THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Teams with Upright Citizens Brigade to Host NYC Student Improv Workshops
The Tony Award winning hit comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, The New York City Department of Education and the acclaimed sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) have partnered for a day of workshops in an effort to bring the joy and fun of improv and performance to New York City public school students.
Tomorrow, Thursday, December 7, students will have the chance to collaborate directly with the Broadway stars of The Play That Goes Wrong alongside Upright Citizens Brigade instructors in workshops where the students will write, rehearse and perform their own sketches.
During the afternoon session, the students will have the rare opportunity to perform on a Broadway stage at The Lyceum Theatre followed by guidance and direction on their sketches. The day will culminate with the students attending a performance of The Play That Goes Wrong, where they will have the chance to see their teachers on stage.
"What an inspiring and unique partnership on behalf of our NYC public high school theater students to explore skills, develop material and perform original scenes with professional artists from the UCB and Broadway," said Peter Avery, the Director of Theater for the NYC Department of Education.
The Broadway cast of The Play That Goes Wrong stars Ashley Bryant (Emotional Creature) as "Annie," Clifton Duncan (City Center Encores! Assassins) as "Robert," Mark Evans (Paper Mill Playhouse's Mary Poppins) as "Chris," Jonathan Fielding (Noises Off) as "Jonathan," Alex Mandell (Hand to God) as Max, Amelia McClain (Noises Off) as "Sandra," Harrison Unger (Broadway debut) as "Dennis" and Akron Watson (The Color Purple) as "Trevor." The company also features Preston Truman Boyd (Sunset Boulevard), Ned Noyes (You Can't Take It With You), Ashley Reyes (Broadway debut) and Katie Sexton (Broadway debut).
The Play That Goes Wrong began performances March 9 and officially opened on Broadway on April 2 at The Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street).
Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces The 'Cornley University Drama Society' who are attempting to put on a 1920s' murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong...does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.
The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong received the 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design, a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Best Play and the Theater Fans Award Choice Award for Best Play.
Awarded 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, 2014Whatsonstage Best New Comedy and 2015 UK BroadwayWorld Best New Play Awards, The Play That Goes Wrong is now in its fourth year in the West End, is currently on a UK tour and is playing on six continents. The Producers have avoided Antarctica for fear of a frosty reception.
It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance, and has gone on to play to an audience of over half a million around the world.
Mischief Theatre, led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer, was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work.
The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Tony Award Winner Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson and costume design by Roberto Surace.
The Upright Citizens Brigade was founded and is currently owned by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. With two theaters in New York, two theaters in Los Angeles - including the newly opened training center and stage on Sunset Boulevard - the UCB continues to offer the best and most innovative improv and sketch comedy every day of the week on both coasts. Named "the most influential name in improv today" by The New York Times and "the nucleus of the nation's alternative comedy scene" by The Los Angeles Times, The UCB Theatre is widely recognized as home to today's funniest actors and writers. Among their esteemed alumni include performers and writers for "Saturday Night Live," "Parks and Recreation," "Key & Peele," "Veep," "Broad City," "Silicon Valley," "New Girl," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Inside Amy Schumer," "The Mindy Project," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "@midnight," "The Daily Show," "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon," "Late Night with Seth Meyers," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Wet Hot American Summer, Pee-wee's Big Holiday, The Heat, 21 Jump Street, The Hangover, Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters (2016) and countless other films, commercials and television shows. Performers who have gained success continue to lend their talents to the theatre and accredited training centers in both New York and Los Angeles.
For audiences not in NY/LA, UCB Comedy is the online home for Sketch, Original Series, & Short Films from the Upright Citizens Brigade. From sketch and experimental comedy to short films and narrative series to comedy podcasts, UCB Comedy is a one-stop shop for short and long form comedy video, audio, and custom branded digital entertainment. Visit www.ucbtheatre.com or www.ucbcomedy.com for more information.
The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,750 schools. The Department of Education supports universal access to arts education through the ArtsCount initiative, which tracks and reports student participation in arts education and holds schools accountable for meeting New York State Instructional Requirements for the Arts. For more information, go to schools.nyc.gov/offices/teachlearn/arts/index2.html.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel