Now Entering: The Midnight Zone

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

This Sunday, Olympia Improv Collective launches a new show — and a new form of improvisational theater. In its fall series of shows, called “The Midnight Zone,” the nine-member collective of seasoned improvisers take inspiration from the audience, but not by asking for suggestions. Rather, the group invites those attending the performance to bring an object. “We take an object and we turn it into a show,” said collective member Mark Alford.

Each show begins with a ritual centering on the chosen object, qualities of which will inspire and inform the proceedings. “At a recent rehearsal, we were grabbing random objects out of our pockets to practice with,” said Alford. “Somebody grabbed a water bottle and the whole show became about emptiness, because the water bottle was almost empty.”

Though it’s called “The Midnight Zone,” the show happens at 6 p.m., and though the name evokes TV’s The Twilight Zone, it’s not a parody. “The way I have it in my brain is that we’re drifting into this surreal, psychedelic dreamscape with our improv shows,” Alford said. “We’re going to use an object to go to the Midnight Zone.” The collective has four shows scheduled this fall at Olympia Family Theater, and it plans to continue regular performances as well as develop workshops and augment the local improv scene. Please note that although the show is at a family theater and open to all ages, it’s aimed at adults and is recommended for ages 13 and older.

What: The Midnight Zone

Where: Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 6 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 15 and 29 and Nov. 12 and 26

How much: $5

Get tickets: OFT | Facebook