Director, actor riffs on Jane Austen at improv shows

Dan O'Connor
Dan O'Connor
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Director and performer Dan O'Connor is a member of Impro Theatre, which presents “Jane Austen Unscripted” this weekend at Fort Mason’s Bayfront Theatre.

Can you describe how Impro Theatre works? We are writing the plays as people are watching them.

How is the audience involved? We ask them to shout out suggestions of what the characters’ topic of conversation might be.

How do you and your fellow actors prepare to do an improv show in the style of Jane Austen? We read all of her books, watch films or TV versions of her books, and also read about regency England and other writers of the time.

What do you focus on when it comes to Austen’s characters? We explore how they bond over shared values — and how the main guy and girl always find something infuriating about each other.  

Who might be among the characters in an “Unscripted” show? Audiences may see the doddering older aunt or dowager, the rakish cad or the vicar who is deep in love with the heroine girl.

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