James Monroe Iglehart, Sarah Kay & More Set for SPEECHLESS at Joe's Pub Tonight
Tonight - Monday, August 25th at 7:30pm; SPEECHLESS, Silicon Valley's hilarious, snarky, irreverent underground entertainment, in which tech workers, entrepreneurs, and entertainers live out their worst nightmares will have a special performance at Joe's Pub (Public Theatre) 425 Lafayette (at Astor Place). The acclaimed show is created by Sammy Wegent and produced by Scott Lifton (Mortified SF) and Anthony Veneziale (Free Style Love). Special guests for the show tonight are: Tony award winning - James Monroe Iglehart, TED Darling and spoken word poet - Sarah Kay, Future Mate creator - Brian Fountain, and Improv Guru - Nathan Phillips.
SPEECHLESS puts players on the spot with nothing more than a stage, a microphone, and a PowerPoint deck of images they've never seen. The result is a series of fall-down laugh-riot presentations, often presented by engineers, programmers, and product developers from major tech companies, vying for prizes and bragging rights. Tickets $20 in advance & $25 at the door and a $12 food minimum or two drink minimum per person. They are available by phone at212-967-7555 (10am-7pm), or in person at The Public Theater Box Office (opens at 2pm) and on line at http://www.publictheater.org/reserve/index.aspx?performanceNumber=25701&SiteTheme=JoesPub.
At each show, a virtual spinning wheel (developed by a software engineer, of course) determines what kind of random talk the speaker must give - it may be a TED Talk, app launch, new hire orientation, video game pitch, quarterly report, even a sexual harassment seminar - while outrageous slides are presented to accompany their talks. A panel of judges score each presentation on a F.U.T.I.L.E. system (Funny, Understandable, Transcendent, Informative, Legendary, Entertaining). Contestants are chosen via advance web applications, with one audience member selected at each performance to participate. Information is available at www.speechlesslive.com and www.facebook.com/speechlesssf.
It is estimated that every second, in offices around the globe, some 350 PowerPoint presentations are given (21,000 per minute, 1.26 million per hour). Hapless workers from Cupertino to Chengdu are pinned to their plastic chairs, fighting sleep, while managers, developers, and sales leaders drone on and on, aided by visual charts, graphs and photos.
In addition to its performances, the SPEECHLESS team has also entertained and trained at some of Silicon Valley's most innovative companies, including Google and IDEO. They are regularly brought into Google's Mountain View offices to work with teams. A few weeks ago they were flown to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a session for IDEO, and then to Bentonville, Arkansas for a training session at Walmart's HQ. This month they are leading groups at Google in New York, as well as Silicon Valley's Salesforce, followed by a trip to Google's developer/advocate teams in Tel Aviv. SPEECHLESS has been showcased at comedy festivals including SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Improv Festival, and the recent tech conference Funnybiz.