CRUMBS in Berlin!

The Berlin International Impro Festival 2010

This is the festival that started it all. We were at the inaugural festival in 2001 and this is where the CRUMBS name was made in Europe. We just happened to do one of the shows of our lives there and everyone thought that we could always be that good. Perhaps it was the audiences energy, maybe it was the collective judgment of everyone, perhaps it was just the right moment for us to level up, but we have always done our shows with a little more power ever since that very first time in Berlin.

The opening of the festival show:

We did a short scene involving a star student of Latin who admitted she was cheating to not let down the teacher (whom she loved). The teacher was so impressed with her work (before he found out that she was cheating of course) that he had retired and given her the job of teacher. It turned out that they had been destined to be together and throughout history had constantly met and fallen in love. So she had to leave and soak up knowledge to and then track him down on the internet to finally fulfill destiny once again.

"diligo inter a discipulus quod magister"

CRUMBS then did two showcase shows at the Festival.

CRUMBS show in Berlin on Monday

The opening CRUMBS show at the English theatre was an interesting one. It was a show filled with sadness and pathos. Now usually a CRUMBS show has pathos, but this show was heavy on the pathos and only slightly seasoned with the hilariousness.

We saw a couple of undertakers, one that was very good at his job but didn't enjoy anything, and one that was bad at his job but enjoyed life (and was late for everything). I should mention that one was afraid of the dead bodies.

We saw a father and son who had to somehow cross a mighty river, a river that would taunt the father, and who had throughout the ages and generations drowned members of their family.

We saw an old couple who had to deal with one of them dying... did i mention that this show was a sad one?

I suppose I could mention that she wanted to be buried in her favourite red dress and blue shoes.

CRUMBS show in Berlin on Tuesday

Okay now this show was again filled with hilarity and peppered with pathos... yes we are philosophers. This show was also a show that Dj Hunnicutt blew minds with his video manipulation. Now Monday's show was the premiere of the CRUMBS show with video, but this is the show where we really showed the Berlin audience what we could do with it.

We saw a lonely laundromat owner who hadn't seen his family for years because his business was open 24 hours.

We saw a couple who constantly wrestled with their day to day life. She (Rebecca) was not the smartest and a little insensitive and he (Jonathan) was constantly searching to fill an emptiness he felt daily. Well, perhaps it helps to say that it turned out that he had never eaten anything before... some people just don't know how easy it can be to fill that emptiness.

We also saw a couple of bastards who ran a cafe and yet hated everyone who sat at a table (were they French, Italian, Spanish? They were french).

Oh the world, it is a cruel joke, non?

The rest of the Berlin Festival went very well.

1) We did shows in different locations and played as if we were a country's pavilion at some bizarre world expo of impro. Canada had the banks of the river in Berlin and we had use of canoes (which the Germans call Canadians). Other countries involved were Austria, Israel, Sweden, Slovenia and Germany. We had border guards and passport control and everything. A fun concept.

2) We did some shows involving Comedia dell'Arte (which means profession of improvisation, of the art of improvisation or something like that...). I played the part of Pantalone and Lee played the part of one of the young lovers.

3) Lee did a Shakespeare show, which I didn't see, but I assume that everyone died at the end.

4) Tyler and I designed a show called “What Would the Dj Do?”. It was a show giving the Dj (or musician) more of the director's power to influence the scenes. We took some of the tools of the Dj and translated them to the language of what we do in theatrical improvisation and played several Dj vs player games. Then in the second half we put all these games and tools together to make a longform. It worked out mostly, mostly it relied on the skill and playfulness of the cast. It would be nice to play again.

5) I was in the Grand Prix show, which is the impro version of the Eurovision Song contest that is HUGE in Europe. Yes, I had to sing a song... a horrible blues song about horses and ice cream. Of course I came in last place. I had more fun in the second half where I was able to play some scenes more.

Oh Berlin, I miss you.

Next stop: Leipzig (pronounced Lie-P-Shh)