By Justin Chandler
Ryerson graduate Allison Price is a performer and cowriter for The Second City’s newest revue, Rebel Without a Cosmos — a comedy troupe centred on the ways people find meaning when confronted with the vastness of the universe.
Price, 28, graduated from the Ryerson Theatre School in 2008.
“I had a great time while I was there,” she said. “Not even the absolute hardest day made me want a day without [acting]…I think that still holds true.”
Price said she received her foundation in acting while at Ryerson, but had to learn new skills once she began working for The Second City.
“Working at The Second City is very interesting because it doesn’t just require you to be a good actor,” she said. “It requires you to be a director and it also requires you to be an improviser.”
Price first came into contact with The Second City when taking a class it offered in the fall of 2008. She was hired by the company a year later and worked for several of its various groups before getting her current job with the mainstage in 2012.
Shows on the mainstage run eight separate performances in a six-day stretch, making for an intense experimental take on traditional theatre.
“We write the entire show ourselves through improv,” Price said. “We test all our material in front of a live audience and once that show is polished, we open it. We run that show for several months then we start that process again.”
Mainstage productions are “two full acts of comedic sketches that are linked to a common theme,” Price said. “After we do the full show, we take a second intermission and then we do one final act of improv.”
Price said the improvisational nature of mainstage shows allows them to evolve and improve as they run. Price and her co-writers rework shows depending on audiences’ reactions. If a joke is not well-received it may be scrapped. If one is popular, more emphasis is put on it.
Featuring satirical skits, improvisation and hilarious songs, Rebel Without a Cosmos delves into humanity’s reaction to the unending expanse of the universe.
It runs until January 2015 and a limited number of discounted student tickets are available for each show.