The Macroscene

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This improvised show is the culmination of a 600 level advanced study class at the UCBTNY.

The Macroscene is a show made up entirely of seamless transformational edits in one macro-location. No sweeps! No tag-outs! No swinging doors! Instead, actors move from scene to scene using natural edits inherent in a scene. Creating a unique show that moves in real time and is free from improvisational editing.

These natural edits involve having new characters enter locations and take focus, or having old characters leave the location and bringing the focus to a new location.

The next scene might be started by a man shoving past the previous scene's characters or it might simply pass focus to another table in the restaurant. Cars drive by or people pass in the elevator or someone enters a crowded bathroom.

The form depends on the performers being aware of where the focus is. By dropping back off the stage they can pass the focus to new characters who are walking away. Alternatively a performer leaving a room but staying on stage can signal everyone else to leave the stage.

The macroscene in a lot of ways is a monoscene where you follow characters to new locations. It's still one scene that never ends but by continuing to leave locations new possibilities and scenes can be discovered.


Below is an example of a show and the transitions it involved. This was performed by The Macroscene class on Jan.19 2010. The games and scenes are not gone into great detail as this example is more to provide a sample of some in-show transitions.

  • The show opens in a hospital room with 2 patients who are visited by the make-a-wish foundation and celebrity super-model Cindy Crawford.
  • The patients, who asked for Derek Jeter, are disappointed so the make-a-wish spokesman and Cindy step outside where a doctor pushes by them in a rush.
  • The doctor and his intern enter an operation room but they are running so late the patient dies.
  • An employee enters to tell the doctor he was in such a rush that he left his car lights on and then heads down the hall where a female doctor is on break. The employee hits on the doctor who brushes him off with talk of her movie-loving boyfriend.
  • The doctor from earlier shows up and tells the employee to get back in the parking lot to check on more headlights, and then the doctor is ushered into an elevator to visit the morgue and take a look at patient zero.
  • The patient has had a dick drawn on his cheek and the doctor assumes its a side-effect of a disease and he decides to go call the government from the only working phone in the hospital.
  • He arrives there to be stuck in line behind a guy making personal calls.
  • Elle MacPherson walks by and runs into the make-a-wish spokesman who takes her to meet a patient who wants to meet Mark McGwire.
  • Elle applies makeup to the patient but first draws a dick on the patient's cheek.
  • The doctor arrives, sees the disease is spreading and rushes out of the room.
  • The doctor goes to the only working phone where he calls the CDC.
  • In the surgery room by the phone an operation is getting set up, but a man is in the operating room hitting on the surgeons hoping to get a place to crash.
  • After failing to pick up either women the surgeon leaves and coldly delivers the news to a man outside that his sister died in the operating room
  • An announcement is made over the PA that the CDC is closing off the hospital. CDC men rush in grabbing hauling another patient with a dick on their face into an elevator.
  • The elevator gets stuck until someone drops into the elevator to brag about seeing Derek Jeter.
  • The elevator moves again taking everyone to a tent where the infected are housed. The infected are all super models. The CDC kill the supermodels to stop the infection. Derek Jeter arrives explaining he drew all the dicks as part of his new campaign promoting Sharpie brand markers. Which he uses to sign one of the infected children from the first scene.


It was directed by Kevin Hines and stars: Dan Black, Dave Bluvband, Ellena Chmielewski, Sarah Claspell, Shaun Diston, Dustin Drury, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, Miles Klee, Diana Kolsky, Johnny McNulty, Cathryn Mudon, Jocelyn Ranne, Curtis Retherford, Rob Stern, Brett White, Terry Withers.

Performance Dates

Tuesdays at 11pm, January 5th - 26th, 2010

Promotional Materials

The Macroscene's promotional poster was drawn by Curtis Retherford, based on an idea by Sarah Claspell, who also drew the logo. The entire class submitted ideas for what each person should be doing. The poster features every member of the class, along with Kevin Hines.

The Macroscene is the first UCB team to ever have mugs made. The mugs have a picture of the Macroscene poster on one side, and a complete class list on the other. A special mug was made for director Kevin Hines, featuring the Macroscene poster on one side and his email address on the other.