In The Glass Imaginary, we improvise a brand new play every evening, inspired by the works of Tennessee Williams. Lush Southern accents, unrequited love, passionately requited love, and inner turmoil all feature in this unique period piece. Set against the backdrop of the deep south, where everyone has a role to fulfil in life, we see characters who struggle to find their place. In 2020, when the world is again in turmoil and society seems unrecognisable, this piece takes on new meaning.
In the works of Tennessee Williams, vivid dreams collide with stark reality. Repressed desires, an excess of emotion, and poetic language express the inner life of the playwright and each character as they struggle against the confines of society. Tennessee Williams’ goal was to write plays that were ‘a picture of my own heart’; we strive to emulate this approach as we wear our hearts on our sleeves with each show.
Developed in Conjunction with Kaci Beeler of American Berserk Theatre in Austin, Texas
Produced by Presence Theatre Collective
Director: Stephen Davidson
Stephen Davidson is the Artistic Director of Improvable, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, Love and Misinformation: An Improvised Play in the style of Caryl Churchill, and co-director of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also plays in Castles in the Air, an improvised Studio Ghibli film, in The Nursery Theatre’s mainstage ensemble, and in duo The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen teaches improv through Improvable, Hoopla, City Academy, and the Nursery Theatre, and is also a diversity officer for Hoopla Improv. He is the author of Play Like an Ally and Improvising Gender and has taught and performed all over the world.
Cast: Avril Poole, Chloe Kennedy, Invi Brenna, Jon Nguyen, Juwel Haque, Karo Kriks, Leander Vyvey
Avril Poole is an actress, improviser and stand up. She has been performing improv for many years. She was a founder member of Upstairs Downton, who performed sell out shows at the Edinburgh Festival three years running. She is also a founder member of LadyProv who have a residency at Hoopla with their Character, Sketch and Improv night. Avril is also a member of Carmen: The Improvised Film Noir.
Chloe Kennedy is an improviser and theatre maker from Aberdeen. She studied at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she received a Distinction MFA in Actor Training and Coaching. She has taught, mentored and assistant directed at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, as well as The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her research covers Narcissism, Complaints Procedures, Sexual Harrassment, Alternative Academia, Intersectional Approaches to Improvisation and Acting. She readily draws from queer narratives, abstract writing and improv for her directing style. She has a close relationship with Houselights, Wolab, Dirty Rascals and RCSSD – where she has been invited back to research and teach.
Jon Nguyen is based in Norwich and has been improvising for 2 years. Jon believes that improv is for everyone and that having fun is by far the most important thing. He has had training with Dogface, the Nursery, Hoopla and the Maydays. He performs regularly with the Dogface short form troupe and the long form montage group of Cyborg Sideboard. You can also hear him on the comedy podcast panel show Idiot Wind. Jon now coaches with Dogface in Norwich. Twitter @mrjonnguyen
Invi Brenna is a UK-based theatre director/-maker and translator. She left her native Norway for the UK over six years ago and has only looked back for the occasional holiday. Her major projects include two new translations and adaptations of Henrik Ibsen’s plays, but her work spans from spoken word to stage design. From a working-class background, she does best to make the arts accessible to all – the last thing she wants to be is a crab in a bucket.
Juwel Haque is an improviser and director. He created improv shows United and Tag FM, performs regularly with Somewhat Theatre and Slice of Society, and features on many other projects. He has trained with Hoopla, The Free Association, The Nursery, iO, and elsewhere. A part of London’s improv community since 2014, Juwel is Theatre Manager at The Nursery.
Karolina Kriks is an actor, voice-over artist and improviser, originally from Austria with Polish roots. She is a cast member of the improv groups “Improvable”, “3 Worlds”, “Carmen” & “Love and Misinformation” and also teaches improvisation in the form of showcase courses and drop-in classes. When not doing improvisation she can be seen in scripted plays or in front or behind the camera as actor or director. She enjoys working towards a creative vision and has recently produced her own little screen project. Fully emerging into a creative environment she also does Stand up comedy or has fun recording voice-overs.
Leander Vyvey is a Belgian former pro kitesurfer and actor, who has worked in TV, film and theatre both in the UK and in Spain. He will be appearing in the new UKTV series ‘Flack’, with Anna Paquin, in spring 2019.