Rhoda Walker, right, Sharon Early, and Audrey Kohler work on their improvisation as Mike Christenson, left, and Seth Caron prepare to enter during a rehearsal at Christenson’s house on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. Kohler, now a Seattle resident, is returning as part of a nine-person group to perform an improv comedy show at Crystal Saloon on Friday. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Rhoda Walker, right, Sharon Early, and Audrey Kohler work on their improvisation as Mike Christenson, left, and Seth Caron prepare to enter during a rehearsal at Christenson’s house on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. Kohler, now a Seattle resident, is returning as part of a nine-person group to perform an improv comedy show at Crystal Saloon on Friday. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Improv poet and performer returns home for a laugh

Former Juneau comic Audrey Kohler bringing members of Seattle troupe for show at Crystal Saloon.

It seems a group of folks in Seattle think it’ll be a giggle to visit the even rainier city of Juneau this weekend, hit the bar and get acquainted with some locals they can share tales with.

The collective won’t be completely cheechako, as former Juneau performer and poet Audrey Kohler is returning with eight fellow members of the Unexpected Productions Improv comedy troupe for a “No Script All Wit” show scheduled at 9 p.m. Friday at the Crystal Saloon. As is typical with the group’s hometown shows at the Market Theater in Pike Place Market, the material will be based on interactions with the audience.

“It really is a show that’s built in part by the audience and for the audience, because everything that we make up is going to be based on suggestions from people that go,” she said in an interview last week. “So we get to tailor it to whoever is present and sharing their ideas.”

Kohler was part of the Juneau improv group Morally Improv-erished Inc. when it started “First Saturday” shows in 2017 and performed as a pop-up poet to benefit the AWARE shelter for women experiencing abuse. She became an ensemble member of Unexpected Productions Improv, which has about 50 performers, about two years ago after moving to Seattle.

“At any given show you can see kind of any mix of the players at the theater,” she said. “This will be, I think, our first time collectively we’re performing together with this particular cast. We’ve all performed either individually or different combinations together, but this will be our first full one on stage together, which we’re really excited about.”

Kohler said she returns frequently to Juneau to visit family and wanted to stage a performance by members of her troupe here as well.

“It was a show that I really wanted to bring to Juneau and I am so lucky to be playing with some incredible performers,” she said. “And both Seattle and Juneau are important to me, and I just thought it would be fun to bring it to town. So I presented the idea to the Crystal Saloon and they thought that would be great. And we just looked at when the soonest that I could be up there with the show.”

Members of the troupe have performed at events such as festivals and traveled individually for appearances elsewhere, but this is the first roadshow by a subset of the group, Kohler said. She said it was easy to talk fellow performers into coming to Juneau during the peak of the rainy season.

“They were really excited,” she said. “Juneau is a place that I talk about often and I always describe it as being a place where my heart is. So I brought it up frequently before and I guess I presented with them the opportunity to visit this place that I’m personally so infatuated with.”

Know & Go

What: “No Script All Wit” improv comedy show.

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20.

Where: Crystal Saloon, 218 Front St.

Tickets: $15 (general admission) to $35 (High Too VIP) Available at crystalsaloon.com.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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