Kenjutsu: The Art of Sword is a fully improvised play, an homage to Japan, samurai, and samurai stories directed by award-winning improvisers Kareem Badr and Shannon McCormick.
“Kareem and I both love the samurai genre very much, and we‘ve been wanting to tackle it for a long time,” said co-director Shannon McCormick.
“Studying and rehearsing the genre for Kenjutsu: The Art of the Sword has pushed the cast into places they normally wouldn’t end up in a typical improv show. With the added responsibility of presenting a historical culture not our own, the process of putting the show together has been transformative for everyone involved.
From learning the rudiments of Japanese language and society to studying swordplay and footwork with a veteran Aikido instructor, we know this training and experience will show through on stage.
Plus, it’s going to be fun and funny, without straying into the realm of parody.”
A genre best known in the west from the films of Akira Kurosawa, samurai tales are rich in story and improv possibility. Silence, sudden flairs of swordplay, physical grace and precision will all be explored and utilized in these epics set in 17th and 18th century Japan.
Kenjutsu: The Art of the Sword runs every Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm from March 22 through April 19*.
Ensemble cast: Jeff Britt, Quinn Buckner, Justin Davis, Cat Drago. Brad Hawkins, Marc Majcher, Shannon McCormick, Jordan T. Maxwell, Jayme Ramsay, Audrey Sansom, Lacy Shawn, and Ruby Willmann
Directors: Kareem Badr and Shannon McCormick
Technical Improvisers: Michael Yew and Cynthia Ward
Scenic and Graphic Design: Kaci Beeler
*except Sunday March 23rd