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Lifestyle

Inaugural NIU grant project to be performed this week

DeKALB – The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts will present the inaugural project of the Interdisciplinary Student Project Artistry and Research Grant with a week of performances of a new improv comedy show, “Double Duty: An Improv Experience.”

Shows will be Wednesday and Dec. 9 and 10.

“This project is really the first of its kind here at NIU,” Leah Harvey, NIU senior and director for the production and grant recipient, said in a news release.

The production explores the relationship between jazz musicians and actors, and how they collaborate to create a new performance medium.

“This show has been a huge help for me, as a musician,” Luke Hess, sophomore saxophone player in the ensemble, said in the release. “Working with no script, or any idea of what will happen next really forces you to think on your feet, constantly be watching for what the actors are doing, and playing music to help make the scene a little more whole.” Both actors and musicians perform short-form improv games.

Harvey submitted “Double Duty” for the ISPAR grant during the Spring 2017 semester. She is the first recipient of the award. The goal of the grant is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among the three schools that make up the College of Visual and Performing Arts: the School of Art and Design, the School of Music, and the School of Theater and Dance.

“Leah’s project blurs the line between comic theater and music, reminding us that the performing arts are ever shifting, that new facets will always be revealed if we are willing to search for them,” Matthew Romriell, faculty adviser for the project, said in the release. “‘Double Duty’ is all about bringing together different people of different talents to create something new.”

Through the support of the ISPAR Grant, the cast of was able to spend a day in an improv workshop with Dina Facklis of The Chicago Improv Den.

Performances will be at the NIU School of Music’s Recital Hall, 550 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10.

There will be a talk back after the Saturday show with the cast to discuss the process of this production.

Tickets cost $3 at the door, cash only. For information, email Leah Harvey at harvey7leah@gmail.com.

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