~Season 2 Features
Preview articles about last season Sin City: Carnies
March 18 Times Colonist Around Town photo feature is here: http://www.timescolonist.com/Step+right+circus/6320876/story.html
CFAX 1070am Eye on the Arts Adam Sawatsky spoke with Karen Brelsford & Kirsten Van Ritzen. __________________________________________________No script, no scenario, no safety net: Sin City takes its latest improv in a whole new direction
by Amy Smart, Times Colonist October 22, 2011
Victoria's only live improvised soap opera troupe is back - and this time, they're entering uncharted sideshow territory.
The Sin City cast is shedding its 1986 Jordache jeans, wild hair and privileged personalities to assume fresh new roles as misfit carnies for its second season in town. Set in 1931, the show begins "somewhere East of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan." Beyond the individually crafted characters and a loose cross-country itinerary, the unscripted story will build over 24 live episodes.
"There's no script, no scenario, no safety net," says director Ian Ferguson, who began working in the unusual format more than 20 years ago with his wife, producer/actor Kirsten Van Ritzen.
"At its best, when the show works, people will come up to you afterward and say, 'There's no way that's improvised.' "
Van Ritzen and Ferguson created live-improv-soapopera troupe Die-Nasty (a play on the TV soap opera title Dynasty) 21 years ago in Edmonton. When they moved to Toronto, Sin City was born.
Other participants have carried the format as far as England and Australia. So when Ferguson and Van Ritzen ended up in Victoria about a year ago, they were ready to recreate it once more.
"This year, we're following a more normal season," Van Ritzen said. "And we started building a pretty loyal audience."For Van Ritzen, the series is the perfect marriage between theatre and improv."To me, it's the ultimate form of improv and the most satisfying to do, because you really get to dig into your character," she said.
"These characters have to have a bit of depth - there's stuff they love, stuff they hate and they grow over the course of the season as we interact with each other."firstname.lastname@example.org
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Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/script+scenario+safety/5592287/story.html#ixzz1bWrKRNkh<
Sin City goes back to the ’30s for second season
October 7, 2011 by Devin Doyle, contributing writer
Anyone who saw the live improvised comedy show Sin City last season and is expecting the same visual experience this time around is going to be surprised, to say the least.
The show, now in its second season, is tackling a whole new era with this season, according to director/producer Ian Ferguson. They were living in the past before, but now they’re going back even further.
“We went from 1984 with big hair and Jordache jeans, bright colours, and Flock of Seagulls haircuts to the ‘30s with the dustbowl and many, many shenanigans,” he says.
But one thing remains a central focus in Sin City: music, all of which is improvised. . . “The music is a huge part of the show,” Ferguson says. “They are improvising a live score, so if we are having a serious scene or a love scene they’ll totally set the mood and then they’ll change it up when we’re being really goofy.”
Actress/producer Kirsten Van Ritzen (who jokes that Ferguson is “kind of like an evil puppet master”) says that season two – which is set in the 1930s during the depression, with the characters portraying a band of mischievous travelling carnies who rip people off – will feature no shortage of on-the-spot musical numbers from the cast as well as the musicians. “We also do improvised songs,” she says, “and usually those just happen spontaneously.” . . .
“It’s just terrific fun; its addictive, really,” says Ferguson. “I think it’s probably, for your buck, the most fun you’ll have.”
_____________________________Photo below: Cast members of Sin City: Carnies a weekly serial that follows a 1931 group of misfit carnival performers. Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
posted by Mary Ellen Green 10/12/2011 12:00 AM
Calling all freaks and geeks... step right up for one of the most thrilling, sordid, astonishingly inconceivable shows you’ll ever see — right here at the Victoria Event Centre each Tuesday night.
Sin City the Live Improvised Soap Opera presents season two: Carnies, a completely improvised 24-episode serial exploring the lives and exploits of a roving 1930s sideshow, presented by Broad Theatrics with live direction by Ian Ferguson.
“The carnies we’re going for are different than what you’d imagine at the circus in the Big Top with the elephants,” says core cast member Kirsten Van Ritzen. After the depression hit, most circuses went broke and the sideshow with its human acts and skilled tricks took centre stage, she explains.
Each week . . .the cast and audience come together to find out what will happen in the lives of these curious characters that may include Ava the Snake Lady, The Mesmerizing Mentalist, The Faceless Man, the Celestial Hypnotist, dancing Cootch Girls, the Falling Wallendas and assorted barkers, rousties, stooges and marks.
“We never tell anyone who they’ll play,” says Van Ritzen, whose Ava the Snake Lady is “half viper and half vamp.”
“We all do some research and come with an idea. We don’t interact with each other until the onstage preview. We don’t want any perception of cheating, so if we develop a back story for our character, we don’t tell each other.”
With his thick stature, Morgan Cranny is a perfect fit for a strongman, but it’s a character he’s already played with Atomic Vaudeville. “I don’t like to repeat myself. I’m pretty good at a Russian accent, so I decided to go with a Dmitri, a mysterious Russian roustabout. I didn’t want to develop an act right away, and as a roustabout he has access to everything and everyone.”
The cast includes some of Victoria’s most impressive improv artists and comedians, including Cranny and Van Ritzen, as well as Wes Borg, Christina Patterson, Chris Gabel, Robert Conway, Karen Brelsford and Alan Penty, plus a slew of guest artists like Andrew Bailey, David MacPherson, Christine Upright, Charlie de Pape and Miss Rosie Bitts.
The musical score and songs are improvised by multi-instrumentalist Grayson Walker, and the lighting and sound by Theodore Sherman. “The music is another character in the show,” says Van Ritzen. “It really embiggens the show,” Cranny says with a chuckle...“It’s like being an editor on the fly,” says Van Ritzen. “We wouldn’t want to do the show without [Ferguson], he’s a brilliant puppet-master.” M
By Staff Writer - Victoria News Published: October 07, 2011 10:00 AM
Sin City, the live improvised soap opera, barks its way into the public consciousness this month, with Season Two: Carnies.
Directed by Ian Ferguson, the 24-epi-sode weekly performance is centred in the 1930s midwest Dust Bowl, when travelling sideshows toured small towns, entertaining residents during a bleak time.
Possibly featuring such characters as Ava the Snake Lady, the Faceless Man, the Cootch Girls, the Flying Pachenkos and assorted barkers, rousties, stooges and marks, this improv series is sure to produce something new and unusual each week.
Regular cast members include local comedians Wes Borg, Morgan Cranny, Kirsten Van Ritzen, Christina Patterson, Chris Gabel, Robert Conway, Karen Brelsford and Alan Penty.
Sin City runs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., starting with a preview Oct. 18 and officially opening Oct. 25 at the Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.
Photo: supplied. Kirsten Van Ritzen in character as The Snake Lady. email@example.com
BELOW: Monday Magazine cover photo by October Day, image courtesy of Grant MacKenzie, Editor.