Sunday, August 19, 2012

FRINGE: Help Jane Austen Write the Next Big Young Adult Novel!

If you've ever wanted to be a part of a young adult focus group, then the entertaining improv show Help Jane Austen Write the Next Big Young Adult Novel! might be for you. The concept was thought up by Danielle Staubitz, who also plays Jane Austen. Austen's literary agent (Ian Murphy) wants her to write a hip new book that will appeal to teenagers (think The Hunger Games or Twilight).

With the help of the intern (Kate Hamill), ideas are collected from the focus group (audience) and when a whole plot is sketched out, Austen, the agent, and the intern act out the book. It would have been nice to get more reactions from Austen other than an occasional mention of characters writing letters and other Austen tropes. Overall it felt like Austen's name was used to draw an audience, but the show could just have easily been Help Write the Next Big Young Adult Novel!. Still, the show is great fun. Hamill is delightful and convincing as the eager intern who uses the word "sexy" a lot. Murphy is hilarious, especially in the dance battle (part of the novel my audience came up with).

Remaining performances are Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 25 at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 26 at 2 p.m. at the Studio at Cherry Lane.

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