Loose Moose Theatre is well known for its improvisational stage work, and the company is sticking to its tried-and-true methods when putting together the familiar kids tale of “Sleeping Beauty.”
While the play is based on the classic Disney story, improvisers from Loose Moose will put their own spin on the tale.
Director Alice Nelson explains that because this is a well-known story, “it has really got a solid storyline, so the improvisers know what to do next,” whereas during a completely improvised show “you have no idea what’s going to happen,” she says.
The improvisers in this play, which is part of their Theatre for Kids presentations, were only given a set of chronological scenes to develop. These scenes describe what should happen; yet there was no script of what their lines should be.
“Through playing and improvising we discover what are the key lines we have to keep and then what little bits can be different every time,” Nelson says.
She gave the scenes to the improvisers, and through every rehearsal has decided what should stay in the play and what shouldn’t. This is how the play shapes up, including both improvisation and essence of the story.
“Unlike a completely improvised show, we do have to hit the main plot points of the story,” Nelson says. “We’re getting the story out, but in a more wacky and comical way.”
Nelson believes that getting the story across is probably the most important part, but the improvisers have a lot of freedom creating and developing their characters.
Each of the cast members has many ideas to offer, which also help the process.
“Being an improviser is really nice because it takes you away from traditional acting and you don’t feel so glued to your script, and that gives you a chance to explore a little more,” says Kate McIntyre, who plays Sleeping Beauty, a court jester and the Duchess in the play.
McIntyre agrees with Nelson that the improvisers have a lot to offer and are always coming up with new ideas to add to the show.
“Every day that we’re doing rehearsals the show changes a little bit,” McIntyre says. She explains that sometimes she’ll have to change what she is doing in order to keep up with the rest of the cast. However, this doesn’t take away from the main plot.
“[The play] has a really solid storyline. We are telling the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ it’s just in a very comical way, with lots of audience interaction and lots of surprises,” Nelson says.
In this version of the play, the curse put on “Sleeping Beauty” says she only has to lose a drop of blood to fall into a deep sleep. Since she has to avoid more than just a spinning wheel, as in the classical version, she is not allowed to go outside. This is one of the many variations from the original Disney story that can be seen throughout the play.
“The major reason that this play is different from any other “Sleeping Beauty” is that it’s done [in] the true Loose Moose form, where we really don’t think about the Disney version and we take our own spin on it,” says Quinn Contini, who plays both the Good Fairy Rose-Mary and the Evil Fairy Thistle.
“Sleeping Beauty” takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. through Oct. 23 at Loose Moose Theatre, which is located on the second floor of the Crossroads Market, 1235 26th Ave. S.E. Tickets are $12.