North Carolina's Dirty South Comedy Theater, a comedy training center and theater in Chapel Hill's sister city of Carrboro, boasts a company of 45 performers and a national network of almost 100 professional comedians. DSI resident act the 708 is heading to the Charleston Comedy Fest for a wild session.We'll be performing at Eye Level Art this Saturday at 8 p.m.
The current 708 team roster features four original players — Harrison Brookie, Jeff Brenman, Juan Mojica, and PT Scarborough — plus four relatively new participants, including Bryan Barnes, Kennedy Gates, Zannie Gunn, and Shane Smith.
The group's name refers to a broken clock in a room where they initially practiced on the UNC campus. "The thing was stuck on 7:08, so our 7 p.m. rehearsals always seemed to start late somehow," Brookie says. "Inspired by that, we often break clocks." Brookie is the lanky, tall, bespectacled guy in the troupe, famous in the Research Triangle for his physical work. "I try to heighten what is already established by other players in the scenes."
The scenes start with an invocation that becomes a "larger-than-life experience" that inspires the scenes that follow.
"It's been a transforming beast," says Brookie. "It's always been based on a quick style of play — very game-based, which is a very DSI format. It didn't take a lot to get off the ground, but it's been a slow-growth process.
"I don't know if the audience will consider us to be polite," Brookie adds. "I mean, we do come from a place called the Dirty South. But I don't think 'dirty' quite describes our style either. We have more of a reputation for being fast and fluid. I think what separates 708 and the DSI style from other long-form improv around the country is its fast pace and clear aim. It kind of plays out like an episode of Seinfeld that really ramps up at the end."
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Dirty South Heads to Charleston
Having already performed at New York's Del Close Marathon and the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, my Harold team, The 708, is heading to the Charleston Improv Festival this weekend. Recently I was interview by the Charleston City Paper about the team. Here's an excerpt: