True Fiction Magazine


This ensemble pushed the envelope of improvisation, exploring new and exciting styles of storytelling. A TFM performance was a full evening of long-form spontaneous theatre, as the troupe takes titles suggested by the audience and creates stories which move forward and backward in time, interweave and intersect, until the final resolution. Group critics call "collaborative narrative genius."

This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2006 - 2007 archived pages and other outside sources.
As of 2012 TFM was still performing. But where are they now?

True Fiction Magazine
220 Mullen
San Francisco, California 94110

 

About True Fiction Magazine

True Fiction Magazine continues to push the envelope of improvisation, exploring new and exciting styles of storytelling. A TFM performance is a full evening of spontaneous theatre, as the troupe takes titles suggested by the audience and creates stories which move forward and backward in time, interweave and intersect, until the final resolution. Of over 6,000 stories told, they've never repeated one. Each show is unique: it has never been seen before and will never be seen again. TFM's inspiration is the hard-bitten, emotion-driven fiction found in the pulp stories of the 30's and 40's, tempered by their own comic sensibilities, resulting in a myriad of unusual characters and the worlds they live in.

Outside of its home base in San Francisco, TFM enjoyed a lengthy, critically-acclaimed run in Los Angeles in 1997 and expanded its scope internationally, participating in a week-long theater festival in Tampere, Finland, performing two shows to capacity crowds at the city theater and conducting workshops in long-form improvisation with improvisors and actors from all over Scandinavia and northern Europe. to link to our review page, which includes an article from the Helsinki paper and a reviews from other well respected sources.)

In addition to its work in theaters, TFM is available for corporate and private parties and events. Past clients include Pacific Bell, the Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, and Treadwell & Rollo.

 

The Company
 
   

Diane Rachel (née Barry) started improvising in 1976 with a commedia del' arte troupe in Sterling Forest, NY. She has a BA in acting, and has performed in venues such as the Edmonton Fringe Festival, New York Theatresports Tournament, Seattle Bumbershoot Festival and HBO's Melrose Theatre in Los Angeles. Diane is an actor and a teacher of improvisation. She has been with the group that is now True Fiction Magazine for over seven years.

 

Regina Saisi is an improvisor and actor. She has been seen at the Magic Theatre in their productions of "The Promise," "Oscar and Bertha," "Watch Your Back" and "Sirens." She co-created and performed "Mysterious Ways," a one-woman show, at the Phoenix Theatre. Over the past few years, Regina has been teaching improvisation to inner city youth. She has directed and performed with True FIction Magazine since its inception.

  

 

Barbara Scott, a founding member of TFM, began improvising with street theatre in 1976, and has since performed (inside) with Screaming Memes Comedy, Femprov, Faultline, Comedy Underground, and Bay Area TheatreSports.. She toured the US with the Memes, and Europe with Pros From Dover. She's also an improv teacher with American Conservatory Theatre and Theatresports., a voiceover/ movie/commercial /trade show actor, can be seen wrangling a pit bull in Getting Even With Dad, and is on permanent video display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, bravely wearing a dive suit.

 
 

 True Fiction Magazine includes special guest performers in each show.
Regular guests include Paul Killam, Rafe Chase, Tim Orr, John Kovacevich, and Amos Glick.
Regular Musicians include Joshua Raoul Brody and David Norfleet.

 


 

1997 REVIEW

September 3, 1997 12:00AM PT
True Fiction Magazine
The ensemble: Diane Barry, Rafe Chase, Paul Killam, Stephen Kearin, Reed Kirk Rahlmann, Regina Saisi, Barbara Scott.
By Julio Martinez  / Variety

The ensemble: Diane Barry, Rafe Chase, Paul Killam, Stephen Kearin, Reed Kirk Rahlmann, Regina Saisi, Barbara Scott.

The seven-member San Francisco-based improvisational theatre company, True Fiction Magazine, favors the longform of improv, utilizing an audience-suggested title as the starting-off point to create a series of interrelated scenes. Though they sometimes come up short in plot development, the troupe offers a cornucopia of engrossing, finely-detailed characterizations, aided immensely by the ever-present, intuitive keyboard effects of J. Raoul Brody.

It is an immensely satisfying theatrical experience to watch the members of this company play off each other, never settling for the easy laugh and quick blackout. In fact, their style is very reminiscent of the “Harold” technique of improvisation that was developed back in the ’60s by another Bay area troupe, The Experimental Wing of the Committee.

