30 Days of NYMF on BroadwayWorld Day 19: Project Footlight's Wrong Number

NYMF and UCBT Collaboration - Project Footlight: Wrong Number

By Brian Fountain, director

If you are looking for new works, look no further. Wrong Number is freshly picked from the vine. In fact, we only planted the seeds of this project two months ago.

On July 11th, seven improvisers pulled from the ranks of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (the UCB), began what was to be the first of nine improv sessions. We started with two goals for these sessions: one, create material for a new musical; and two, end world hunger. Sadly we only accomplished one of those goals. But, after some soul searching, we decided to write a check out to Sally Struthers and press on.

The last improv session was August 12. Moments after its completion, Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk (who had been voyeuristically observing the process) were locked in a cage and forced to pen a brilliant musical based on those sessions. Every few days I would walk by the cage and review their most recent pages. If the spirit moved me, I would rap on the bars of the cage with a lead pipe and shout Make Better! This process continued for two and a half weeks, at which point we released Brian and Kait, hosed down the cage and got them into therapy. Were rehearsing the thing right now. And the show debuts this Monday, September 19.

Did I mention that the audience will get to decide what happens in the musical? Perhaps I should have brought that up earlier. I have a habit of burying the lead. Nevertheless, if you attend this musical, you and your fellow audience members will be calling the shots at critical (and not so critical) moments throughout the evening. I havent done all of the math on this thing, but there are something like 40 possible ways the show could unfold. Its a fine example of democracy in action.

If that doesn't get you excited for the future of musical theatre, then nothing will ever warm your cold hateful heart, and I pity you. If that does sound exciting to you, then perhaps you should grab yourself some tickets and pick up your voting pants from the cleaners, because you are going to get some use out of them. A good time is guaranteed, unless you hate democracy.

Visit www.nymf.org for more information.

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