Tuesday, September 4, 2012

SoDoTheatre Brings Musical Improv to Champaign

SoDo Theatre, which bills itself as "a developing space for visual and performing artists and arts organizations," has been open for more than a year at 114 South Neil Street in Champaign, offering rehearsal, studio and performance space to area artists and performers.

The So stands for South and the Do for Downtown, as South Downtown is emerging as an arts hub in Champaign. So, no, it's not a command like "So do!" More like Soho.

So far, SoDo Theatre has offered all kinds of improv, "Class Act" interactive education and events, Post-Industrial Parfait, Psychic Joker Entertainment, Studio2C, Amy Scott Photography, and a host of other artistic type operations. And coming up soon is another entertaining choice, when Rick and Laura Hall come to town to hold a workshop on musical improv.

Rick and Laura Hall
Rick Hall is a TV and stage actor with deep roots in Chicago improv, while his wife Laura Hall served as the accompanist for the American version of "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" hosted by Drew Carey. It was Laura Hall's job to come up with impromptu tunes at the piano to fit whatever style the performers were supposed to be singing at hat moment. A number in the style of Ray Charles about cleaning out the litter box? Done. Something in a salsa mood about what it's like to be a psychiatrist? Easy!

SoDo says the workshop is just right for anybody at any skill level, whether you've done song improv before or not. They promise, "Rick and Laura create a supportive, fun environment in which to grow, explore, build vocal confidence and learn to listen to each other and the accompaniment. Then they will move on to creating improvised songs that are a natural extension of scenic work, using character, location and story to create rich and interesting songs."

The workshop will take place on September 6, from 6 to 9:30 pm, at SoDo on South Neil. They ask that you email workshops@zooimprov.com right away if you're interested, and get your $30 in ASAP as space is limited.

For more information, visit the SoDo Theatre website or Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Laura Hall! Thinking of her brings up so many pleasurable WLIIA memories....