Halloween isn't just a Celtic tradition brought over through Irish immigration, transforming into a day when the veil between the spiritual world and our physical plane is the thinnest, thus prompting children and adults alike to don costumes to scare away those monsters who would seek to harm us. It's also a time for laughs.
Because hey, if you can't laugh at monsters, then they win the battle. Don't let them win.
Port Coquitlam's Second Storey Theatre is fighting the good fight with its third-annual Vamprov show, an improvised production with the simple premise of "humans vs vampires." But catch this, the show changes every night. Why? Because so do the audience members, and it's ultimately them who decide the fate of the show.
"It's a lot of fun to be an audience member because you literally control the show," said Rachelle Tomm, one of Second Storey's go-to improvisers.
But Graham Myers, the art director for Second Storey and an improviser himself, said he doesn't want to scare people off, because audience members are only involved as much as they want to be and the theatre has a serious no-bullying-the-audience clause.
He also wants people to know the show isn't meant to be ridiculously scary. It's over-thetop, fun and accessible for all ages.
"The thing is, it's scary, but not too scary," he said. "My four-and-a-halfyear-old niece came and she loved it."
Based on the "humans vs. vampires" premise, the show involves the "human" team picking a theme - will they be a group of nerds? Jocks? Hipsters? Once decided, they get into character and face-off against the "vampire" team in a series of improv games.
Once the show is over, the audience chooses through the classic applause-o-meter which team was the best.
Second Storey is known throughout the community as a go-to source for comedy. The group puts on shows every week, including four to five this month for Vamprov alone.
The group is open to anyone interested in improv, and members offered wise words to those who might be thinking about what improv can do for them.
"A lot of the people here are here because improv is such a great tool you can use for anything in your life," Myers said.
One of Second Storey's veteran actors, Jennifer Pielak said it's good to learn how to adapt and react, but improv is also about more than that.
"It's such a great tool for anyone because you get to learn to listen in a different way and react differently," she said. "It's so powerful. You have so much power when you learn about yourself."
Second Storey offers classes to students at five high schools in the Tri-Cities, as well as anyone else interested, at their theatre at 201-2550 Shaughnessy St.
For more information visit sstimprov.com or e-mail Pielak at email@example.com, or Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vamprov runs through Saturday, Oct. 26, with shows running Friday and Saturday evening. For the last weekend of the show, anyone wearing a costume will be entered into a draw for tickets to a 30-hour Improvathon.
"[People] should come see it because ... I had like a tagline. It's the most hilarious, spooky ... I don't know. It's awesome, it's such a great show with huge committed characters that will knock you off your feet with how huge they are," Myers said.
© Copyright 2013