A big dose of "laugh out loud" is what the nation needs.
Tonight's Merdeka treat will see AIIA Improv, a live theatre outfit, streaming and unleashing a comedic trip that is set to leave audiences in stitches.
"We'll be bringing improv comedy live from our homes to yours," promises AIIA Improv in a message on its Facebook page.
AIIA Improv is putting a recent Cendana grant it received to good use with tonight's AIIA Improv Live! Merdeka Edition (Aug 31) at 9pm via Facebook, with musical guest Endee Ahmad (from Skits).
AIIA Improv’s current members – Farah Rani, Tung Jit Yang, Shamaine Othman and Iedil Dzuhrie Putra – will be running through a spontaneous set with online audience interaction much appreciated for this Merdeka special.
“We'll be looking out for online suggestions and ideas (from the audience) when the Merdeka show starts, and we'll take it from there," says Iedil, 36, in a recent interview.
"Once we pivoted online, we saw the potential of streaming as another platform to showcase improv comedy and to keep on doing it while we can’t have our physical show or teaching sessions.
“The (Cendana) funds will be mainly used for the technical aspects of the Merdeka performance such as audio and light equipment and also to fund materials for our online workshop sessions,” he adds.
Iedil, a stage and film actor, recently returned from Jakarta, and is currently under mandatory quarantine at a hotel in KLIA. He will be performing from his hotel room for tonight's AIIA Improv Live! Merdeka Edition.
Back in mid-April, the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) rolled out its Create Now Funding Programme, with a total of eight cycles planned for the year.
It acted as an immediate response grant of up to RM1,500 per individual artist/cultural worker and RM3,500 per collective/arts organisation.
AIIA Improv was among the 32 successful beneficiaries from the first cycle.
Since May, AIIA Improv has streamed four shows and collaborated with Japanese improv comedy group The Pirates of Tokyo Bay for Ara-Mak Improv on July 18, presented by LOL Asia.
During the pre-pandemic days, AIIA Improv could pack nearly 100 people for their monthly Late Night With AIIA Improv shows in KL.
“Transitioning to an online platform is a natural progression, ” says Iedil.
He adds that the remainder of the Cendana fund will also be used for an upcoming online improv workshop/webinar.
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