Special Issues » Charleston Comedy Festival 2007

COMEDY FESTIVAL ‌ Games People Play

Moral Fixation creates improvised plays based on sticky situations

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(L to R): Lewis, Usry, and Tavares see all evil (and good)
  • (L to R): Lewis, Usry, and Tavares see all evil (and good)

Moral Fixation
Wed. @ 9:30 p.m., Theatre 99


A year and a half ago, Have Not! Greg Tavares and two other top-tier members of the 30-strong Theatre 99 company, Lee Lewis and Caleb Usry, decided to spin off a side project that allowed them to better express their individual personalities as improvisers. The result was Moral Fixation, a three-man, long-form improv show with a focus on the tricky moral and ethical dilemmas we often find ourselves tiptoeing – and sometimes bumbling, crashing, and careening – through in life.

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The format is deceptively simple: a one-word audience suggestion and a single, 45-minute long improvised play. But in between there's masterful acting to be found.

"It's a higher level of stuff than what we're used to doing there," says Usry, who can also be seen performing with The Sofa Kings (see pg. 7) and Men Are from Goose Creek, Women Are from Savannah (see story at left). "We basically just get one word from the audience, and we each tell a quick personal story or monologue the word reminds us of. Then we spin a 45-minute, long-form improv set out of the stories we shared on that one word."

The format yields up alternately fearless, shameless, and sometimes tasteless improv, according to the creators, who can rely on a close-knit friendship and lots of time working together to create a chemistry and a focus rarely present in short-form improv games.

"It's called Moral Fixation because we try to explore moral questions," says Tavares. "When we do our personal monologues we'll sometimes share moral crises we've experienced in our lives. That's our point of departure." –Patrick Sharbaugh

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