Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gallery Players Perform Without a “Net”

Offshoot Productions’ Gallery Players work off the cuff, sans script, without a net. Any way you want to put it, the four actors who comprise this adult improvisation troupe rely on their quick wit; trust in one another, and appreciation for the audience’s suggestions to pull off an evening of laughs.

The troupe’s next performance is at the Fayette Art Center and Gallery, on Friday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. In fact, these seasoned improvisers have been invited to perform at the Art Center the first Friday of each month. Every show is different, and not only because improvisation by definition cannot be predicted. Scene content and characters, provided by the audience, and scene structure, imposed by the group, make for a fresh performance every time. Occasionally, audience volunteers join the actors on stage.

The performers include Elizabeth Clausen, who has thirty years of credits in shows ranging from the classics to children’s theatre; Darren Matthews, who recently performed in Fairy Tales for Grownups; Andy Fleming, who brings a musical theatre background to the troupe and provides guitar accompaniment along with laughs; and Paige Steadman, a composer and performer who has filled roles onstage and off for Offshoot since its inception.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and the proceeds benefit both nonprofit companies, the Fayette Art Center and Gallery and Offshoot Productions. Reservations may be made in person at the Fayette Art Center, 2011 West Highway 54, Fayetteville (across from Ace Hardware), by phone at (770) 631-2780, and online at

For information on Offshoot Productions, the Southside’s longest-running professional theatre, contact the company at or (770) 631-2362 or visit Offshoot is currently preparing for its spring-summer tour of Tales From Near and Far, the cast of which includes Clausen, Fleming and Steadman.

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