Start the New Year off elegantly -with improv? Really? Austen Translation is an extraordinary unscripted play based on the works of Jane Austen -the grande dame of English romantic fiction. With hits like Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice, Austen's books have turned mortal women (and men) into slobbering mounds of tearful flesh. Jet City Improv has partnered with Book-It Repertory Theatre to help turn those tearful mounds into giant balls of laughter and joy. In this brand new feature-length improvised comedy, audience suggestions are translated into Jane Austen's very dignified, and very proper, world of landed gentry, grand ballrooms, English manor houses, love, valor, sense and... sensibility.
Austen Translation tells the story of a bright young heroine's journey to navigate the designs of her family and the delicacy of her heart. Each performance, the trained improvisational actors will give prominence to the name of one lucky audience volunteer before gathering other suggestions to create a new cast of suitors, sisters, and spinsters for every performance. Some volunteers from the audience will even have the chance to sit down on stage for tea with the more respectable members of society to give their take on the gossip of who's engaged and who's not.
Show creator and Jet City Improv artistic director Andrew McMasters explains, "I have had the idea for a number of years to create an ensemble piece based on Jane Austen's work. When I spoke with Book-It, they were thrilled to partner and help make this happen. The chance to tell a brand new story every night is very exciting for us and Book-It was instrumental in sending us down the right path to success. They know their Austen!"
The cast features some of Seattle's best improvisers and actors: Molly Arkin (Blood Squad), Chris Allen (JCI's Final Transmission), Jon Axell (JCI's Election Show), Jeannine Clarke (JCI's Where No Man Has Gone Before), Mandy Price (JCI's Goin' Steady:The Musical), Kate Jaeger (Balagan's Avenue Q), Randy Miller (JCI's Clues), Graham Tordoff (JCI's Gauntlet), Laura Turner (JCI's Lost Folio), and Elicia Wickstead (Blood Squad).
The production runs Thursday and Friday nights from Jan. 3 to Feb. 8 with a special opening night gala on Jan. 3 featuring a question and answer with the actors, cake and champagne. There are no performances on Jan. 24 and 25. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 (with proper identification) for students, seniors, military personnel and TPS members.