"I think of this new group as Bright Invention 4.0" says Artistic Director Benjamin Lloyd. "Jennifer Macmillan and I put together 1.0 in 2013, then through departures and arrivals in the years since, it feels like this is fourth group of improvisors called Bright Invention."
Anchored by founding members from "BI 1.0" Lloyd, Michelle Pauls and Bob Stineman, Bright Invention now includes new arrivals Alee Spadoni, Aaron Roberge, Kiersten Adams, Eric Walker and Suzanne Anderson. Joshua Boden joined the group last month. "He's BI 3.5 all by himself," says Lloyd with smile. Boden and Lloyd just created and performed their new two-person improv show called, wait for it, Boden & Lloyd.
The new members were chosen from a pool that auditioned earlier in June. "We had really good groups at both initial auditions," says Lloyd, "it was a really tough choice after callbacks." New Inventors bring with them experience in professional acting, improv of all kinds, social work, spoken word poetry and wide life experience. You can read more about them by clicking here.
Departures from Bright Invention "3.0" made these auditions necessary. "When you have an ensemble of performing artists, each with their own various dreams and aspirations, it is inevitable that there will be turnover," says Lloyd. "Some beloved Inventors moved on recently, and we cannot replace them. But we can invite others to invent in their places."
Departing this spring were founding members Katherine Perry and Jerry Perna, along with John Schultz, Dan Ison and Kelly McCaughan. Perna will stay on at White Pines as their director of Senior Programs. "Your heart always breaks a little when people you improvise with depart," says Lloyd, "the connection is so deep. But in each case, these remarkable artists have other compelling projects and events in their own lives that demand their time and energy. Life happens and we wish them well." Many in the White Pines community will remember Katherine Perry, who was Director of Education for a year and half, and teacher to many young White Pines students.
This summer, the ensemble will be in "boot camp" as Lloyd calls it. "It's back to basics, drills, exercises and ensemble-building." The first performance for the new group is currently scheduled for October, "but who knows?" says Lloyd. "It's improv. Anything can happen."
So stay tuned . . .