IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller. April 9-12, 2014. A preview.

IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller. Presented by Paper Street Theatre in Victoria BC, April 9-12, 2014. A preview.

I’ve been a fan of Paper Street Theatre Co. since the founding of the company in 2011. Originally dedicated to improvising based on the style of well-known playwrights like Tennessee Williams and Samuel Beckett, the company branched out to genres in 2012 with An Improvised Film Noir, hit their stride with A Carol for Christmas in December 2012, and continued on to Pick of the Fringe winning territory with An Improvised Quentin Tarantino (Victoria Fringe 2013).  As a result, they’ve gone from 2-night gigs to the current 4 nights for IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller.

My reading material all through high-school was science fiction—classics by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert—and I have a love of science fiction movies too. I can’t wait to see how the action will play out as this talented crew of improvisers tackles space.

As hard as it is for some audience members to accept, this is 100% improvised theatre—no pre-screened plot outlines are employed. It will be a different show every night.  As well Paper Street Theatre is offering a workshop on improvising in the sci-fi style (see details below).


Byron Kjeldsen in IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller. Photo: Derek Ford.

What is scarier than the emptiness of space? Improvising.

Pick-of-the-Fringe winner Paper Street Theatre tackles the horrors of space in the third instalment in its movie-inspired season. IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller is a full-length improvised play based on films such as Alien, Solaris, Moon and even Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey.

“The great thing about science fiction thrillers is the slow build of tension. Basically, the whole first half of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nothing is happening, but you know that all hell is going to break loose at any moment and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for it,” explains director Dave Morris. “We want to re-create that tension, that feeling of isolation and danger of space.”

The show features a ‘crew’ of nine local improvisers who will encounter an unknown terror based on audience suggestions, as well as an improvised eerie soundscape by local musician and DJ Dan Godlovitch.

And, for the first time, Paper Street Theatre will be offering a public workshop on how to improvise in the sci-fi style. Led by director Dave Morris learn how to use silence to build tension, how to move like you are in zero gee and how to make space scary.

IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller
April 9-12, 2014
Intrepid Theatre, 1609 Blanshard
Tickets $15 at the door, online at

Public Workshop
Saturday, April 12, 1-3pm
Intrepid Theatre, 1609 Blanshard
Workshop Fee: $25
To register email:

Paper Street Theatre creates improvisation that feels like theatre. By studying great artists and theatrical styles then performing them with no script, the ensemble creates award-winning performances that have been enjoyed across Western Canada.

To find out more about Paper Street Theatre visit

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Science Fiction Thriller poster April 2014. Paper Street Theatre

Disclaimer: I will be attending IMPROV: A Science Fiction Thriller as a guest of Paper Street Theatre Co. As always, I retain editorial control over all content published on this website.

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