Quite the Interesting Fringe Show

So some time back on TAGP I saw an audition notice for a show that will be featured in the Fringe Festival this fall. I’ve seen the same audition notice a few times since then as well. This is not at all uncommon, as the Fringe has hundreds of shows. But this one has caught my eye…

To The Wall Productions is currently accepting headshots and resumes for the Philadelphia Premiere of Debbie Does Dallas- The Musical to be performed August 31- September 2007 during the Philly Fringe Festival. Based on the classic adult film, Debbie tells the story of a young girl who dreams of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and how nothing will stand in her way of making her dream come true.

Oh this is beautiful! See what comes from a love of musical theatre and a healthy appetite for classic porn?!?

It continues with character descriptions…

Seeking: 5 F, 3 M

The Women
Debbie Benton: Bombshell Blonde small town girl with big city dreams; cheer captain; generous by nature with a squeaky clean image; has the conviction to pursue her dreams and achieve them, regardless of the cost.

Lisa: Essentially the “bad girl we love to hate;” She is comfortable with her own sexuality, and loves to use her looks, charm, and sex to get what she wants. She is manipulative and sneaky.

Roberta: Lisa’s best friends. She is naïve and spacey, but only by choice. She is smarter than she lets on. She is also comfortable with her sexuality.

Donna: The dark angel, intellectual poet of the cheer squad. She has a boyfriend, and wants to explore her sexuality, but doesn’t want to be labeled as “easy.” She is best friends with Tammy.

Tammy: A young Hilary Clinton with a sense of humor; she wants to be a senator when she grows up. She is the most innocent of the cheerleaders (a virgin) and remains so.

The Men
Actor One: The funny, lovable, high school heartthrob who plays the following roles: Rick, the high school quarterback/captain of the football team and Debbie’s boyfriend. Hamilton, the rich and arrogant tennis pro, and Mr. Bigtime, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

Actor Two: A character actor who has the ability to be funny and have real depth. Plays Mr. Greenfelt, Debbie’s lonely boss as well as Mr. Biddle, the repressed, reserved high school librarian, and Kevin, a suburban high school jock.

Actor Three: Plays five roles and therefore must be good at quick total character transformations. Must be funny. Plays the following roles: Mr. Hardwick, a swinger who owns a candle shop, Mr. Bradley the perverted High School Spanish teacher, Ashley, Hamilton’s rich friend, Nick, the college aged record store snob, Jonny, the tight end on the football team, and Tim, whose also on the football team and dates Donna.

This is awesome. Already my expectations are so gloriously high for this that it can’t possibly live up to them.

Auditions will be held by appointment only.

I’d hope so, can you imagine the group audition?



3 Responses to Quite the Interesting Fringe Show

  1. Matt Nelson says:

    It actually surpassed my expectations!

  2. Alice Shearron says:

    This is for Matt Nelson who I am trying to contact. It’s about the Troika show last Thursday night, November 15. I’m confused and have some questions. I thought improvisation was what the first group that performed did…that’s improvisation when performers have to pluck their lines and comedy from thin air and maybe use an audience member suggestion. What the second group did was NOT improvisation as I understand it and heard others saying the same thing. Props and scenery, costumes, passing out food to the audience (wow! couldn’t believe that!), interacting with the audience….I would define what the second group, Brenda, did as sketch comedy….they had the entire premise set up and defined before they started…..that’s improvisation?!!! I realize they had some improvised lines, but still…..Please explain….thanks, Alice Shearron

  3. Matt Nelson says:

    Although a post about Troika might be the more appropriate place for this, we’ll just put it here. First off, thanks for coming to Troika. Second of all, it was indeed improvisation, albeit a format of improvisation you may not have seen before. I’ve been involved in improv comedy since 1994 and have seen many different forms throughout the years. Pretty much all improv comedy uses some sort of device or format. The first group you saw had newspapers. Musical improvisation uses a keyboard and sometimes drums or guitar. If you go to see a ComedySportz show or watch Whose Line on television, you’ll see them using props and costumes for certain games. A format exists to give a piece vision and a path to follow. Most improv that you would see follows a format called the Harold. Every person who has learned the Harold knows that there will be three scenes, followed by a group game, followed by three more scenes and so on… this isn’t scripting the show. It gives direction to a group of players and puts them on a common course. Every character, every scene is genuine and in the moment. The same goes for last night. The format was a monoscene (one large scene) that took place at a sleepover. That’s all that was put in place before hand. That’s what this particular group does. By playing truth or dare, they then got information about what characters they would be (like the thug) and how they would all interact. That drove all the dialogue, relationships and storylines. Arguably one of the best improv groups I have ever seen is called Bassprov. In their shows, they are always bass fishing. These are two of the top improvisers in the country, who commonly have special guests like SNL’s Horatio Sanz and UCB’s Matt Walsh. No one would argue it’s not improv – it’s just premise based. You can actually see them in a few weeks playing right here in Philly at the Shubin Theatre. Go to phillyimprovtheater.com for more details on that.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is an artform that takes no singular shape. People are always trying new things, be that with premises, staging, props, themes, comedy vs. tragedy, etc. But even with all that, there’s no less of a challenge and they can still soar or fail based on what they indeed make up on the spot. I encourage you to seek out all these different types of improvisation and you may find some pretty incredible stuff. I hope this answers your questions.


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