Davenger is a House Team of the Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) and can be seen regularly on Saturday nights at the Shubin Theatre. "Unreal," "clearly...the product of some sort of comedic drug experimentation." -Philly Weekly.
We are: Dan Corkery, Hilary Kissinger, Nicholas Mirra, Alex Newman, Cait O’Driscoll, Kevin Pettit, Jessica Snow, Max Sittenfield, and Brian Rumble.
Hilary: Davenger makes a really fun, dysfunctional family. This was one of my favorite organic openings we’ve done, where we all just gathered at a big table and found unique characters that inspired the rest of the Harold. “Don’t Mess With Ma” is one of my favorite slogans we’ve come up with.
Dan: This Harold was lifted almost entirely from a First Communion party I attended in 1997.
Nick: I enjoyed playing the part of that member of the family who is too cool to attend reunions.
"Don’t Mess With Ma."
Hilary: This was a fun genre to play in, and I feel it is one of many we can store away in our toolbox and take out when the occasion arises. I had particular fun in playing the normalcy of mediocrity as a zombie - Zombie Marmaduke Cartoonist might go into my stock character bin.
Dan: The zombie one was really fun. We let the premise just inform the kind of Harold we performed. It didn’t dictate every move or get too plot-ty. A big step up as a team from even a few weeks ago. Always nice to see us growing as one.
Zombies riding the subway.
This Harold came to us by way of Alex’s desire to do the hardest thing imaginable. Also his love of starting sentences with the phrase, “In theory…” It’s based on a mathematical concept called the Sierpinski Triangle, a fractal and “self-similar set” - a pattern that can be reproducible at any magnification or reduction.
The form goes like this:
1st scene: 1A,1B,1C (each letter being a different beat)
2nd scene: 2A,2B,2C
3rd scene: 3A,3B,3C
1st Group Game is any three group games.
1st scene: 1D,1E,1F (so 4th, 5th, and 6th beats)
2nd scene: 2D,2E,2F
3rd scene: 3D,3E,3F
2nd Group game is any six group games.
The final part of the harold is a montage, rapid fire, throwing characters together.
One of our many, many, many….many group games involved Jess personifying cocaine and running around the room throwing herself at things.
Hilary: If 31 Harolds in 31 Days is Harold Boot Camp, Sierpinski’s Harold is Harold P90x crossed with Insanity plus 40 minutes of Zumba.
Alex: For someone who is awful at math, I tend to think about Improv in mathematical terms. It was fun to finally put a form that’s existed only on paper on its feet and see how it would work in practice. The intention is to have 9 Harolds happening simultaneously. That didn’t happen when we did it but it definitely pushed us past our go to moves.
Dan: Sierpinski’s was a trip. Really fun. A daunting ‘form’ definitely, but with a few prompts along the way to remind us where we were, I really felt like we did a good job together.
Hilary: We should definitely get a certificate of completion.
The Twitter Harold took place May 10th in the stream of the hashtag #31Harolds, with team members tweeting from their personal accounts and @DavengerImprov retweeting highlights. You can read the whole Harold in a Storify of the day’s tweets.
Maggy: This was one of my favorite harolds. I really liked how the group did a harold and was informed by it being on twitter. Plus I learned how to use twitter, which was fun. I should tweet about that…
Brian: This one made me realize I’m not as technically savvy as I think I am.
Nick: I enjoyed the sponsored tweets as edit moments.
Hilary: We really started to use the technology to our advantage with this Harold, building off of the stuff we had started doing with the Facebook Harold. The conventions of Twitter were fun to play around with, and got me thinking about how genre and style could function in a regular staged show. This was our first tech Harold to start to go on a long time as people dropped in and out (Little did we know we’d be doing a Google Hangout for 5 days in the near future) and I took the opportunity to have an “Oscar Winning Moment” meltdown at the end as the bringer of the apocalypse. With these written Harolds I’m also enjoying the ability to bring back details and tie stuff together more thoroughly than we’re sometimes able to on our feet. I loved how Dan RT’d the pope and everyone planted these seeds of #popeclues that I got to pay off at the end. Also, my faux-religious sermonizing got earnestly retweeted by some real-life evangelicals. I love Twitter.
Hilary, the nagging moderator: *stands quizzically with her hands upraised, an eager smile on her face*
Dan: Sunhead reference?
Hilary: Shhh! *takes improv gun out and points it at the lot of you*
Alex: *in American Sign Language* The silent harold was challenging because I like to talk and hear myself talk.
Hilary: *leans forward, cupping a hand to her ear. Flaps her arms. Waves. Cries. Checks to see if anyone is noticing her fake-crying. Cries more*
Dan: Sunhead reference?
Dan: I really enjoyed it. Anything that keeps us paying attention to each other. We played patiently and had to ‘find’ everything together.
Everything keeps shitting on Dan. In this rollercoaster scene, a bird literally shits on Dan.
Hilary: *telepathically* This was my favorite Harold so far. I tend to get overly verbal and sometimes struggle being efficient with my word choice. I also blank on the most important word in the sentence like 50% of the time. I found it really fun to try to make clear, physical choices. Freed from the burden of coming up with clever words, I was also able to remember my environment and use it. Davenger doesn’t always start from physicality, so it was great to see us communicating in nonverbal ways and having just as much fun.
Favorite (interrelated) moments: Taking a group picture with our snowman and leaving Dan out, then after playing with the snowman and giving him a carrot penis, breaking off the carrot to make it smaller and pointing to Dan. Max initiating a charades scene and Nick busting down the door in a home invasion. At the end of the Harold, Dan busting in on the group with the gun and emphatically making us get down on the floor, then shooting himself.