From Austin Improv Community Wiki

Wanderlust was a mainstage at the Hideout Theatre. It depicted two people going on a journey.


For each performance, the central protagonists were dressed in red, while the remaining eight ensemble members were in blue. The central performers asked the audience for a location people might travel to, and conducted a brief interview with an audience member, looking for grounded inspiration for the show.

After that, the show opened with a split-stage montage, depicting each of the central characters in their day-to-day life, set to "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens. The montage ended with the two characters meeting and beginning their journey.

The show consisted of a series of scenes along that trip, interspersed with improvised interviews with couples (depicted by the cast) about their relationships, à la When Harry Met Sally. The non-protagonist players portrayed all the other characters in the show (including the "interview subjects"), and also performed 'sceneography', using their bodies, motion, and built-in swaths of onstage fabric to suggest settings and props, often reflecting the mood of the scene while they did so.

The show concluded, typically, with the central couple on the "interview couch", reflecting on their journey and their experiences.

The show ran ninety minutes in the Hideout's downstairs theater, with a 10-minute introduction and a 15-minute intermission.


The show was scored without sound effects, using mostly modern indie pop, typically switching out to jazz standards for the interview interstitials. Lighting varied based on the tone or mood of each scene, the location of the fabrics, and whether the ensemble or the highlighted characters were in focus at any given time.

Initial Description

The director's initial description of the show from the audition announcement:

With Wanderlust, I want to take a grounded two-person show and display it in a performance that conveys the visually stunning experience of going on a journey. The duo is supported by an ensemble of 8-10 people and they will serve as the connection between emotion and environment. Imagine a library scene where our two focus characters are having a conversation. The ensemble will fill the world as librarians, people reading, people on the computer, etc (they will not be stealing focus). Let's say the duo begins to fight. The ensemble, within their movements, begin to become more agitated and harsh. The tone of the scene becomes more hostile, the duo partners yell at each other until one person says that final line and the duo falls quiet. The environment, which has now become a raging hysteria, returns to its normal state.

Or perhaps the theme of one of the protagonists is that they feel ignored. The ensemble can mirror that nonverbally by knocking into him/her as they pass, perhaps even swallowing him/her up by the end of the scene as the character struggles to obtain his partner's attention.

Or perhaps a moment of reflection is highlighted by a collective breath and subsequent sigh. A scene in the dark is accompanied by the ensemble's creation of a soundscape of nature sounds. Perhaps in one scene we dive into the subconscious of one of the protagonists' minds.

We are not just witnessing a physical trip, but an emotional trek that is heartfelt, funny, and visually compelling. There will be lots of fluid and visually dynamic movement. The show will not be formulaic, but throughout the rehearsal process we will develop a common language of ways to nonverbally reflect and heighten the emotional journey of the protagonists. The sky is the limit. Through re-explaining the show multiple times to curious improvisers, the ideas are just pouring in.

Yes the show will be heartfelt.

Yes the show will be funny.

Yes the show will be challenging.




More Information