The best of No Shame

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

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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5 thoughts on “The best of No Shame

  1. AshevilleObserver

    How about No Shame Orchestra? Anyone who shows up can play.

  2. [b]AshevilleObserver:[/b] I’ve actually seen that sort of thing in Asheville. There was a period where slightly organized mega-jams were all the rage.

  3. “Just to make sure people really stay away in droves, a piece written by George “the” Bastard will be performed as well.”

    America has no need for your foul wit! Back to the land of un-American things like scones that don’t taste like cardboard and decent news reporting!

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