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Common Ground Theatre Presents IMPROV PERCOLATOR, Beginning Tonight


New to Common Ground Theatre is Improv Percolator, a showcase for local improv students and teams. The evening 8:00 show will feature performances by students of all ages who are starting in the art form; a special guest group who does not usually perform at the theatre; and end with one of the teams who may be more familiar to Common Ground audiences. "Artists needed other performance opportunities," explained Common Ground Executive Director Devra Thomas. "Common Ground is about making those opportunities available to the community."

Starting off the evening will be students of (Transactors Improv regular) Anoo Tree Brod's Master Class, many of whom have performed in the popular "Improv Evolution" student shows. "They bring playful character choices and strong commitment to improv games and scenarios based on your suggestions," said Brod. Performing in front of a live audience is an important part of improv training. Improv Percolator is designed to give students this opportunity.

There are dozens of improv teams in the Triangle and the Improv Percolator will be inviting a special guest team for each show. Carrboro team Group Hug will be performing in May. The team says about themselves: "Group Hug is what happens when Sarah Eldred, Nick Faber, Brandon Holmes, and Rick Skarbez all hug. Usually after that, they do improv. Sweep edits? We don't need no stinking sweep edits!" A sweep edit is when the non-scene team members run across the stage to end the scene and is a crucial part of long-form improv as the timing is critical.

The evening will end with one of the Common Ground Theatre regular teams. In May, this will be group Danny Canoe, comprised of Brod, Third Date regular Dan Sipp, and Annie Zipper. Sipp said, "Danny Canoe is such a fun group to play in. We really love performing together, and we're always trying to crack each other up. I think audiences see that, too. A lot of folks tell me that Danny Canoe is their favorite group in the area. That's awfully nice to hear."

The first ever Improv Percolator Showcase will be hosted by Alan Goldstein, a member of another regular Common Ground Theatre team, FatMouth Improv. As a bonus during the show, Alan will invite some audience volunteers on stage to play a simple improv game. "I don't want anyone to worry that they'll be dragged up on stage against their will. That's not going to happen," says Sipp, "but if folks want to come up and try out a game, we're going to give them the chance. I think that will make the show even more interactive and hopefully give someone who's never tried improv an opportunity to see how much fun it is."

Tickets for the show are $12 plus sales tax and available online at Brown Paper Tickets or through the Common Ground Theatre box office at (919) 384-7817.

The first Improv Percolator performance will take place tonight, May 15th. For more information, visit

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