The BIG November Show is a thrilling double bill of original improvised productions, presented by the Unscripted Players. Bite Me! is a brooding improvised supernatural high school drama, in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf and Misfits. Director Scott Mooney shares his thoughts on the rehearsal process so far.
It's been a busy and exciting week for the cast and crew of Bite Me! We've gotten to the point where our rehearsals are focused mostly on doing full run-throughs, which is incredibly exciting as a director. We've also added some excellent guitar underscoring from Luke Cox, which has really heightened the emotional element of the show. It's incredible to see the cast master a difficult genre in such a short while, and my goal now as a director is to help refine and perfect their awesome performances.
One exercise that we've developed and really enjoy is Bite Club. In teen supernatural dramas, characters are going to get into conflict, and often that conflict evolves into physical or magical violence. This is obviously tricky to address in an improvised show, as we want to keep everyone safe and communicate our intentions to the rest of the cast clearly. So the first rule of Bite Club is: talk A LOT about Bite Club. Describe the crossbow that you have hidden in your backpack. Explain the mystical curse that you found in that dusty old grimoire. Bemoan your uncontrollable kraken urges that demand that you drown your crush in the school pool. By giving more information verbally, it allows your fellow improvisors to react and really milk their dramatic death scene. In rehearsal, we've been having improvised blood baths, where everyone lines up and practices fun and spooky ways to murder each other in a safe and supportive way.
As a giant fan of this genre, I have been totally geeking out during our run-throughs. So much has happened. An angel fell to Earth and struggled with her demonic ex-boyfriend. A Religious Education teacher was murdered by a witch, resurrected, and murdered again. A rebellious demon hunter fell in love with a sultry teen succubus. The mummified and reanimated corpse of Queen Victoria adjusted to high school life with the help of her time-traveling professor. If this is what the cast has come up with just while learning the format, I can't wait to see what dark and juicy drama they conjure up during the actual performances!
I hope that the audiences of Bite Me! walk away with the same feelings of delight that I do every week after rehearsal. Something I love about both improv and teen supernatural dramas is that anything can happen– I'm constantly surprised by where these stories go and the choices the characters make. When you're a teenager, everything feels like an extreme, life or death situation. For the characters of Bite Me!, this is actually true! Will they all survive the prom? Who will win the heart of the brooding and sensitive gargoyle on the roof of the chapel? And what darkness lurks in the center of the labyrinth beneath the school? Find out next time, on Bite Me!
Scott Mooney, Director
Photography Credit: Peter Critchley
The Unscripted Players BIG NOVEMBER SHOW is on Friday 9th & Sat 10th November, 8pm & 2pm. Doors 7.15pm & 1.30pm. Tickets are £10 and can be bought HERE.