FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Improvisational theater has basically operated with the same tools for half a century now: some agreed-upon forms among the actors, and suggestions from an audience. But improv people are nothing if not resourceful, and so now video has been added to the mix. The Neutrino Video Project began in New York, and our own Washington Improv Theater has signed on to carry forth the challenge of creating “instant movies.” Though the WIT crew (pictured) has contributed to such condensed-filmmaking endeavors as the 48-Hour Film Project, Neutrino ups the ante considerably by requiring three teams of actors/camera crews to shoot, edit, score, and project a movie in real time—in front of a paying audience. Fortunately for the crowd, “It’s not like hanging around for half an hour and seeing a half-hour movie,” reveals Tyler Korba, director of the project. In the time it takes to gather a few suggestions and explain the rules, the first team has raced outside and returned with a three-minute scene. This is followed closely by tapes from the other teams. Though editing is done in-camera, a soundtrack is added on the fly. “What makes it so fun is seeing it done live,” Korba says. “Even if you know how it’s done, there’s definitely a buzz—can it be done?” Those concerned that this TV intrusion onto the hallowed stage might spell the death of live theater should not worry. “It’s not better, not worse, not live, not tape,” says Korba. “Just another way of storytelling.” The experiment starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 7, at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $10. (202) 462-7833. (Dave Nuttycombe)

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