In this exclusive artist Q&A, Lorna shares how she fell in love with writing, how she plans to laugh a lot--right through inauguration day, and about the immediate and shared experience she has with her audiences when she is on stage. Read her inverview and then grab your tickets to experience some of her award-winning humor for yourself. Party in the Rec Room plays through January 28, 2017.
Lorna: A storyteller on the page and on the stage. And if there’s a laugh to be found, I’ll be looking for it.
You’ve been performing Party in the Rec Room for eight years now. What keeps you coming back?
Lorna: The sheer fun of it. Plus, I don’t have to learn lines. I’ve done a lot of theater—scripted shows, group improv shows and stand-up comedy—but Party in the Rec Room might be my all-time favorite to perform. I love the venue. Bryant-Lake Bowl is pretty unique in that you can eat/drink/bowl and see a show there (although I wouldn’t say no to a Broadway invitation).
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Lorna: I might shop for a new wig or some props, but the wing-it factor doesn’t make much preparation necessary, other than keeping on top of the news and pop culture. And staying curious always helps.
Your show is based on audience suggestions. Is your audience ever timid? Is that why you serve margaritas?
Lorna: Even in a quiet crowd, there’ll usually be someone bold enough to speak up, and his/her boldness usually emboldens others. Because the conceit of the show is that I’m throwing a party in my rec room and that the audience members are my guests, I thought, what’s more welcoming than whipping up a batch of margaritas? I’ll share a blenderful with a half dozen lucky people, always reserving a glass for myself.
Can you share a little about how your passion for writing began? How does your creative work as a theater artist inform your writing?
Lorna: I fell in love with writing when I fell in love with reading in Miss Carlson’s first grade class. I always loved to be read stories (what kid doesn’t?) but when I learned how letters make words, make pictures, mae worlds, I thought wow—I want to do that!
Performing has absolutely helped me in my writing, especially comedy, in that I’ve learned how important rhythm is; how the placement of one word can affect the whole meaning and/or joke. It’s also helped me in writing dialogue; when you deliver lines on stage you hear right away what sounds artificial or out of character.
If you could describe this show in three words, what would they be?
Lorna: I would say it’s a ‘Wild, fun tonic.’
This is cliché, but I still have to ask. What advice do you have for those who may find it difficult to find laughter in times of uncertainty, more so now than ever?
Lorna: See above the three-word description of my show. The scarier and more unsettling times (like now) are, the more we need to laugh. Laughter can’t save us from injustice, bigotry, misogyny, hatred, ad infinitum; but it can shine a light on that darkness as well as giving us a brief reprieve from it. Laughter gives you power over crap. When you decide nothing’s funny anymore, the dark forces have won. I plan to do a lot of laughing myself, especially around Inauguration Day.
If you could only do one thing, writing or performing, which would you choose?
Lorna: Writing probably gives me the greatest satisfaction. It certainly gives me the biggest stage. I get to choose my cast/location/theme/era as well as be the director and producer, but I’m so glad no one’s forcing me to pick one over the other as I love those times on stage and the immediate connection you get with an audience. You hope readers are moved reading one of your books, but since you can’t sit next to them, you don’t hear the laughter or the sighs, you don’t see them dab at their eyes or watch them underline a favorite passage. On stage, you get to experience your audience's reactions live and in color. And applause is always nice to hear.
Ticket Information: "Party in the Rec Room"
Laughter is the best medicine, and Party in the Rec Room will help fill much-needed prescriptions! Ready to wring out 2016 and ring in 2017? Join host Lorna Landvik as she opens her all-improvised, one-woman comedy extravaganza on New Year’s Eve in a special 10:00pm show, and continues through the month of January on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00pm at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.
Now in its eighth year, Lorna’s wildly popular solo improv show is filled with characters created on the spot and margaritas created in a blender. Don’t make resolutions in the New Year, make reservations to Lorna Landvik’s Party in the Rec Room. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 day of show.
For more information, contact Bryant-Lake Bowl, 612-825-8949.
PARTY IN THE REC ROOM 2017
Sat., Dec. 31 @ 10pm
Fri., Jan. 6 @ 7pm
Sat., Jan. 7 @ 7pm
Fri., Jan. 13 @ 7pm
Sat., Jan. 14 @ 7pm
Fri., Jan. 20 @ 7pm
Sat., Jan. 21 @ 7pm
Fri., Jan. 27 @ 7pm
Sat., Jan. 28 @ 7pm
Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater
810 W Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408