Anders Yates is a gay comedian and improviser in Toronto. Beginning November 23, his troupe Uncalled For will present their new show Playday Mayday at Theatre Passe Muraille.
Their show is about game playing. I recall when I was young, every family gathering included Bingo, Monopoly, or card games. At Christmas we went mad for games like Twister, Trouble, or Operation. Then we grew up and totally forgot about that stuff. Anders' show is about reconnecting to that sense of fun from childhood.
"I recently started working at an escape room, which is a new way for people to play games with each other, sort of like a video game in real life," he explained. "Playday Mayday is a hybrid of sketch and theatre. There are a series of scenes in which the rules and logic of games bleed into the real world. For instance, multinational corporations playing a game of Twister."
Anders is the gay one in his comedy troupe. