Theater Around The Bay: It’s All In The Name

Guest blogger Fontana Butterfield shares how her improv troupe found the perfect name.

We were finishing our rehearsal and had 10 minutes to figure out a name for our improv troupe. Postcards needed to be made, our first show was already sold out. The clock was ticking. Many names had been thrown into the soup. Everything else but finding a name was going like gangbusters.

The three of us met at a rehearsal for an Armando Company show produced by the improv company Leela. Soon after our Armando show, Mariah sent an email to Claire and me saying she had this crazy fantasy where the three of us would quickly form a trio for the sole purpose of submitting to the all women comedy festival “All Jane, No Dick”. The name of the festival was so perfectly fucked up, we had to do it. We had four days to book space, rehearse together, gather an audience and tape a “show”. It was ballsy. Luckily we are also teaching artists with built in studio stages, random directing students with really good cameras and an audience of improv students.

It happened. We filmed a “show” and came up with a very trippy name on the spot based on audience suggestions. “Father’s Day Remix”. Yeah. It was one of those funny-when-we-said-it and then just plain weird on the tongue. We did not book “All Jane, No Dick” but we did create something that excited us to the core. I feel like I manifested this troupe in my little lady heart. Yes, I actually wrote it in my precious thoughts journal. I want a new troupe that’s small and mighty and is made up of members that are, I’m gonna say it, even better at this than me.

So there we were, in our rehearsal space, sitting in a tiny circle, throwing out names. The past week I had been consumed with names like “Lady Parts”, “3 Chicks Squared”. We even laughed our faces off for far too long and almost went with something like “Sister, Woman, Sister” (homage to The Kathy and Mo Show). And then Claire said it out loud. “Why does it have to have gender in the title?” Boom.

Why does it have to have gender in the title? We are three improvisers. Check. Then we broke it down. Why do we do this? What’s it all about? This is one of those moments in life where you remember everything with all your senses. The room, the sounds, the light, the position of Claire’s face, the posture of Mariah’s back all expectantly listening to Claire say what it is that turns her on most about this magical work. “It’s about being in this moment, it’s about the right now.” The Right Now. This is how we do it.

Find out more about The Right Now Improv Trio by checking out their website at http://therightnowimprovtrio.blogspot.com/. They are performing next at FemProv Fest ’14, headlining the opening show: http://www.femprovfest.com/

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One comment on “Theater Around The Bay: It’s All In The Name

  1. Valerie Weak says:

    Now that I’ve learned the ‘origin story’ I’m even more excited to catch the show on Thursday with Works by Women San Francisco!!

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