“Up to You” at Pattaya City Expats Club

The Up to You Improv group from left to right, Paul Strachan, Sheldon Penner, Doug Campbell, Lisa T, and Sherman Richardson.

The Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) was privileged to see and participate in their “Improv Morning” at the Club’s meeting on April 27th. The five-member group consisted of Doug Campbell, Sheldon Penner, Sherman Richardson, Paul Strachan, and Lisa T (from Tennessee).

Most Expats in Pattaya are familiar with the expression “up to you” often used by Thais when responding to a question by a farang. This expression also fits well in the area of improvisational theater, which is unscripted performances by a cast often based on a suggested theme from their audience.

Doug Campbell explained that they chose their name because what happens in their performance is “up to you.” He said they would perform several scenes, the first being one in which the cast members could only ask a question when they spoke. He asked the audience to cross their arms and make a specified sound of derision whenever a cast member violated this rule. The scene began with two members on stage, with the scene being a go-go bar in Thailand. Whenever they violated the “question” rule, they departed the stage to be replaced with another cast member to continue. Although they did their best, each cast member had ample opportunity to perform.

Doug Campbell explains that improvisation is unscripted, and the audience will be asked to assist the cast as they perform various scenes.

The second scene was similar with the scene this time being a bus station and the cast prohibited from using any word with an “a” in it. Again an ample opportunity for each cast member to perform. This was followed by the third scene which was very entertaining and a bit surprising. The audience was asked to provide a line from a favorite movie that a member of the group wrote on separate pieces of paper. Doug explained that the each paper would be dropped on the stage. The scene was a mother and son in Pattaya. As the cast performed, if they were at a loss for a line, they were to pick up a paper and read the line. The surprising and most enjoyable part was how often the movie line that was read fit in with the previous dialogue.

This was followed by additional scenes that also included some audience participation and a Romeo & Juliet balcony scene performed several times, with each required to be done in less time (1 minute, again in 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 7 ½ seconds, and finally in 3 seconds).

The PCEC audience enjoying a scene being performed by the Up to You improvisation group.

In conclusion, Doug Campbell said they hoped to continue with their Improv performances by getting some restaurants or bars to invite them in for an evening to entertain their customers. For more information on the group, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Up-to-you-Pattaya-Improv-107782625247780

MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on the latest events. This was followed by George Wilson conducting the Open Forum where attendees could make comments or ask questions about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. For more information, visit the PCEC’s website at https://pcec.club

MC Ren Lexander presents the PCEC Certificate of Appreciation to the Up to You group for their entertaining and often humorous improvisation performance.

Ren Lexander interviews the Up to You cast after their performance of several improvised scenes for the PCEC. To view the video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q406_ludTFc&t=20s