South Station Dominoes


On 3/29/08 at 4:45pm (we also did this 1 year later with 100 members- pictures from both are included below) nearly 50 improveratti showed up with suitcases at a green near South Station- a green we lovingly refer to as Cigarette Grass Park due to the number of cigarette butts overtaking the number of blades of grass.

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Everyone was instructed to come up with a character that was from somewhere in NYC and was here (just off the Acela train) as a tourist for a chartered bus tour. They were instructed to be trendy, glamorous, and VERY busy. Everyone was talking on their cell phones, eating or chewing gum, and were very anxious to get the tour started and over with. After all, we're stereotypical New Yorkers and we have places to be and people to see- fabulous people to see. All the bystanders bought it.

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At the park the instructions were given for what would "go down" in South Station in half an hour. We disbanded and entered the station separately as inconspicuously as possible. South Station is served by the Amtrak lines and airport shuttles so it is regularly filled with people with suitcases which made it very easy for our 50 guerrilla performers to disappear into the crowd.

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Half an hour later fake NYC metrosexual, James Cobalt the "Tour Director" started calling for people to "line up for a head count before boarding" (our imaginary) "tour bus" that was "waiting outside". Most improveratti however didn't need to hear the calling- they simply came out of the woodwork and lined up as soon as the glamorous Rachel Schwartz, the "Tour Guide" held up her closed umbrella signaling to the group to line up behind her; as if her demanding NY accented verbal requests were not enough to get anyone in line...

Security became suspicious and began questioning various actors why they were standing in line. Everyone stayed in character explaining they were waiting and had come from NYC- which was actually the truth for the NYC born improveratti that ironically were being questioned. The BostonSOS performers began demanding we board the bus immediately and were quite impatient as Cobalt ran down the line pretending to mark everyone off the checklist.

Rachel gave her head a scratch as she waited- then the person behind Rachel scratched their own head- then the person behind them scratched their head- and on and on it went down the line; all 50 improveratti scratching their head in succession as though some lice infestation was quickly spreading.

Then she impatiently checked her watch- again everyone behind her followed suit one by one. Then she removed her gum and put it in her pocket- again with everyone mimicking the action one by one but as if they were unaware of the people in front of them doing the same thing. Finally she let out a big, arm stretching yawn that yet again traveled down the line creating an unnatural "Shiva arms" display.

The yawn traveled down the line passing a couple security personnel who were questioning improveratti till it reached the last person- who mid yawn let out a huge sneeze causing him to topple forward into the person in front of him.

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This person naturally fell down knocking their suitcase over and landed on the person in front of them- who also knocked their suitcase over and landed on the next person in line- and on and on!

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This run of "human dominoes" continued through the entire line of improveratti all the way back up to Rachel (Cara one year later) who fell flat on the floor a mere feet from multiple cops standing guard. With an entire crowd of people suddenly sprawled across the floor like battle victims the entire building was looking at us like we were crazy or the best free entertainers they've ever seen.

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As one bystander shared afterwards, "people weren't like... SLOWLY falling; I mean- people were like, FALLING! ...it was pretty aggressive!"

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Yet as violent as the scene appeared no one rushed over to help! Some looked away, perhaps embarrassed for us- others looked concerned but were unwilling to help. Security looked completely befuddled, unsure if they should kick us out, laugh, or rush to our aide. Instead they stood there with looks of confusion. Dozens laughed and applauded.

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Improveratti stood up and pretending to be embarrassed they rushed out of the building. Those of us who stayed behind incognito overheard some great reactions. Shortly after everyone vanished a lot of the security laughed to themselves and shook their heads. Some people questioned whether it was a prank or did we really all suddenly trip over each other. A female employee at the bookstore was heard asking someone if they saw us all fall down and that it was the funniest thing she had seen. She then exclaimed "if ONLY someone had gotten it on video" to put it online. Oh, if she only knew...

For additional footage (including the outdoor rehearsal that made sidewalk strollers burst out laughing) check out the following videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQKmKm4CTbk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxu_uYksuMw