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“HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis” comes to Menomonie

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MENOMONIE (WQOW) -- Hypnosis and improv collide at the Mabel Tainter Theatre on Thursday with a familiar face.

Colin Mochrie of "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?," will be doing improv live on stage with 5 strangers under the spell of Master Hypnotist Asad Mecci for "HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis."

"I bring up 20 volunteers, I hypnotize them, widdle it down to the best five or six hypnotic subjects, enter Mr. Colin Mochrie from 'Whose Line Is It, Anyway?.' Collin then improvises with the people on stage while they're under hypnosis," Mecci said.

"I'm looking for changes in the rate of respiration, breathing changes, skin color changes, skin tone is changing, laceration of the eyes, so the eyes start to tear up. I'm looking for vasodilatation of the capillaries of the eyes, they become engorged. So, I'm actually looking for some physiological tells, kind of like what poker players look for when they're looking for tells in their opponents."

For Mochrie, working with strangers under hypnosis is his version of a good time.

"The best thing about this is the hypnotized subjects are pure improvisers," he said. "They react to everything that Asad and I say without hesitation. They just naturally respond to whatever we give them, and every night we find a new improv star. Whether it be a 24-year-old young woman with social anxiety or an 80-year-old stroke survivor, it just seems to bring out the best in people."

Thirty volunteers are needed to fill 20 stage seats. Those interested in participating in the interactive show must sign-up in advance through the venue by emailing the theater at events@mabeltainter.org.

Volunteers must present both proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show to participate on stage. Production will provide rapid tests to those interested in participating in the show.

Tickets for the Sept. 16 show at The Mabel Tainter Theater are on sale now at www.mabeltainter.org.

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Stephanie Rodriguez

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