Oct. 1, but the upcoming show on Thursday focuses more on adults.
“We haven’t done one in a long time. We have been doing them at the Borreal Bistro a few years ago. We have all been writing a sketch here and there so it feels nice to brush it off and put it back into a show again so it feels really nice,” cast member Adreanna Boucher said.
The group has been promoting the show on their Facebook page by introducing the cast members. Boucher said the sketch format allows them to expand the number of cast for the performance.
“When we do just a regular improv show you only usually work with three to four actors,” she explained. “If we are doing sketch, the cast will be a little bit bigger, and the reason for that is just so we have more diversity.
“The sketches call for more diversity and also because everyone brings something different to the table creatively. Only a few of us have done the actual writing, but everybody collaborates and throws ideas out there.
“Some of us have written some sketches. I have got a drawer full of sketches at home and (cast member) Preston Morin he’s been doing some sketch writing.”
The cast ended up having a sketch writing session with cake and wine. The group talked about funny ideas, and created possible scenarios for the show.
Then they separated, worked on different pieces, and came back together to decide what to keep and what not to keep.
“We pass sketches around and we read each other’s work,” Boucher explained. “We give ideas for what could be better or what could be cut.”
The group was at the Jam Street space in downtown Prince Albert on Sunday rehearsing and fine-tuning those sketches ahead of Thursday’s show.
Boucher said that they only do a couple rehearsal sessions because they want the organic flow to come from the sketches themselves. Their goal is to create a basic idea of the concept they want so they can flesh it out on Thursday.
They also like to keep references fresh so concepts are often scrapped.
“Some of our work has to be of the now,” Boucher explained. “We initially were going to do this show on Sept. 27 and then a few of us were sick so we postponed it, so a lot of what I had written I had to scrap because it wasn’t timely anymore. I had to rewrite a whole new sketch.”
One piece that they rehearsed on Sunday evening was a sketch called Animal Interrogation which featured all but one member of the troupe.
The show is on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Mahon Auditorium. Tickets are $20 in advance through an Eventbrite link at www.otcimprov.ca, or cash-only at the door for $25.
Half of the proceeds from each show will go towards upgrades to the auditorium, increasing its viability for use for a wider array of performing arts. A practice which began with their shows last season.
“Half of our proceeds on every show that we do at the library go to the library Save our Seats campaign,” Boucher said.