Perhaps there’s something cathartic about listening to a stranger read your breakup text messages out loud.
Local actors and comedians Alison Goldberg and Jen Jamula have been collecting text messages like these from real-life couples for their comedy show “How to Break Up by Text” to be performed at the People’s Improv Theater on May 12.
The group reimagines the text-message chains as improv scenes, without changing a single word.
And those audience members who didn’t submit their soul-baring texts to the show beforehand will be guaranteed a free shot of liquid courage for revealing their text stories on the spot.
“We’re very interested in how media is changing the way we communicate” Goldberg said.
The group’s next performance, “Blogologues,” showing on May 19, takes their exploration of media a step further, with humorous readings of anything the comedians find online including Craigslist ads, silly videos, OkCupid profiles and Yelp reviews.
The two comedians, who have been performing as a duo for seven years, create characters based on these web moments to form a unique improv situation that brings all those Craigslist ads and strange dating profiles to life.
“We try to ‘catfish’ the audience,” Goldberg said. “If you think this one Reddit thread was posted by a prepubescent boy, we’ll perform the lines as a couple of old ladies.”
“We can play anything we want,” Jamula added, noting that the actors change up characters about 10 times a show, from anything from Chuck Norris to Björk.
And, like many comedians these days, the duo finds themselves adding more politics to their performances over the past few months. One piece they often perform is based on a very-real Breitbart headline, “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”
“We play these Catholic school girls that are hazing women, trying to rid them of their ‘evil birth control,’” Jamula said.
Though the two shows share the theme of online culture — something Jamula and Goldberg use in their various web and podcast projects — attendees can expect a few differences between the shows. While “Blogologues” brings to life anything that peaks the comedians’ interests, “How To Break Up By Text” projects screenshots of submitted, real-life text breakups for Jamula and Goldberg to direct and make fun of.
In past shows, the audience has taken over the show with their own text stories and Jamula and Goldberg have had to scrap their entire planned performance.
In short, you may not know exactly what you’re going to get at a “Blogologues” or “How To Break Up By Text,” but laughs will definitely be one of them.
The PIT is located at 123 E. 24th St. in Manhattan. Tickets for each show go for $15. For more information, visit thepit-nyc.com