Locals Connie Brill and Colin Funk are spearheading a resurgence of improv theater on Cortes Island.
They have begun hosting all-ages sessions on Friday evenings at Mansons Hall and they are calling it “Rewild Theatre.” The sessions began back in June as a test drive of timing and interest.
The duo originally began offering improv on the island about 10 years ago, when they first moved to the island. Back then, they called the group the “Laughing Mussels.” Funk explains the original motivation for the local improv group,
“The idea at that point was for us to be the front end of a fundraiser for some of the nonprofits. We thought that would be a really great way to help.”
Brill and Funk have 40 years of experience running various theatrical programs in places like Banff. During the pandemic, the programming decreased and changed dramatically, with varying success. Now, the community members are focused on the new program, “Rewild Theatre.”
“It has a big focus on environmental awareness and community health,” Funk said. “We liked the idea of ‘Rewild’ as the concept of rewilding spaces, both ourselves, community and the natural world.”
“So we’re using the improv now as a way to attract people to connect to community, but also the bigger space that could emerge with Rewild Theatre,” Funk continued.
Brill compares the sessions to that of a ballet or dance practice.
“You do your warm ups, then you do your floor movement, and then you go into the performance. And that’s exactly what it is,” Brill said. “You have to warm up the muscles.”
Funk adds, “The laughing muscles.”
Improv theater can be entertainment for others, but right now these sessions are for participants to get on stage together. In the future, Rewild Theatre will be open to an audience. The program is free, walk-in, and other locations will be utilized in future months.
To hear more about the improv theatre, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: