Blue Door Theatre mixes improv sketches with poetry

Improv comedy shows and poetry readings generally don’t go together. However, at the Blue Door Theatre, the two combine to form “Poets Up!”, an event that occurs every Friday night during the month of March at 8 p.m.

The Blue Door Theatre, located at 815 W. Garland Ave. in the heart of the Garland district, is a small, intimate theater where improv lovers and small-theater goers alike can enjoy a hilarious night of comedy sketches — all made up on the spot.

During “Poets Up!” poets sit toward the corner of the stage while the players perform and compose short poems based on the sketches. Once a poet has finished a poem, he or she rings a bell, the lights dim and a spotlight shines down as the poet reads.

In between poems, the players perform improv sketches using minimal props (black boxes and pool noodles). The skits on Friday, March 9, contained a variety of topics from talking moles to lost kitty flags and Irish imaginations, the science of the Prius and a poem that performer Frank Tano wrote with his eyes closed.

Whitworth freshman Nick Anderson, when asked about the performance of “Poets Up!”, said it was really interesting and sporadic. As for his impression of the Blue Door, he said, “It’s a cool place. I would go back.”

The Blue Door Theatre is a non-profit organization and completely volunteer-based. All of the shows put on by volunteers take approximately 39 hours to complete.

Erin O’Halloran Foerg, the theater’s box-office manager, volunteer coordinator, member of the marketing team and self-proclaimed “Improv Mom,” said since the theater is completely run by volunteers, everyone has a different job.

“We all take several hats here,” O’Halloran Foerg said. “Everyone really works together, and we use the strengths of our volunteers.”

The theater offers improv classes for youth and teens, and also does workshops with the local high schools.

Tano, one of the Blue Theatre performers, joined the theater impulsively. He had been trained in short-form improv and wanted to learn long-form. Tano found the Blue Door and began taking classes.

“They took me in as an apprentice, and then I was on stage,” Tano said.

The theatre seats approximately 66, with room for additional bodies if necessary. Reservations for the theater are recommended, and can be made simply by calling the theater. Tickets cost $7 for students.

Next month, the theater plans to have a night of improv based on the “I Saw You” section in the Inlander and Craigslist.

If you have ample time, are over 18 and interested in volunteering at the Blue Door Theatre, you can call or visit the Facebook page.

Story by Katie Harriman Staff Writer

Photos by Rebekah Daniels

Contact Katie Harriman at kharriman14@my.whitworth.edu.

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