The idea behind No Shame Theatre is that anyone can do it — and is, for that matter, encouraged to. Burgeoning actors and/or playwrights arrive at the theatre an hour prior to show time with some semblance of a play.
“The rules vary from city to city, but generally speaking, anyone who shows up with a script in hand on the night of the show… is in the show that night,” explains the organization’s Myspace page.
So nonexistant is the conceit factor in this grass roots performance art that the original No Shame production took place on the back of founder Todd Ristau’s pickup truck in a parking lot. That was in 1986. Since them, the lack of shame has spread as far as Fairbanks and London, with Southeastern outposts in Fort Myers, Roanoke and Asheville.
Local organizers describe the show as “an open performance venue for original and compelling works of theatre. We take the first 15 scripts that come in the door at 10 p.m. If you’re a writer, come to the theatre at 10 p.m. with typed scripts. If you’re an actor, come to the theatre at 10 p.m. and tell people you’re there to act, and you’ll be cast. It’s that simple.”
With a couple years of performances under its belt, No Shame in Asheville offers its hits in The Best of No Shame Theatre, 2007-2008. Watch the 15 audience-voted top pieces on Saturday, June 21. The event is held a the North Carolina Stage Company; show time is 11 p.m. and tickets are $5.
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter