Unscrewed Theater and Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley will partner for a BSTC fund-raiser next month, “Dine and Laugh!” Comedy troops from Unscrewed Theater, an improv club based in Tucson, will perform while attendees enjoy a three-course dinner on Saturday, March 21, at the Madera Crystal Ballroom in Quail Creek, Green Valley.
All proceeds will go toward a security system for the synagogue.
“Considering the rise in anti-Semitism in the country, sometimes you have to look forward instead of back. It may become an issue here and we need to be aware and prepared for it,” says Marilyn Beim, event chair.
The dinner is open to the Jewish community and beyond. “I would love to fill the whole ballroom with 330 people,” Beim says.
Unscrewed Theater is a volunteer-run, non-profit community theater, established by Southern Arizona’s former traveling improv troop, “Not Burnt-Out Just Unscrewed.”
“We want to be able to perform and educate people about improv wherever we have the chance,” says Chris Seidman, executive director of Unscrewed Theater.
The theater has five performing teams of six people each. Performers usually do a series of improvisational games similar to the TV show “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” They ask the audience for suggestions on a plot, then act out an unscripted scene.
“The great thing about improv is we kind of know what we’re going to do but we never know exactly what we’re going to do,” Seidman says. “We have no idea what the setting is going to be; we have no idea what the characters are going to be, or what is going to happen during the scene. That is all improvised.
“It’s always like a high wire act,” he says. “There are some nights where it is brilliant; there are some nights where it is more of a challenge and it all depends on teamwork. Improv is different from other types of comedy — like standup comedy — in that it is very much a team activity.”
Unscrewed Theater has performed for several local Jewish organizations, including the Tucson Jewish Community Center and other synagogues.
As for the goal of BSTC’s fundraiser, Seidman says, “Having a secure facility is vital in synagogues and other places of worship. I’m sad that it has to be done but I feel it is important.”
Tickets for the event are $60. Sponsorships are available. A cash bar opens at 5 p.m.; doors to ballroom open at 5:30 p.m. The evening will include a silent auction of artwork. RSVP by March 1 at (520) 393-0317.