If you live in Austin, TX like I do, there are dozens of interesting things to do each weekend. Of course, there is the well known music scene, but there is also a thriving improv scene here that deserves your attention. Just within the past year I have seen improvised shows inspired by Miyazaki, Steampunk, and Doctor Who. I never knew improv could be like this, especially since most of my experience with it was in high school drama class or “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”
The Professor: Improv Inspired by Doctor Who starts with the show’s director, Justin Davis, soliciting a couple of words from the audience in typical improv fashion. Using those words as a starting point, the cast completely improvises the evening’s show. It can and will go anywhere from here. But surprisingly, out of it all comes something that is indeed inspired by (in theme and structure) a typical Doctor Who episode, including the occasional regeneration (!). Simple staging and the small theater really allow the audience to focus on the actors and their antics on stage which should be the whole point of improv.
The night I attended, there was an amorous alien, Anubis, and his hellhounds trying their best to end the world as we know it. Of course, thanks to the quick thinking of the Professor (Mike Ferstenfeld) and his companion, Clara (Emily Breedlove) this fate was averted. This season of The Professor includes 3 different Professors, as well as a number of different companions. Tonight’s episode is rumored to be a regeneration episode, so get thee to the theater to check it out. Apparently the new Professor will be a she! Not even the BBC has been brave enough to do that (yet).
Needless to say if you love Doctor Who, enjoy the creativity that improv allows and live near Austin, you should definitely check out The Professor during its run Fridays and Saturdays through April 21 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater.
If you don’t, the Daleks and Cybermen win.