Under The Gun Ensemble member Erin Diehl came to us this summer with a dream, to do a parody improv show about the ABC television show, The Bachelor. After a successful initial run in September, we decided to remount Will You Accept This Rose? in November and December. I recently sat down with her to talk about her show.
Where did you get the idea to do “Will You Accept This Rose”?
I have to admit this, and he is going to kill me, but my husband got me started watching “The Bachelor” on ABC years ago. Since then, it’s like a train wreck that I can’t stop watching! I love and hate this show, and knew that this would be funny to make into a parody. As you may know, this show has a HUGE (insert Trump voice) following, even much so that they coined the phrase, “Bachelor Nation.” I wanted it to have a tight form, but also allow the opportunity for improvisation to really drive the show. The actual televised version has a host who moves the show forward, so I knew that was needed. I came to Angie & Kevin with this idea, and they really liked the form. They suggested always having a Bachelor at the center of every show, so that we could feature many of the amazing female performers we have at the theater. They also suggested that the girls could be decked out in fancy cocktail dresses, which add another fun element to the show. Honestly, it was just years of watching bad reality television and improv classes combined that made me realize that this could be our own reality – live on stage each week!
What about this show gets you excited?
Everything! I love the fact that as the host, I interview one new audience member each week about their love life. We also have date cards that the audience fills out before the show starts, that we incorporate into the show itself. Right from the very beginning, the audience is involved in our show, which to me is important. The female cast also takes on a new character each week based on the male audience members’ interview. These girls are fiercely talented, and I love seeing what character they will take on next. The Bachelor also always excites me (we have three rotating male improvisers) because you never know how they will react to these crazy characters and situations. I also LOVE the fantasy suite portion of our show. I don’t want to give away too much (you will have to see for yourself) but last week I literally cried laughing backstage at one of the scenes taking place. This show is full of surprises, twists and kooky characters. It is always “THE MOST DRAMATIC EPISODE EVER” and I love watching our talented cast make this show seem so seamless, when they literally have no idea what’s going to happen each night. Our co-director, Allie Keller is always there supporting and helping promote and make our show the best it can be. Our tech, Griffin Rhyne, is on point and is always coming up with new songs or lighting elements to add to the show. Our cast and crew are amazing. Period. Exclamation Point! Exclamation Point!
What makes this project different than anything else you have worked on?
This is my first time co-directing and I LOVE that process. The form itself is completely different than any other type of show I’ve done. As a cast member, you have the ability to really try out characters, and be courageous in those choices. I’ve done a couple of parody based improv shows before, and this form is the most intricate, and the one that uses the audience’s suggestions the most. The fact that it is at Under the Gun makes it that more amazing. There is something about that stage that brings out the best in people. Our cast is so willing to try new things and really go for it on stage. I love watching that. I love the feeling that I get performing there, and the audience is always right there with us. It’s truly a magical place and one that I am grateful to call home.
You have four more chances to see “Will You Accept This Rose” on Sunday nights at 9pm at Under The Gun Theater. Tickets are $12 with some nights featuring flexibly priced tickets where you choose your ticket price.