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Interview: Anthony Veneziale Talks About How The Love of Improv and Hip Hop Became FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME

Playing through July 10th at San Diego The Old Globe.

Interview: Anthony Veneziale Talks About How The Love of Improv and Hip Hop Became FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME "You are a part of the journey, the show is a mirror and a window and I think people really really love that."

FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME creator Anthony Veneziale (who is part of the FLS founding trio which includes Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda) talks about what makes the hip-hop improv show so unique, and why the audience is such an important part of the show where every performance is different every time. FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME is playing at The Old Globe Theatre through July 10th.

Anthony Veneziale, aka, "Two-Touch" is not just a creator but also a foundational performer for FLS having performed in over 3000 performances including on Broadway and the national tour. The show, which Veneziale describes as, "A fully improvised freestyle rap concert. - imagine "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" meets the Wu-Tang Clan" is designed not just to entertain but combine the art of improv and hip-hop music in a creative way that pushes the boundaries of both art forms.

Originally Veneziale was more focused on the athletic fields rather than the bright lights of theatre. As a child a speech impediment that he overcame in middle school, and so it wasn't until his sophomore year in college when he got cut from the soccer team that he fully pivoted into the theatre fully. It was then that he auditioned for the improv group, which he says turned out to be exactly what he needed.

"Once I got into the improv group it became the magical elixir of what people need for a fulfilled life, that's what it felt like. So I've been preaching the gospel of improvisation since then."

That's also when he and Thomas Kail met and bonded over a shared love of music and improv. Luckily, that sports team dynamic; of lot of people working together to make something happen is something that they both shared and felt applied perfectly to their shared love of improv and music.

" A love of hip hop and a love of soccer- that's what Tommy and I bonded over the most."

Their love of music was also key in their idea of how to explore and evolve improv using the incredible language of hip hop. Veneziale wanted to look at improv and see where it was coming up short and ask how they can help it grow into something different.

"How can we use a Black art form to inspire this improvisational field to be more inclusive, more diverse, and more incredible?"

Interview: Anthony Veneziale Talks About How The Love of Improv and Hip Hop Became FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME

That shared sense of music, improv, and team dynamic all became the foundation of FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME. Finding that shared dynamic, and a safe place to practice and improve is still what helps them bring in and find performers for the show.

"Ultimately, it has to do with core values, and how we show up and listen to one another. That first and foremost is the underlining DNA of what makes our show our show. Are we leading with love? Are we listening deeply? Then you keep doing reps to build that muscle memory of the performative element and go through the formats."

It's important to create an environment where they feel like they are willing to fail over and over again and feel like they are being rewarded for failing. So it has to start there - a supportive environment."

The sense of community and really listening and reflecting back on what the audience is giving to them is the key to this fun and fast-paced free styling show. Veneziale says audience participation may be needed to help create each show, but everyone can participate to their own comfort level - they really just want everyone to have a good time and be entertained.

"Show up as your authentic self, participate however you feel comfortable we will never put anyone on the spot, we will embrace what they give us and whatever ingredients they bring that's the show we will cook up with them.

We're excited to learn, experience, and to hear your ideas and turn them into our show."

How To Get Tickets

You can see FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME g at The Old Globe Theatre through July 10th. For ticket and show time information go to www.theoldglobe.org

Photo credit:(from left) Chris Sullivan, Jay C. Ellis, Anthony Veneziale, and Morgan Reilly. Photo by Joan Marcus.

(from left) Morgan Reilly, Kaila Mullady (back), Anthony Veneziale, and Jay C. Ellis. Photo by Joan Marcus.




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