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Photo courtesy ScripTease
STAGE FRIGHTFUL: ScripTease takes it off one last time this Saturday.

R.I.P., ScripTease

The compulsively disrobing improv troupe calls it quits

By Kate Jacobson

FOURTEEN YEARS of awkward glances and squirming audiences are coming to a close, and the six improv-ers behind Santa Cruz's ScripTease are putting their several layers of underoos back on for good.

Taking them all off was never for the faint-hearted, and it taxed the ample wild sides of Logistics Trade Compliance manager Daniel Hughes and accountant Mo Kremer, two of the group's core members.

"It's like that nightmare you have when you're a kid," says Hughes. "You go to school and you're in your underwear, and people are laughing at you."

And that's if all is going according to plan. ScripTease is a series of skits formed around improv games akin to those on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but instead of racking up meaningless points, Teasers lose clothes and dignity each time they break a rule or flounder noticeably. Helpfully, the audience howls "Strip!" with each infraction.

"I did a scene once where I leapt in as a man and put on this big, waist-length jacket to denote 'man,' and then I couldn't take it off because it was my costume, so I could only strip from the waist down," says Kremer. "I was stripping and stripping, and I was like, 'Oh, my God!' I think I ended with, like, one pair of G-string underwear on and my 'man' jacket."

"Hot," Hughes guffaws. The closest he came was a similar situation, a tough game and verbal land mines. "Except I didn't have the man jacket," he says. "From that point on, I would rather be completely naked in front of a crowd of people than in just a G-string. It's just not flattering—and the audience is panicking. I don't think anyone really wants to see that."

Kremer and Hughes are manifesting their own two-person improv team next, heading for greener pastures on a rapport built by eight years of turning jam sessions into orchestral movements. Check these pages for updates.

Meanwhile, the phenomenon known as ScripTease exits stage left this Saturday with a vibrant, hilarious bang that will hopefully leave audiences with fond memories of their favorite Teasers' near-humiliation.

"We didn't want to go out spluttering, getting more and more pathetic and more and more sad, because that happens sometimes," says Kremer. "Oh my God, if we become a dangly-boobed old stripper—if ScripTease becomes that I'm going to just have to kill myself right now."


Saturday, 8pm Pacific Cultural Center, 1307 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz


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