Meet the Players! Houston (Moonburn), David (Roo) and Rebecca (University)




Three Actors from Playmates Illawarra discuss the upcoming evening of improvisation madness. Dr Houston Dunleavy (team Captain Moonburn Productions), Rebecca Hurd (team Captain University Faculty of Creative Arts) and David Rienits (Roo Theatre)

Why did you chose to perform in Playmates Illawarra?

Houston: I have been involved as a judge in the past and thought it was a great opportunity to promote live theatre in the Illawarra.

David: Because these games are just what I do every day. Particularly my apartment full of uni students often joins together for a moment of song, dance or carefully designed jokes that flow out of nothing. Being a comedian, a writer and a tactician makes a fun comedy-off the best place to be.

Rebecca: After representing the university in 2011, I was extraordinarily excited when the opportunity arose again. My experience is that it leads to an unnatural amount of fun, new friendships and a healthy dose of competition. Even though the University came second to last when I last competed, it has only added to my determination to prove that the UOW team is a force to be reckoned with.

What Games do you hope you get on the night?

Houston: Opera, Poem, Endowments.

David: Any that involve me … and then some.  Any game where we are given something awesome to go off. There is nothing better than ridiculous stimuli,  which you would think creates an impossible task for us, but it doesn’t. It’s much more fun when we are issued a challenge, because then we are forced to rise to it.
We want to get the weird stuff. In training there was a scene in a submarine that had a horse for a captain and a giant squid as a romantic interest. So we don’t want ‘You’re in a supermarket, shopping’ we want ‘You’re trying to catch bunnies by making carrot-noises in the long grass … while that grass is catching on fire.’

Rebecca: Scene without question is my personal favourite, but only because I’ve been practicing. I think my team, however, would prefer slow motion commentary. We have such a strong physicality in our team that we always bring about roars of laughter from on lookers when we play this.

What Games do you hope you DON’T get on the night?

Houston: Guide.

David: The singing games. Mainly because we smashed them the last year, but everyone is expecting us to do it again. I’m not saying we won’t if it comes up, but we’ve got an upped pressure now. Prepare for voice pops and lots of humming, whistling and freestyle dancing as we try to come to terms with what line comes next and what it needs to rhyme with.

Rebecca: I really hope we don’t get Opera. We have some good singers in the team, however it was the game that lead to our downfall last time I was involved, so I would rather avoid it.

Are you Nervous?

Houston: Of course! imminent execution concentrates the mind wonderfully!

David: I learnt a long time ago that nervousness equates to fear. And I have a beard.

Rebecca: Extremely. You’d be crazy not to be! To create interesting dramatic scenes or songs with no time to prepare really slams on the pressure. That said, there’s generally always someone looking sillier than you, and even if you do look the most ridiculous, that’s not always a bad thing.

Why should people come and watch the show?

Houston: They will discover the true depth of talent in the region, let them get away from the electronic media.

David:  If you’ve seen something similar before, you know why you need to come. If you haven’t, then come enter a world where the audience matters, we entertain you like standup comedians (which some of us are) but need to think quick because we are improvising. We need your help against those pesky judges and we need to make you laugh because that’s what we love doing and also we feel a lot less like dills when we are getting the giggles from an audience who are enjoying themselves.

Also: freaking charity!

Rebecca: People should come and watch the show as, most importantly, it’s just a tonne of fun! It leaves everyone in fits of laughter and it’s more entertaining than anything you were planning to watch on TV.


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