The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its Discover Arts and Crafts workshop series with “Improvising Comedy,” on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The No Pants Players, an improvisational comedy troupe from Charleston, will lead the workshop. There is a $15 fee per person. Participation is limited to 25 students aged 15 to adult, and reservations are required.
The workshop will focus on basic improvisational techniques and group building. The day-long seminar will consist of games and role playing activities meant to build self confidence and teamwork.
The No Pants Players began as an experiment in 2001 with a nucleus of five members and has grown to include eight players. Joe Wallace, founder of the troupe, had to look no further than the Charleston theater scene to find recruits. He says, “Charleston is ripe with talent; from writers to performers, this team represents some of the finest theater talent you’ll find anywhere.”
The group’s comedic styling is similar to the popular television show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” The fast-paced nature of their performances forces every member of the troupe to completely rely upon the abilities and instincts of their fellow players.
The highlight for the troupe came at a Hurricane Katrina benefit in front of a sold-out crowd on the main stage of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston. The performance included an improvisation game called Olympic Sport, where members pummeled each other with imaginary typewriters and reams of invisible paper, and closed with a dance routine performed by three male members of the troupe clad only in skintight spandex and neon headbands.
The No Pants Players name derived from the troupe’s refusal to perform wearing pants, instead they wear shorts. Members of the group include Jeff Bukovinsky, Jamie Dunbar, Jason Dunbar, Kevin Pauley, Brian Roller, Tony Slack, Duncan Stokes and Wallace.
For more information about the Discover Arts and Crafts workshop series or to make a reservation, contact Bethany Cline, cultural program specialist for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 171. For more information about the No Pants Players, visit their website at www.nopantsplayers.com. The next Discover Arts and Crafts workshop will be held on Saturday, March 10, with Joyce Cain of Tanner teaching “Basket Making.”
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer