Improv and sketch comedy with Kevin McDonald
Canadian sketch comedian brings improv workshop to Lafayette
The Silverbacks Improv Theatre is hosting a workshop with Kevin McDonald of “Kids in the Hall”, the offbeat early 90’s show about a Canadian sketch comedy group, to teach participants ages 14 and up the art of improv and sketch comedy.
The troupe has been performing together since 2012 and they are excited to welcome a big name in comedy to Lafayette to teach their troupe and area residents about how to create dynamic improv.
The Silverbacks troupe consists of eight performers with various years of improv experience, and they do everything in house from creating their posters, to writing press releases, to marketing and producing their events.
The troupe performs bi-monthly improvisation theatre shows, once a month “Improv Nights” during 2nd Saturday ArtWalk in Lafayette and teaches improv to both adults and teens.
McDonald will be teaching the class and instructing participants on how to use improv to develop comedy sketches, using his methods from “Kids in the Hall.”
No experience is required for the workshop, and participants will also be taught some basic improv skills.
The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. that morning, end around 5:30 p.m. and will culminate with a live show at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Participants will showcase their new sketches and Hall will also be performing a stand-up comedy set.
“The Silverbacks will be performing an improv set, featuring Kevin McDonald and we couldn't be more thrilled,” said Sarah Brown, 36-year-old improviser and producer. “We have never performed formally on the ACA stage, so this is a big night for us on so many levels.”
*Gwen Aucoin Photography
Afterwards the Silverbacks will round out the night by performing their own improv set, featuring Kevin McDonald.
Monique Morton Derouselle, 32-year-old performer and producer, thinks newcomers have a lot to gain from the workshop.
“I love teaching others improv because I've seen it help shy people come out of their shells and allow people who have trouble with public speaking to gain confidence,” says Derouselle. “It has made me a stronger speaker in front of large crowds and I love seeing how it helps other people to grow.”
Although the troupe does their best to make their performances look effortless, behind the scenes they follow a specific formula to ensure all their performances remain cohesive.
“When I started training in improvisation I started realizing it's not as easy as it looks from the outside,” says Derouselle. “There are a few rules to make it look as good as it does. Some of them include saying yes, and by agreeing to an idea someone sets forth as a group, we can add to that idea to make it better. We also listen while conversing with others and we don't second guess ourselves, which helps build confidence.”
While the troupe uses many different formats for their shows, the goal is always to get the audience to believe the show is not being made up on the spot.
“As a group, we rehearse the formats so we all know what’s going on even if we don't know where the story will go,” says Derouselle. “Everything is made up on the spot from audience suggestions, but as long as we know the format we won’t get lost and we can make the story flow for the audience. Sometimes it's so good the audience believes it's not 100 percent made up, and that's what we want.”
*Gwen Aucoin Photography
Improv is certainly an acquired skill and the Silverbacks are hopeful that the workshop will serve as a strong introduction to the art.
“We hope the students who come to the workshop will get a better understanding of what it takes to create sketches through improvisation,” says Derouselle. “This is a once in a lifetime experience for most people and I'm excited to hear the Kids in the Hall anecdotes and personal experiences that Kevin McDonald will be sharing with us.”
To purchase tickets for the workshop or live show, or for more information about the Silverback Improv Theatre, visit silverbacksimprov.com
- The Original Louisiana Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival, Sept. 1-2, a.m., Opelousas
Celebrating the 35th Annual the event there will be showcases in the best in zydeco music, featuring seven leading musical artists.
This year’s festival pays tribute to Ambassador and Feature Artist “Grammy Winner” Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, others include Lil Nate and Zydeco Big Timers, Jamie Bergeron, Nathan Williams, Zydeco Cha Cha’s and many others.
Come enjoy the Black Pot Cook Off, arts and crafts and great food and bring the whole family.
Festival rules prohibit ice chests, glass containers, BBQ pits, and open flame burners.
Visit zydeco.org for more information.
- Andre Thierry Zydeco Brunch, Sat., Sept. 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Lake Charles
Grammy-nominated Andre Thierry will be at Sloppy's for Saturday Zydeco Brunch on Sept 2.
In his 30’s, Andre has already been deemed a legend. There is widespread agreement that he is an exceptional multi-dimensional musician who has a finely-honed ability to merge his Accordion Soul sounds with blues, R&B, jazz, Latin and rock.
His musical mastery enables him to create a unique sound for his and future generations while staying true to the past.
- Country Round Up is coming to Route 92, Sun., Sept. 3, 7 p.m., Lafayette
Zydeco, R&B and Cajun artists are part of a Hurricane Harvey Relief Concert set for 7 p.m. Sunday at Scandal’s Nite Club in Lafayette.
Entertainers include Chris Ardoin, Cupid, Connie G, Travis Matte, Leon Chavis and Wayne Singleton and Same Ol’ 2 Step.
Admission is $10 and all tickets sales, along with 50 percent of the bar proceeds, will go towards flood relief.
For more information call 504-330-7311.
- Evangeline Toastmasters Meeting, Tues., Sept. 5, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Lafayette
Come find out what “the best kept secret in Lafayette” is all about at the Evangeline Toastmaster's Club.
You will hear some amazing speeches and learn more about leadership.
Whether you want to practice business presentations or learn different speaking techniques, this is a safe place to learn.
Check out the website for more information at evangeline.toastmastersclubs.org.