IRC Podcast with Lillian Frances

I uploaded episode #9 of the IRC Podcast yesterday. My guest this week is Lillian Frances who owns and runs the Laugh Out Loud Theater in Schaumburg, IL. She talks about auditions, teaching kids, using your warmups well, and yes-anding life. She performed at iO Theater and with many improv groups in Chicago. She was also a perfomer and assistant director for Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. She directed for Second City National Touring Company, the all women’ improv groups Jane and Sirens, and sketch shows with GayCo and Stir Friday Night.

This interview was a little different than the others, because we ended up talking a lot about what it’s like to run the business of a small improv theater. I really like how Lillie talks about her performers. It’s obvious that she has a lot of respect for her performers and trusts them in ways that not all improv directors do. It’s not surprising that several years after she first held auditions, seventeen of her first hires still work for her.

5 thoughts on “IRC Podcast with Lillian Frances”

  1. Hey, Kevin! I really enjoy the podcast; it’s very informative. I did have a question about this one, though Might you be able to go into more detail about the bird, fish, beast exercise Lillian Frances mentioned? Thanks!

  2. Fish, Bird, Beast explanation: You create two teams (let’s say it’s an ensemble or class of 8 so you break them up into 4 & 4). You come up with a list of various fishes, birds, and beasts. Then one person from each team comes up and you whisper “Rooster” or “Shark” and they have to go back to their teams and get them to guess it without speaking. Think Charades but faster and more competitive. Once someone on their team guesses it, they high five them and the round is over and they each send up the next person in line for another Fish/Bird/Beast. At the beginning they are easier – simple to act out. Then they get more complex (“Tuna” or “Pot-bellied Pig”) and they have to do object work and break it down.

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