Stephen Sondheim is one of the 20th century’s most revered musical theatre composers, and is widely considered to be the grandaddy of contemporary musical theatre. So of course we had to pay tribute to his whip-smart lyrics, complex (even unlikeable) characters, and overlapping melodies. If you missed our May show, look out for more Sondheim-style musical improv coming soon!
An announcement from our Artistic Director Jennifer Pielak:
“It is with both excitement and tears that I am announcing my departure from Off Key both as Artistic Director and as a performer. I am feeling a calling to move into new creative territory as an artist, to pursue new opportunities and projects, and also to grow more as a performer, teacher and director. I have realized that in a very natural, organic (and terrifying) way, my time with Off Key has come to an end. It is a very strange feeling to leave a group that I co-founded (with Peter Abando), but at the same time very inspiring to know that what has been created is now something bigger than me and all the members of this magical group. Back in 2012, I could not have imagined this group of people growing into what it has become today. I also am very excited to see that musical improv in this community seems to be growing at an exponential rate these days. I am very excited for what the future holds.
My personal growth as a performer, teacher and director would not have happened without this group, and many many thanks are due to all the people involved in Off Key. There are not enough words to express how I feel about everyone. Thank-you for believing in my crazy ambitions and jumping on the giant ship that musical improv is, and thank-you for believing in doing the hard work to get us places. Thank-you for helping create a safe, supportive, beautiful environment to fail big and experiment with this exciting art form. Thank-you for believing in doing truthful, meaningful improv. Thank-you for the love, because it has undoubtedly been there from the very beginning.
I’d like to also thank all the audience members, volunteers, family, friends and the improv and theatre communities for supporting us and helping keep our little (but now big) improv group afloat. From free workshop spaces to cross-promotion to one-one-one check-ins to coming to see our shows – we couldn’t do it without you.
Thank-you all from the bottom of my big, big heart. Keep doing the work. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
The members of Off Key couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for Jen, our fearless leader, wise mentor and dear friend. All we know for sure is that she’s absolutely right: The work, and all the love, and all the art will continue on, because the sky is the limit for musical improv in Vancouver.
Stay tuned for updates about the future of making up songs, dances, and stories on stage, right before your eyes!
In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating Off Key’s four years with Jen at the helm of our big, crazy improv group.
We love Jen!