Saturday September 10, 2016
Together as The Bad Aunties, these three women (see below) have over 100 years of improvisational experience between them. They bring laughter to the stage again and again. They are the Best of the Best. The Bad Aunties will make you laugh out loud on purpose against your will.
Judi Nihei’s life in improv began when she took a class from Jim Cranna at the Asian American Theatre Workshop. She went on to perform with Cranna and other improv artists in The Committee, The National Theatre of the Deranged, and The Dinosaurs of Improv. She was also in the original company of Not My Fault. A native of San Francisco, she has been deeply involved in the development of Asian American theatre. For over 30 years, she was as administrator, director, dramaturg and performer, primarily with San Francisco’s Asian American Theater Company and Seattle’s Northwest Asian American Theatre, where she was a founding member and served as Artistic Director from 1993 to 1997.
There’s something about an actor with roots in improvisational theater; it’s a confidence, a creative toughness based on faith, guts and teamwork. Without a script, an improv actor has to be ready for anything, harnessing and compressing inspiration and hope to create with others, an instant universe where the audience is transported along with the players.
Such an actor is Indianapolis native and longtime San Franciscan Diane Amos, who, by way of baptism by fire in the world of improv has carved out a career in movies, television, comedic and dramatic stage work, stand-up comedy and a long run as spokesperson for a well-known household cleaner: aka The Pine-Sol Lady.
Forged in the crucible of improvisational theater at a young age, Debi has performed with every improv group known to Man in the Bay Area, beginning with The Committee, Spaghetti Jam, Femprov, The Comedy Underground, The National Theater of the Deranged, Papaya Juice, The Dinosaurs of Improv, and The Marsh Jam.
Blessed with a background in legitimate theater, Debi has been able to straddle both worlds, spending the last 30 years improvising in clubs all over this Blue Ball and has recently began trodding the boards again. Summer of 2014 found her playing the Nurse in “Romeo & Juliet” with the Marin Shakespeare Company. She also directs, having helmed productions of “Bullshot Crummond” and “Noises Off” for Pacifica Spindrift Theatre. She also produces San Francisco’s Comedy Celebration Day and The Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. Debi won the 2016 SF Bay Area Critic’s Circle Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in “Cymbeline” with Marin Shakespeare Company in 2015.