OUT OF THIN AIR Improvisational Theater Company Performs at Cascades Theatrical Company

(OUT OF THIN AIR Improvisational Theater Company)

Bend is in for one hilarious treat as OUT OF THIN AIR Improvisational Theater Company will perform at the Cascades Theatrical Company (CTC)! Led by actor, writer and director extraordinaire Renny Temple and his incredibly talented wife Caren, the improv troupe has been tickling the funny bone of audiences at Open Space Events Studio for the past few months. Now, it’s time for them to hit the big and newly renovated stage of the Cascades Theatre, and both parties couldn’t be more excited!

Located at 148 NW Greenwood, the Cascades Theatrical Company proudly boasts being the oldest and only volunteer-based community theater in Central Oregon. Founded in 1978 and with more than 300 productions over the last 43 years, the Theatre continues to be a standard of the Bend arts community. 2022 is already off to a strong start with the mid-January premier of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The addition of OUT OF THIN AIR’s comedic, improvisational, unscripted skits and prepared sketches to CTC’s stellar lineup of rehearsed performances will make for a season you won’t want to miss!

For those unfamiliar with the improvisational theater of OUT OF THIN AIR, it goes something like this: Two actors take the stage and ask the audience a few fundamental questions like, “Who are we?”, “Where are we?”, “What are we doing?” One courageous audience member gets the ball rolling by blurting out, “Husband and wife!” while another chimes in, “in Disney World!” Another provocateur in the crowd shouts out, “You’re stuck on ‘It’s a Small World After All!’” Now equipped with context and relationship, the actors might request the first and last lines of the three-to-six minute skit that clearly designate its beginning and end. And with that, the impromptu performance begins!

Improv guru Renny Temple has been doing this sort of thing for quite some time. For over 30 years, he worked as an actor and director of stage and television. He starred in nearly one-hundred commercials; wrote award-winning screenplays; and directed television shows like Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Head of the Class and Empty Nest. Equally notable, Temple, along with his wife, actress Caren Kaye, helped found the multi-awarded, critically acclaimed WAR BABIES, a preeminent Improvisational Theater Company in the 70’s and 80’s that moved from New York to L.A. upon an invitation from Dick Clark to perform on his Hollywood set. Through WAR BABIES, Temple and his company took improvisational theater to new levels both conceptually and in terms of performance.

Regarding OUT OF THIN AIR’s move from Open Space Events Studio to the Cascades Theatrical Company, Temple has this to say: “Open Spaces was a fantastic dress rehearsal. Full houses and standing ovations — it was amazing, thrilling! The audience suggestions have been so great and imaginative that our scenes soared! We’ve established a lot of audience regulars, and we really appreciate that. Now we are moving us and them into a real theater — great seats, fantastic lighting and a humongous stage that we can’t wait to grab a hold of!”

Wondering who the actors are in this Improvisational Theater Company besides the experienced Renny and Caren? Temple reveals, “Our company in Bend is made up, not of actors and directors, but a photographer, a special needs teacher, a sound engineer, a rancher and so on. On stage, however, they are sharp, gifted performers and are unbelievable! In a shameless plug for my class (rennytemple.com), they all took my Improv For Life workshop and frankly, they’ve become scary good! But they put in the hard work to get to the stage. I can’t teach improv; I teach how you play and experience improv. And they got it! The icing on the cake was starting to perform our unscripted theater in front of an audience. Very quickly, the comedy timing ramped up and we united into a real Theater Company.” Sounds like Bend has some serious talent being discovered! Joining Renny and Caren, the company includes Judi Van Houweling, Carol Sternkopf, Joe Forest, Robb Mills, Anthony Poponi, Dorothy Ferguson, and Brian Sharp.

The Cascades Theatrical Company reciprocates the great excitement Temple and the Company express regarding the addition of OUT OF THIN AIR to CTC’s performance lineup. As Board President Christine Mehner shares, “We are really looking forward to having Renny’s Improvisational Theater Company perform here at Cascades Theatre! We’ve already had a lot of interest from patrons who can’t wait to see these spontaneous shows and experience the gut-busting laughter they deliver! Renny is a real pro and a delightful person, and the improv skits and prepared sketches are so funny and entertaining — everyone will have a great time!”

Remember, no show is ever the same since the skits are generated through audience suggestions, so be sure to attend more than once! As Renny Temple states, “I hope Bend continues to see how fun it is to have a creative experience by helping us along. Patrons participate from their seats; we participate on the stage. And together, we create magic!” Experience this magic for yourself and revel in the collective amusement that materializes “OUT OF THIN AIR!”

To join in the hilarity, simply show up at the Cascades Theatrical Company on the following dates and purchase your $15 ticket at the door: March 1 and 22; April 5 and 19; and May 3. Doors open at 7:30pm, and the comedy begins at 8pm. The Cascades Theatrical Company is located at 148 NW Greenwood Avenue in Bend. For more information about the Theatre, its performance lineup, or opportunities to participate or donate, visit cascadestheatrical.org, email tcinfo@cascadestheatrical.org or call 541-389-0803. To learn more about OUT OF THIN AIR Improvisational Theater Company, visit rennytemple.com or email him at rennytemple2@gmail.com.


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