Home » Uncategorized » Yes, Yes, Nannette! Take the IRTE to laughter.

Yes, Yes, Nannette! Take the IRTE to laughter.

For eight years, (that’s eight THEATRE years, which is -like- 25 in “normal” years), the Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble has been one of the leading improvisational companies in New York and making the rest the country laugh out loud as well.

IRTE is a powerhouse group of theatrically-trained artists who come together to create spontaneous and uproarious retro-themed improv-comedy shows. Their brilliance at stage craft makes each event deeper and funnier than any other troupe of its kind.

IRTE writes, develops, produces, and performs a season of original themed improvisational shows, following the basic model of traditional repertory theatre. While they are New York based, they also tour the country with their clever on-the-spot antics.

When in NYC, they make The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street, NYC, their home. There, the highly-skilled fighting force of fun-makers present a season celebrating the best of pop culture.

This year, artistic director Nannette Deasy and her rep of rapid fire revelers have grabbed another group of back-in-the-day-themed routines. They start with an interactive bachelorette party where the audience are “guests” of the bride-2-be (or NOT to be!); then they set sail on a send-up of disaster films; supply a sequel to their classic “stupid kid” show… only this time, it’s a slumber party … and – wait for it – shades of Tim Curry … IRTE meets a secluded cabin full of ITs!

Adding to the fun, IRTE features a musical guest and guest improvers as well. In the past, IRTE spotlighted cabaret artists like Tym Moss and instrumentalists like guitarist John Munnelly.

 

Tell us about yourself as an artist? 

Deasy_Nannette_4705_ret.jpgAfter college, I studied to be an actor at various studios and with various teachers. (Roger Simon, Sam Schacht and Terry Schreiber were most influential.) I joined Equity after appearing in an Off-Broadway play in the late 90s at LaMama.  At some point, I saw my first comedy improv show at Chicago City Limits and was really taken with the idea of unscripted comedy. It seemed really fun, funny and dangerous. During the late 90s, early 2000s there was a strong indie theatre and indie comedy movement on the lower east side of NY. I was impressed with a lot of what I saw coming out of that scene and with the thought that theatre could really be fluid and self-created.

 

 

 

What is funny? How do you get to be funny?  

vIRTEgo Circus at Tampa Improv Festival, L-R, Jamie Maloney, Nannette Deasy, Robert Baumgardner.jpgIt’s super difficult to tell what other people might find funny (although an audience will be quick to let you know either way). It’s best to just dig into whatever makes you laugh and let go of expectation. Personally, I tend to like somewhat over the top characters who have overly strong worldviews.

 

 

How do world affairs play into making an audience laugh? Is it better when times are hard?  

IRTE Noir, Clockwise - Robert Baumgardner, Nannette Deasy, Sam Katz.jpg

Hooboy, I’m not sure I’d call it “better,” but yes, laughter and pure entertainment are really important in tough times. As a people, as a community, we need a release, we need a de-stressor. We need to escape, together in a darkened theater, even if it’s just for an hour and feel better for it. I know I do!

 

 

Have you even been in a situation where the audience just didn’t laugh?

What are you saying? (Clutches her pearls and faints). Yes, of course, what I think is funny is not always what other people are going to find funny. I’d like to think, though, that an (ahem) “quiet” audience is simply waaay too enthralled to risk missing a word we say, and a (cough) “angry” audience member (yes, we’ve gotten those) is just very, very moved (sometimes right out the door). LOL

 

 

As actors, more than improv’rs, do you create a “moral” or message in each piece or does that happen organically? 

Wow Wee 2! at Producers Club.jpg

As an actor, I hope to deliver whatever message the playwright and director are trying to convey through their work. That’s part of my job. As an improvisational actor, I’m creating the work, myself, on the spot. Personally, I don’t have any agenda other than my own character’s selfish wants and needs in that particular moment. Consciously trying to deliver some sort of message, to me, can be distracting. However, I am a human being and I am affected by the world around me (I hope) and whatever is going on inside me in relation. That does tend to come out and express itself in performance if I’m truly being open.

 

 

The Experiment at Asheville Fringe.jpg

 

What do you hope the audience will take away from this piece?

I hope they laugh. I hope their chests feel a little less tight and their foreheads uncrease. I hope they get that warm happy feeling in their stomach from laughing really hard.

 

What have you done to make it as universal as possible? Or Have you? 

I guess I’ve paid attention to what tickles me the most and hope that other people can relate.

What’s next for you?

We have IRTE’s season opener, Tammy’s Bachelorette, which is going to be, literally, a party for the performers and the audience.

 

 

The IRTE 2019 Season:
Tammy’s Bachelorette
pc-front-tammy.jpgConceived by Nannette Deasy
Directed by Robert Baumgardner
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS March 8, 9, 15 & 16, 8:00pm
Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door
The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street, New York City
Blonde, beautiful Tammy Tucker is getting married, and you’re invited! She’s reunited all her besties, one male stripper and an ex-boyfriend or two to say goodbye to single life in this improvised and interactive Bachelorette Party of the CENTURY!

The Ship Be Sinkin’
sinkin-ship-front.jpgConceived and Directed by Robert Baumgardner
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS April 5, 6, 12 & 13, 8:00pm
Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door
The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street, New York City
The largest cruise ship ever built is going down!! What did it hit? Who will survive? Why does that singer keep singing? Find out at the hilarious improvised comedy that will float your boat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evil Clowns Have Feelings, Too
evil-clowns-have-feelings-too-poster-1.pngConceived by Izzy Church
Directed by Nannette Deasy
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS May 3, 4, 10 & 11, 8:00pm
Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door
The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street, New York City
When their car breaks down in the woods, the Poolander’s family vacation comes to a screeching halt, forcing them to seek refuge in an old cabin in the woods until help arrives. Little do they know, that a bunch of evil clowns own the cabin and are having a really, really bad day. Join the IRTE jesters, fools and jokers in this improvised and totally terrifying comedy… for the whole family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to Sleep, Stupid Kids!
Original Concept by Nannette Deasy
Directed by Robert Baumgardner
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS May 31, June 1, 7 & 8, 8:00pm
Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door
The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street, New York City
Jamie’s been twelve for THREE WHOLE MONTHS and has NEVER had a “big kid” slumber party. That’s all going to change in this improvised sequel to IRTE’s hit comedy “Happy Birthday, Stupid Kid!” Grab your sleeping bag and your best PJs and hope that Jamie’s dysfunctional family doesn’t embarrass him in front of the cool kids!

 


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