core-bannerCORE is one of PHIT’s newest initiations at the theatre to provide students involved in the current training center with more chances to perform on the PHIT stage and gain valuable experience with seasoned PHIT performers.

Each week a student from one of the particular class levels (101, 201, 301 or 401) is chosen along with their class buddy to play with the CORE ensemble for that week. Meredith Weir (Big Baby, 1816, Stipend for Life) the creator of CORE kindly answered a few questions to about this new show.

What was the inspiration / goal behind creating CORE?
My inspiration came from multiple 101 classes I had taught. Basically, students would come in super excited having scene Saturday night teams, and/or Wednesday night teams and would be like “is that what our show will look like” or “when will we learn the tap out thing” etc…I realized there was no place for students to actually see what they were working toward. I wanted to create a show, where I could tell my students, ‘Hey do you want to see exactly what our end goal is, go to CORE after Dean’s List’ – because it cycles through, every class has two opportunities to see their class show before they get to perform it.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
Oh man, my favorite moment – that’s tough. I think each week watching the student, who is randomly selected, go from nervous and intimated to excited and full of energy in 60 minutes is so exciting to watch. The student is there to play alongside company members, so when they go back to their class not only is their buddy and teacher there to help other students, but students themselves can become sort of liaisons for the form.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
My favorite part about being in CORE is performing a variety of ‘forms’ each week. It’s fun to push yourself in 101 to only do two person scenes, no walkons, no tag-runs, 101 students don’t have that in their toolbelt so we can’t either. In 201 we work second beats hard, because thats what the curriculum teaches. So it’s fun to bounce around and play with some restrictions every now and again.

Any advice for aspiring improvisers?
To all the students who are performing for the first time with CORE, they just need to remember, they can’t do anything wrong. The CORE ensemble is made up of so many supportive players in the PHIT company who will work to make the students look like a geniuses, much like The Dean’s List. They should make choices left and right and the cast will help make those choices stick.

If your actual core as a human being was a dessert what would it be?
My actual core would be made up of Sweedish Fish.

We then asked the ensemble of CORE some questions and then compiled their glorious answers!

If each member of CORE’s actual core was a dessert what would it be?

Kilo: Churros.
Marcely: Cookies and Cream ice cream… cold at first but tasty when you get to know me…
Susan: My actual core is molten chocolate cake.
Andrea: Nalesniki. A Polish crepe filled with sweet cheese. I am Polish and sweet!
Adam: Molten Iron.
Rachel: A fancy cheese plate, duh!
Sarah: Key lime pie with meringue top.
Molly: Butter pecan ice cream.
Joe: Strawberry cheesecake.
Aaron: Funfetti cake.
Pim: Fudgey brownies.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
Having a new student each week forces us to keep us on our toes and energetic. Watching the student performer crush it. Playing with a fun, goofy, incredibly talented cast each week. The chance to welcome one student performer to join in our improv love-fest each and every week. Yes, it’s a love-fest because this team is full of Elmos, Pillsbury Doughboys, puppies and kittens. Performing with different improvisers and returning to the core class forms. Showing students what their show is going to look like so they will be more comfortable for their class show.

Any advice for aspiring improvisers?
Listen to Everything and Take Big Risks. Be yourself and listen to your parents, unless they tell you not to be yourself…Do not make improv your whole life. Make and nurture relationships outside of the comedy community and live a life that takes you into the wonderful, wide world so that you have rich, lived experiences to draw from when you hit the stage. Make your partner look good: this piece of advice has always stuck with me and I will stress it to any new improviser. If you are both taking care of each other, the scene will be so much easier and you will have more fun. Have fun. Stop worrying about having a “good” idea or making the “right” choice. This art is all about the people who create it. So go DO it. Love your scene partner. Love the scene. Follow the joy.

Check out CORE every Sunday @ 8:30 P.M. as part of PHIT’s SUPER FREE SUNDAYS!


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