Sep. 05, 2012 - Issue #881: Sex 2012
Rapid Fire Theatre
The laughs will continue for Edmonton's longest-running improv company as it gears up for its 32nd season.
The improvisors, who come from all walks of life and backgrounds, have been busy jamming and preparing for the upcoming season, which kicks off with TheatreSports and CHiMPROV this weekend. Many of them have been busy throughout the summer as well, taking part in the Edmonton Fringe Festival and coaching aspiring performers at Improv Camp. Julian Faid, who has been with Rapid Fire for 13 years, just wrapped up directing and hosting the Fringe's Late Night Cabaret.
"In terms of improv itself, it's certainly taught me there's a lot of different ways to do it, a lot of ways to make people laugh," Faid says of his time with Rapid Fire, which began after he won Rapid Fire's high school improv tournament, the Nosebowl. "I now work in marketing and it's fast-paced and creative and team-oriented, so all of those things are certainly muscles I'm able to flex at work as well as onstage, so it's really nice to have that ability to just be able to speak to anybody at any given time about any given thing."
Not only does Rapid Fire have a new season of entertaining shows in store, but it also has a new home. Until now, the performances have occurred in the Varscona Theatre, which did the trick, but Rapid Fire is looking to expand its shows and festivals, and needed a venue to accommodate accordingly. Zeidler Hall will be Rapid Fire's new digs, and Faid says it's a positive step forward for the company.
"For us, it's a big growth opportunity," Faid notes. "Obviously there'll be more shows and we can accommodate more festivals, so I think we'll increase our image for a lot of people as well. I think being in a place like the Citadel, we're going to be really well thought of, being at a professional theatre like that, and that's really exciting for us. Nothing against the Varscona, but being at the Citadel, it's just such a huge theatre in not only Edmonton, but also Alberta and Western Canada, so that helps us as well."
Zeidler Hall used to be a movie theatre, so the screen will be put to use and add another element to Rapid Fire's shows. Faid says the possibilities are endless, and could include sketch comedy videos or movie/improv hybrids.
Being north of the river will give Rapid Fire a chance to raise its profile, but Faid hopes it can also be a factor in assisting the revitalization of downtown as well.
"I think if you're downtown you can kind of see that, and I'm hoping that Rapid Fire can only add to that and bring people north of the river to watch theatre and theatre they really enjoy as well, and hopefully introduce a whole new audience to the theatre that's at the Citadel," he adds. "Many of our improvisors are planning to move downtown or have already moved downtown because of this move, and I'm hopeful that it gives another reason for people to be downtown more often and go to the bars downtown and hang out downtown a little more. It's maybe somewhat naive, but I'm hopeful that when we look back five or 10 years from now, we can say Rapid Fire had a really big hand in helping the revitalization of downtown."
Fri, Sep 7 (7:30 pm and 10 pm)
Sat, Sep 8 (10 pm)
Zeidler Hall, Citadel Theatre
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