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In the moment

Mop and Bucket Co. serves up improv several ways

MopCo actors performing in “Chortle Combat.” Co-director Michael Burns said some formats the group tries don’t stick, but “Chortle Combat” is definitely a keeper. MopCo will perform “Chortle Combat” at Proctors Theater in Schenectady through the end of September.

MopCo actors performing in “Chortle Combat.” Co-director Michael Burns said some formats the group tries don’t stick, but “Chortle Combat” is definitely a keeper. MopCo will perform “Chortle Combat” at Proctors Theater in Schenectady through the end of September. Submitted photo

— “All four, when they auditioned, it was like, ‘Oh goodie, they’re as great as we thought,’” he said.

It’s not improv experience that’s important, he said. It’s more of an ability to be able to easily roll with the suggestions and storylines that make up a show.

“They’re smart people who know how to be in the moment. They’re just there,” Burns said, noting that the best improv actors “don’t try to be clever.”

“Good improv is to look at a situation and name the obvious,” he said. “You go with the obvious thing and make something out of it.”

Burns said people regularly watch Mop and Bucket shows and say, “Hey, I can do that.” And often, they’re right, he said, which is one of the reasons the company hosts regular classes, including drop-in classes on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Those who prefer to watch are reminded that even though MopCo advertises a show by the same name each week, the experience is always different.

“You really can come see a new show every Friday night,” Koppett said. “Different shows have different delights about them.”

Tickets for MopCo Underground at Proctors on Friday nights are $14 for general admission and $6 for students and seniors. For more information, visit www.mopco.org.

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