Tahlequah Daily Press

November 1, 2013

Local improv team opening at comedy club

By SEAN ROWLEY
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — To mark its opening, a Tulsa comedy club has booked a local couple to take the stage with their improvisational comedy.

The Comedy Parlor, in the Blue Dome District at 328 E. First St., opens its doors Thursday, Nov. 7. The club will book an array of comedic styles, but improv gets first crack when local act Red Letters performs at 7:30 p.m.

Red Letters is the wife-and-husband team of Alyssa and Dr. Bryan Buckley, an assistant professor of economics at Northeastern State University.

“We were invited to do a show by the club’s owner, Jason Watts,” said Alyssa Buckley. “He has seen us perform in Oklahoma City. We’re really pumped about it.”

Improv comedy is characterized by its lack of planning. There are no scripts.

“In traditional theater, there are costumes, sets and lines,” Alyssa said. “We’re going to do whatever we want. We don’t even know what our show is about until we ask the audience for suggestions. The audience is awesome. They are the only ones who get to see that particular show, and their laughter can direct where the show goes.”

Alyssa first became fascinated with improv in 2005 while attending Clemson University.

“I discovered improv and met my husband,” she said. “Bryan was directing the team there and I auditioned on a whim. I got cast and fell in love with improv, then with Bryan. It took a lot longer with Bryan.”

After the Buckleys moved to Tahlequah, they began an improv group called Homemade Fireworks at NSU in 2010.

“We held an meeting to gauge interest, and about 10 people attended,” Alyssa said.

“We cast them all that fall. We now have our fourth group that Bryan and I coach. We still audition every fall and do shows once a month on the Tahlequah campus.”

Red Letters also has a history, dating to 2007, when the couple lived in North Carolina. After honing their skills with the Dirty South Improv Comedy Theater in Carrboro, N.C., the Buckleys formed Red Letters as their transition into professional performance.

“It is so much fun with just the two of us,” Alyssa said. “We draw a lot from our real life when we are performing on stage.”

Alyssa said the show’s material is “PG-13.” At 9 p.m., Twinprov from Oklahoma City follows Red Letters, and the evening concludes with standup comedienne Cheril Vendetti at 10:30.

Tickets can be purchased at www.comedyparlor.com. Red Letters can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redlettersimprov.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Look for an online exclusive explaining improve comeday at www.tahlequahTDP.com