To-Do In Downtown: Mad Libs – Help us Rewrite a Foster Scene!

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On Oct. 1, The Foster Festival and Improv Niagara will be hosting a theatre event titled Mad Libs – Help us Rewrite a Foster Scene!

This event is a Culture Days Activity, an annual event that The Foster Festival hosts. Audiences of all ages are invited to Mahtay Cafe at 241 St. Paul St. from 12 to 4 p.m. to engage with performers, giving them prompts to incorporate into their scenes.

The Foster Festival is a professional theatre company inspired by the work of Norm Foster, a Canadian playwright of international renown. This activity in particular will take scenes from Foster’s plays for the actors to improvise over, substituting certain nouns, adverbs and adjectives provided by the audience into the scene. Some of the plays include Old Love, Outlaw and his soon-to-premiere Danny and Delilah.

The theatre’s Artistic Producer, Emily Oriold, was asked whether the scenes would be selected ahead of time or on stage based on the audience prompts. She stated that the scenes have been pre-selected to ensure they work well for back-and-forth improv, as well as providing a variety of themes between each of the scenes.

When asked about which artists would be performing during this activity, Oriold made special mention of lead artists Brie Watson and Dina Senior. She went on to praise the crew at Improv Niagara:

“Improv Niagara are so good at what they do. The Foster Festival is thrilled to be partnering with them on this event to create an activity that will introduce new audiences to Foster’s work and be a fun family activity for all ages to participate in during our Culture Days Activity. It has been a rewarding partnership thus far and we look forward to working with Improv Niagara again in the near future.”

When asked about how this event will compare to previous Culture Days, Oriold mentioned that this was the first time they would be incorporating an improvisational element into Foster’s work. The Foster Festival believes that this element will complement the Downtown Association’s “Engage Every Age” festival and make it fun for visitors. She spoke optimistically about bringing this new aspect to Culture Days:

“The improvisational aspect is new for us as is the partnership. We’re really excited about it. It’s fun to take something that is traditionally scripted (Norm Foster’s plays) and completely mix them up to create something new with hilarious results. This activity also introduces St. Catharines residents to Norm Foster’s work, but in an ‘out-of-the-box’ way that we hope will intrigue participants and encourage them to seek out opportunities to see Norm’s plays in future… Improv Niagara will also introduce a new game, ‘The Actor’s Nightmare,’ into the mix which will be a lot of fun for activity participants to witness.”

Mad Libs will be taking place from 12 to 4 p.m. at Mahtay Cafe; this event is a drop-in event, meaning visitors and cafe-goers can join in for free at any time. If you have a free afternoon on Oct. 1, or even just want to get some coffee, consider stopping by and seeing what The Foster Festival and Improv Niagara have in store.

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