Posted: Jul 6, 2012 2:05 PM by Melissa Canone
Updated: Jul 6, 2012 2:17 PM
DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE - Word is spreading - The Stage Monkeys of Lafayette have grown from a college troupe performing in the UL student union, to presenting their quirky brand of Improv Theatre to near sell-out crowds at their monthly shows at Theatre 810.
The next show is:
The Stage Monkeys of Lafayette
Tuesday, July 31st
Theatre 810 - 810 Jefferson St, Lafayette, 70501
$7 admission, $5 with student I.D.
For reservations call or text Theatre 810 at (337)484-0172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stage Monkey's journey began in 1998, when three broke college students had the idea to provide free entertainment for broke students like themselves. The student troupe of "Cult of the Stage Monkey" has been running consecutively at UL ever since (this fall will mark the impressive 15th season!)
In the intervening years, the Monkey brand of improv spread across the nation, as former members went on to establish monkey troupes in such locales as Chicago, San Diego, Washington D.C., Carbondale (IL), and Hattiesburg (MS). More information on the Monkey's founding and expansion is available on their website:
As the troupe at UL continues to flourish, the time has finally arrived for the Lafayette based Monkey alumni to form their own professional troupe - The Stage Monkeys of Lafayette. The group performs the last Tuesday of every month at Theatre 810, having just passed their third installment to a near sell out crowd of enthusiastic patrons.
Improvisation is a performance phenomenon that took off in the 1950's at Chicago's Second City, and has grown ever since. Most people recognize improvisation from the television show "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" In improvisation, the performers take suggestions from the audience, and improvise - that is to say, completely make up from scratch - scenes and scenarios based on those suggestions. The Stage Monkeys also feature a keyboardist playing live improvised music to accompany the scenes. The style of the Stage Monkeys is often intellectually stimulating while providing belly laughs at the same time.
The Stage Monkeys are comprised of some of the best and brightest improvisers to come out of UL Lafayette. The members have had extensive experience, averaging ten years of improvisation apiece. The current cast of The Stage Monkeys of Lafayette are:
Elaine Kibodeaux, Steve Benelli, Nico Zaunbrecher, Jude Duhon, Sarah Mikayla Brown, Rick Manuel, Jason Petitjean, Andrew Lee, and Candice Benelli.
Two members of the cast have recently moved back to the Acadiana region after long tenures studying improvisation and theatre out of state. Sarah Mikayla Brown is a recent transplant from Chicago, where she studied improvisation and worked as an actor, and Nico Zaunbrecher hails from Southern Illinois University, where he is completing a doctorate researching improvisation.