A long-standing favorite for many, Shear Madness brings unexpected laughs and audience involvement to the forefront. Co-creator, co-producer and former Shear Madness actress Marilyn Abrmas shares what exactly it is about the hilarious play that students can’t help but love.
When we opened Shear Madness almost 39 years ago, we knew we were onto something very unusual and unlike anything theatergoers had ever seen before. The audiences felt the same way; I know, because not only was I the co-producer and co-creator with my partner Bruce Jordan, I was also playing the part of the manicurist Barbara de Marco. Talk about multitasking!
Bruce and I were astonished by the audible gasps we heard throughout the house as audiences realized they could join in. Immersive and interactive—which are buzzwords today—were unheard of then. Much to our delight, Shear Madness still remains a unique experience, which is why we have been able to run so long and in so many cities around the world.
What is the magic?
Because the play takes place today, it remains always up-to-the-minute—never outdated. Every night in the dressing room, the actors talk about what can be put in the show that night along with what should be taken out as old news. This ensures that Shear Madness is always different and fresh; the surprise element is always there! Audiences have no idea that they will become part of the show—or how it will happen—and they often contribute something new and very funny.
Shear Madness is a shared experience that can be talked about long after the curtain comes down.
People we meet often tell us who was guilty the night they saw it, or tell us a brand new theory that they have come up with. Young people are an especially great audience, as their enthusiasm is unbounded and the actors love playing for them; they are clever, quick and their reactions are explosive when their school is mentioned or when one of the actors happens to be wearing a T-shirt with their school logo.
Shear Madness dares to be different and there is no other show like it. It still astounds us how people all over the world respond to our special brand of zaniness, and our thanks go out to all of the educators who have returned time and time again with their students. We promise to keep you entertained and guessing, well into the future.
Written by Marilyn Abrmas, Co-Creator and Co-Producer of Shear Madness.
Photo courtesy of Shear Madness.