Happy New Year! This photo of the Committee Workshop in ’68 evokes the kind of play we’re hungry for in 2022 (photo courtesy of Annie Bardach). Despite everything 2021 threw at us, we still did some stuff. Here’s an update: http://www.icontact-archive.com/archive?c=328859&f=103530…
We’ve isolated what we strongly suspect is a recording of Wavy Gravy (then Hugh Romney) improvising with The Committee in 1965. Clues: Hugh is included in the curtain call for this performance, and in another version of the scene the candy bar is called Kreemo (referencing Goon King Brothers Dimensional Cremo, the “start-up” that Wavy started with fellow Committee performer John Brent). Anyway, in honor of Wavy’s 85th circle around the sun, here you go. Does this sound like Wavy to you? Any thoughts on the identity of the other performer? We have ideas..
John Brent and Mel Stewart. Photo by Fred Ross.
A while ago Alan Myerson lent us some reel to reel tapes and audio cassettes for use in our documentary project. WIth the help of the Bay Area Video Coalition, we digitized a number of reel to reel recordings from 1965-1967. We’ve found many gems, including recordings of workshops with Del Close, live shows, live sets, and rehearsal recordings.
One piece of material was particularly relevant in a year that was marked by a summer of uprisings against systems of white supremacy. We’re proud to present you The Committee from December 1965, looking back on the Watts uprisings from the previous summer. With John Brent, Mel Stewart, Jessica Myerson, and Scott Beach – and music by Ellsworth Milburn and an introduction by Garry Goodrow – we give you: The Committee: Watts Translator 1965.
We hope this brings you a smile or two.
Have a safe and healthy holiday season.
Sam Shaw and Jamie Wright
Chris Pray died this week [obit.]. He started his improv career studying with The Committee and continued their legacy with groups like The Pitschel Players (pictured here, Chris is in the center) and The National Theatre of the Deranged. Like Garry Goodrow, Chris was a master of improvised poetry. Rest in peace, sir!
Picture of Chris and the Pitschel Players by Jerry Wainwright.