Friday, January 9, 2015

Show, Don't Tell

Raise your hand if you have a physical reaction when you hear "Show, don't tell." If you raised your hand, I'm betting you took at least one writing class in college and/or worked at a print publication.

The editor, or whoever, may as well be saying "back to the drawing board." Grrrrr...

Talking up the Improv Workshop at the Plaza Playhouse Theater is an excellent example of me showing and not telling. To remedy that, allow me to share an improv exercise/game with you. This is from, a wonderful Web site for all things improv.

Dubbed Movie
Two or more actors play a scene, but they don't speak, although they can move their mouths is if they are speaking. Two or more players sit in front of the action and provide the speech. The effect is (or should be) like watching a dubbed movie. 

And while we're at it, here's a example of "showing, not telling." Check out the following press release. You'll get the info on the Improv Workshop and see the important elements of a press release.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Marie Orozco
(805) 284-2622

Improv Workshop begins on Jan. 12

Plaza Playhouse Theater’s popular Improv Workshop marks its fourth year on Jan. 12 with a move to Monday nights. Best suited to the 17-and-over crowd, the class is open to all interested parties and will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for eight Mondays. Sessions are held on the theater’s stage and include theater games and scene work. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants and is on a first come, first served basis. The workshop fee is $125 for new participants and $96 for returnees. Registration may be completed online at or by sending a check to Plaza Playhouse Theater, ATTN: Improv Class, 4916 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013. Sorry, no drop-ins allowed. For more information call Amy Orozco at (805) 284-2622.


Improv Workshop begins Jan. 12_1: Plaza Playhouse Players improv troupe members Judy Sirianni, left, and Sherri Mendenhall perform in the holiday show last November.

Improv Workshop begins Jan. 12_2: John Pagano, left, and Judy Sirianni of the Plaza Playhouse Players create a skit from audience suggestions at the troupe’s holiday show last November.


It is the mission of the Plaza Playhouse Theater to be a venue that is the center of arts and entertainment for the entire Carpinteria Valley community. A place where young and old can express their artistic talent in music, dance and theatre and also to enjoy what the world of entertainment has to offer. We endeavor to be a place that Carpinterians can proudly call their own. The theater is located at 4916 Carpinteria Ave. in downtown Carpinteria. The phone number is (805) 684-6380, and the Web site is