By Paul Heller
Un-Scripted Theater Co. is proud to present a collaborative, staged reading of Paul Heller’s new work, "The Flood."
Directed by Merrill Gruver
For one night only, this special performance is being held as a benefit for the International Rescue Committee. In lieu of admission, we will be accepting donations on behalf of the IRC. Donations are greatly appreciated but not necessary to attend this event.
Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC delivers lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster. Year after year, the IRC is one of the highest-ranking nonprofits for accountability, transparency, and efficient use of contributions.
Christian Utzman is a full time actor, teacher, and an original founding member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company. Christian spends much of his free time writing about the improvisational theory behind the work here at the Un-Scripted Theater Company. You can find out more about his writings at improvactor.com. If you have any questions about how we do what we do, or you need help choosing a drink at our concessions counter, please feel free to speak with him before or after the show. (He's also our concessions buyer.)
Derek Cochran is enjoying his twentieth year performing improvisation in the Bay Area. Throughout those years, he was inspired by and fortunate enough to work with some of the most talented improvisers in the country. He credits his love of long form improvisation to his early instructors, Diane Rachel and Carol Hazenfield, for showing him that improv can go beyond a simple funny game and create a rich tapestry of all kinds of stories. Currently he is proud to work with the Un-Scripted Theater Company ensemble, where they allow him to obey the inscrutable exultations of his soul. He gives thanks to his wife, the brothers idiot, and to all the improvisers who he has worked with, been taught by, and failed spectacularly with; throughout the years.
Vanessa Speed is originally from New York but calls the Bay Area her forever home. She grew up participating in any musical that would have her, but didn't stray from scripted theater until 2009, when she began her improv training at Pan Theater. She originally thought that improv would lead her towards a career in stand-up comedy, before discovering her true love, theatrical improvisation, at the Un-Scripted Theater Company. She first performed with the company in 2011, and joined its ensemble in 2012. She enjoys bringing music, characters with unspoken histories, and dynamic relationships to her work. Her most recent improvisational efforts center around making up songs, games and stories for her young daughter.
A Bay Area native, Amber Dyson is an award-winning children’s theatre director and teaching artist. In January, her production of Honk Jr. for Bay Area Children’s Theatre was recognized for Excellence in Dance at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta. Amber just taught teen improvisers Creatures of Impulse the structure of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey for their upcoming superhero show. She recently galvanized a cast of young Shakespearean actors with her popular workshop, Midsummer Night’s Meme. She will return to Un-Scripted’s DASH in March.
MAURICE ANDRÉ SAN-CHEZ has earned a B.F.A. in Music Theatre from the University of Texas El Paso. He is a teaching artist with Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) in several of their educational programs and has been working with youth since 2008. He is also a company member with the Bonfire Makers a Theatre collective that creates political performance gathered from community stories, and ensemble collaboration, which embraces theatre as a people’s tool for resistance. His continued work with youth and his new work teaching theatre in the prison system with Red Ladder Theatre has inspired him to go back to school to get his Master’s in Education to continue shaping, inspiring, and empowering young minds for a brighter future!
Larissa Kasian has been improvising for almost a decade, having taken classes at BATS, Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City in Los Angeles, and Keith Johnstone in Calgary. She has performed with BATS Improv, An Improv Team Named Desire, Pure Moxie Players, The San Francisco Improv Collective, and Out of Line. She has also appeared in a variety of independent films and voiceover work. This is her fourth show with the Un-Scripted Theater Company.