Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater
Sep 10 - 19 2015
Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater
presents GROOVE with live music
and Special Guests Philly’s Best Blues Dancers
“When do you feel in the groove?” Inspired by your anonymous responses, the actors, musicians and dancers instantly create hilarious & heartfelt scenes & monologues, funky music, and sultry dances. Come watch the performers groove on your real-life groovy experiences!
$18 / 65 minutes
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before curtain so you have time to fill out your crucial ‘Groove Card’ that inspires our show!
What is Tongue & Groove?
Inspired by personal information anonymously submitted by the audience, this critically acclaimed unique ensemble uses the technique of Actors’ Improv™ to perform unscripted stories of authentic relationships — funny, familial, sexy or sweet.
What is Blues Dancing?
Inspired by blues, funk and other music, contemporary blues dancing is an international movement popularized in the past decade. Primarily partner-based, the lead and follow are in sync while improvising every move — fun, funky, sensual or swinging.
The Music — Veteran Musician Partners with Emerging Star!
Carol Moog, of Tatter, Tucker and Moog (among other bands), is a veteran blues harmonica player and member of Tongue & Groove, providing live improvised accompaniment to all T&G shows. Carol has played for blues dancers in the past, and is thrilled to improvise with them now, following and leading their dancer & musician relationship. For GROOVE, Carol is partnering with special guest Radka Kasparcova, a 17-year-old rising star blues guitarist who has already recorded an album, and was invited onstage to play with blues legend Buddy Guy. Carol and Radka are excited for their first-time collaboration, veteran and emerging talents, grooving off the audience and dancers.
When you arrive, you’ll be asked to anonymously write on a card an honest response to this prompt: “Describe a specific time when you were in the groove…with yourself, a partner, a group, or something you were doing.” The ensemble will draw random cards, read them aloud, and begin riffing off of the themes and characters submitted. Tongue & Groove is dedicated to exploring the collaboration between artist and patron, reflecting the spirit of each audience at every one-of-a-kind performance.
A First-Time Collaboration:
“When I first saw blues dancing, I assumed it was choreographed,” says T&G Artistic Director Bobbi Block, “I was surprised and delighted to discover that the partners were improvising — the dancers were so seamlessly connected. That’s when I knew we had to work together; audiences often feel that T&G performances are scripted and are surprised and delighted to discover that we are creating on the spot.” GROOVE will follow a normal Tongue & Groove format, creating a montage of scenes and monologues, both comic and dramatic. Interspersed in the montage will be blues dances that comment on themes and characters created by the actors.
“I was blown away! I have never been disappointed by T&G. Improv or not… this is great theatre, acted with soul-baring sincerity, intelligence and humor. Go see this!” Philadelphia City Paper
“Dazzling.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“T&G will explode your expectations of what improvisation can be.” Phawker.com
Utilizing the technique of Actors’ Improv™, Tongue & Groove’s mission is to create theater that combines the dramatic integrity of playwriting with the playful tension of spontaneously generated work. Through collaborative inspiration with the audience, T&G examines authentic relationships, and performs emotionally dynamic, physically intimate, serio-comic theater… that happens to be improvised! Founded in 2006, T&G has performed all around Philadelphia introducing their unique style of theater to the community. They’ve performed in eight Philly FringeArts Festivals, and are thrilled to have been invited to perform at the Kimmel Center for both the 2011 and 2013 PIFA Festivals, where they were rewarded with sold out performances! So far, the company has developed nine formats, beginning with IN BED (catalyzed by a single fortune cookie), and followed by the very popular SECRETS, in which audience members inspire the performers by anonymously sharing true secrets they keep. The ensemble loved the collaborative audience-artist relationship developed in SECRETS, and, since then, have committed to integrating as much audience input as possible. The next show, UNSPOKEN, utilized audience’s text messages and other unspoken thoughts and feelings, and explored what happens when we choose not to vocalize what we want. The first PIFA show, IMPULSE, explored the audience’s experiences with impulses they can’t resist, and those they wish they followed. This was followed by SIX, in which the audience is asked to capture their lives in six-word autobiographies. T&G’s next format, WHO, asked the simple question ‘Who are you?,’ inspiring the creation of fascinating characters. For PIFA 2013 T&G collaborated with dance company RealLivePeople for THAT TIME, creating instant scenes and movement pieces based on the audience’s response to ‘if you could go back to any moment in your life, what would you choose and why.’ This year T&G created BELIEVE, for which the audience fills in the phrase ‘I believe….,’ and also a special mother’s day show OH, MOTHER, which reveals maternal words and deeds. Our latest creation, for Fringe 2015, is a collaboration with blues dancers and musicians! Inspired by blues, funk and other music, blues dancing is primarily partner-based, in which the lead and follow are in sync while improvising every move. Their artistic process is very similar to T&G’s process! In the new show, GROOVE, the actors will do their thing, and the dancers and musicians will interpret the scenes. All work is inspired by the audience’s response to “when have you been in the groove?” In all of T&G’s work, our personal lives inform our artistic lives, and our audience’s lives inform our art. We’re glad you decided to join us in this communal artistic experience, and hope you enjoy!