On a nearly bare stage, the ensemble utilizes, for instance, the audience-suggested title, “They Found It Lying In the Street,” as the launching pad for a series of dramatic riffs that take up the whole 40-minute first act.

A mysterious talisman containing some mystical gooey substance becomes an ongoing reference point as the plot moves through a series of transformations: a mystery novel, the deadly sexual games of a bored couple and a plumber (Regina Saisi, Reed Kirk Rahlmann and Rafe Chase), an Merchant Ivory-like look at the macabre relationship of two very proper British cousins (Barbara Scott and Stephen Kearin) and the outrageous adventures of Carl (Kearin), the world’s rudest theatre usher.

Each member of the troupe is a gifted actor with a seemingly endless repertoire of well-rounded characters. Even if an improvised scene reaches a dead end, it is still rewarding to watch as the cast tries to resolve an increasingly murky plot situation. Paul Killam becomes a wonderfully tweedy British country gentleman, sputtering pompously, and Kearin always knows when to bring his “barking dog” into a scene just when the animal is needed.

The second act starts on a low note as the ensemble completely bogs down with a lame slasher-film spoof. The work gets back on track with the re-appearance of the talisman to provide thematic stability, as many of the first act scenes are revisited and developed.

Another highlight is the work of Diane Barry, who contorts herself into a grotesque statue ignored by the cast. No matter, whenever the attention shifts back to her scene, Barry goes right back into the statue. The effect is hilarious.

Special mention must be made of the vocal improvising of Scott with the able support of keyboardist Brody. The pair are able to come up with very melodic theme or title songs at the drop of a line.

True Fiction Magazine

(Hudson Theatre: 99 seats; $ 18 top)

Production: The Hudson Group presents a play in two acts improvised by the ensemble. Music direction/keyboard, J. Raoul Brody. Lighting design, Lisa Larice; lighting improviser, Amy Weinberg. Opened and reviewed Aug. 28; runs until Oct. 14. Running time: 90 minutes.

Creative: Lighting design, Lisa Larice; lighting improviser, Amy Weinberg. Opened and reviewed Aug. 28; runs until Oct. 14. Running time: 90 minutes.

Cast: The ensemble: Diane Barry, Rafe Chase, Paul Killam, Stephen Kearin, Reed Kirk Rahlmann, Regina Saisi, Barbara Scott.

 

 



 

True Fiction Magazine on the Radio

True Fiction Magazine performs regularly on Sedge Thomson's internationally syndicated radio program West Coast Live. Taking suggestions from the audience, TFM improvises a story complete with sound effects and music.

Select a title:
Why Go West
John, The Boy With One Kidney
Godzilla Shopping
Electric Fingernails

 

Improvisational Theatre

True Fiction Magazine, originally inspired by the over-blown passions of the 30s and 40s pulp novels, takes improvised theatre to new heights each year. Pushing the realm of storytelling, TFM takes the audience on a wild ride into unknown territory that titilates the senses and blows the mind.

"Inspired invention!" -San Francisco Chronicle

"Surreal inventive plots!" -Los Angeles Times

"An immensely satisfying theatrical experience!" -Daily Variety

Upcoming Shows

Friday, March 16, 2007, 8 p.m. - The Bayfront Theater, San Francisco - BATS Improv Long-Form Festival -Tickets/Info

April 1-7, 2007 - Belgium's 5th International Improvisation Theatre Festival -

 

Upcoming Shows

Friday, August 28 2006, 8 p.m. - The Bayfront Theater, San Francisco
BATS Improv's Annual Summer Improv Festival

Friday & Saturday, September 8-9 2006, 8 p.m. - The Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

True Fiction Magazine, originally inspired by the over-blown passions of the 30s and 40s pulp novels, takes improvised theatre to new heights each year.

Pushing the realm of storytelling, TFM takes the audience on a wild ride into unknown territory that titilates the senses and blows the mind.

Cast: Diane Rachel, Barbara Scott, Regina Saisi, Paul Killam, Rafe Chase, and Tim Orr.

Friday & Saturday, October 27-28 2006, 8 p.m. - The Bayfront Theater, San Francisco - Annual Halloween Shows - Tickets/Info Coming Soon

Sunday, December 31 2006 - Legion of Honor, San Francisco - Annual New Year's Eve Show - Tickets/Info Coming Soon

TrueFictionMagazine.com