Thursday, September 6, 2018

It’s Improvised at the 129: The Musical Edition!

Pam Schwartz and I went to Dragonfly Studio and Productions (Dragonfly Studio 129, 129 W McKey St, Ocoee, FL 34761).  To see It's Improvised at the 129 hosted by Richard Paul, Chris Barry (Four First Names) and Elaine Pechacek behind the piano. Dragonfly Studio 129 is a charming, intimate performance venue that is fully convertible to fit the needs of any given production or event. The venue's will feature a full season of events, including additional residencies, concerts, cabarets, theatrical productions, readings, workshops, and more.

Four First Names' Richard Paul and Chris Barry will put Sheryl Remekie Carbonell, John DiDonna, Tracy Frenkel, Beth Marshall, and Rob Ward through their improv paces. Each of the acclaimed Orlando directors will be tasked with directing an impromptu scene made up entirely on the spot with Dragonfly Studio and Production's owner and executive producer Elaine Pechacek on the piano providing an original, improvised soundtrack.

The hosts Richard Paul and Chris Barry kicked the night off by taking suggestions from the audience. What resulted was a Rocky Horror Picture Show wedding. Elaine behind the piano provided just the right musical accompaniment for they as they turned the moment into an inspiring musical number.

All the actors and directors that were invited to this improv got on stage and each in turn described their experiences. John DiDonna's story stood out because he used improv as a training tool for law enforcement. He described a scenario in which an armed gunman was on lock down with hostages. The goal was for police to get the gunman out without harming hostages.

Beth Marshall is a renowned local producer and she uses  improv to get a new cast familiar with one another. Simple exercised like tossing an object between actors can build trust and camaraderie. Rob Ward used improv among actors at the theme parks. These actors are usually hired because they look like a character rather than based on there acting prowess. Improv allows the actors to get off script for a bit and have fun with their lines. Actors in a theme park just as in animation, must play to the rafters. Whatever they are trying to convey must read as if seen from the bloody nose section of a football stadium. When actors played a scene over the top in the small Dragonfly studio they became very funny. Tracy Frankel had the actors create a scene at a barbecue. They were auditioning for a commercial and Tracy acted as the director trying to get them to play to the camera.  The goal was to be having so much fun, that people would want to buy the condiment.

The next It’s Improvised at the 129 is Friday, September 14 at 8 PM at Dragonfly Studio and Productions 133 W Mckey St., Ocoee, Florida 34761. The show will celebrate musical improv with an amazing slate of guests including Robyn Pedretti Kelly (Universal Studios), Summer Aiello (Universal Studios), Emily Fontano (SAK Comedy Lab) and T. Robert Pigott (Walt Disney World).

Join Musical Director Elaine Pechacek, Chris Barry, Richard Paul at Dragonfly Studios for Its next Improvised at the 129: The Musical Edition! This place is a rare gem located out in Ocoee.
$10 Online $12 At Door
Beer and Wine - Free Snacks!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: