Local theatre group raising funds for Covid-19 fund through virtual show

AIIA Improv members (from left) Tung Jit Yang, Iedil Dzhurie Alaudin, Farah Rani and Shamaine Othman set for a conditional MCO benefit show on Oct 22. Photo: AIIA Improv

Despite the conditional movement control order (MCO) halting all live stage programmes, KL-based improv theatre group AIIA Improv is rolling ahead this week with an online benefit.

Featuring series regulars Farah Rani, Tung Jit Yang, Shamaine Othman, Iedil Dzhurie Alaudin and Ashraf Modee Zain, with musical guest Endee Ahmad (from Skits), AIIA Improv Live! will stream on Oct 22 at 9pm via Facebook Live .

The stream is free, but donations are welcomed, with half of the proceeds going to Mercy Malaysia’s Covid-19 Pandemic Fund.

Mercy Malaysia launched its Covid-19 Pandemic Fund on March 18 to support the country’s healthcare system in battling the pandemic and to take care of the essential needs of marginalised communities.

With rising Covid-19 cases in Sabah, Mercy Malaysia is channeling more funds to the state.

“Since our online show started, we've always sought to contribute to certain causes that are working on the frontlines or have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“So with this show, we wanted to, in our own AIIA way, contribute to the efforts of our brothers and sisters there in Sabah with what they’re going through now, ” says Tung.

In the past, AIIA Improv raised donations for the University Malaya Medical Centre, Zoo Negara, Yellow House, and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) through its online shows.

For this online show, AIIA members will be running through a spontaneous set with online audience interaction. Tung hopes this would give a much needed dose of laughter for the audience.

“Of course, our goal is to entertain and provide some laughter and joy for our audiences, ” adds Tung.

AIIA Improv was originally scheduled for a live stage performance on Oct 22 but had to cancel it.

Since May, AIIA Improv has streamed six shows and collaborated with Japanese improv comedy group The Pirates of Tokyo Bay for Ara-Mak Improv on July 18, presented by LOL Asia.

AIIA Improv was also one of the recipients of the Cultural Economy Development Agency’s (Cendana) Create Now Funding Programme.

The programme offered a grant of up to RM1,500 per individual artist/cultural worker and RM3,500 per collective/arts organisation.

However, Tung says the improv group has yet to receive the funding from Cendana. AIIA Improv has kept its end of the bargain by putting up two online shows and one online workshop.

“But while we wait on the funding which has been due, we thought we keep up the work that has been supported in the past and hopefully show Cendana and the taxpayers that artists with said funding can help us artists survive, ” concludes Tung.

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