Top Secret Agent Karen is on a mission to save the world, and she needs your help. Join her on her quest during Mission: Implausible!, an interactive comedy performance taking place Feb. 11–13 at 8 p.m. in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center. Created and performed by Sandi Carroll and presented by the College of Arts and Architecture’s Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI), the performance, appropriate for all ages, is free and open to the public, but RSVP is requested at facebook.com/PennStateADRI or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission: Implausible! utilizes Facebook, Twitter and Skype to engage the audience in Agent Karen’s effort to save the world. Audience members contribute their intelligence to help save the day, and one lucky person is chosen to be the heroine’s own hero and spends most of the show onstage having his or her courage and humanity proven in surprising and hilarious ways.
Carroll has performed Mission: Implausible! in Pittsburgh, Pa., Charlottesville, Va., and Baltimore, where it was featured in an article in the Baltimore Sun. An actor and physical comedienne, she is currently a research fellow and program manager at ADRI, where her work focuses on the discipline of play and its impact on creative decision making, teaching and learning.
During the spring 2016 semester, she will teach an interdisciplinary course titled “The Discipline of Play: Building Resiliency, Igniting Innovation,” in which she will incorporate traditional comedy techniques to teach students “to play as if your life depended on it, to risk breaking the rules and being a fool, to go beyond the bounds of normal, and access the infinite resources of fun that exist inside us all to work and live better.” The course culminates with individual and group projects applying play to the students’ particular fields.
“In my experience learning the ‘discipline of play’ has taught me how to see an infinite number of choices even when only one option is offered, and to be resilient in the face of failure. I see that transformation in my students over the course of a semester, and I wanted to give my audience a taste of what that journey feels like…so I created Mission: Implausible! I put the ending of my show in my audience’s hands, and they surprise me every night, just like my students surprise me in every class.”
Carroll has appeared on Broadway and off and in independent and major studio films, and has written, performed and produced her own shows on both coasts and internationally.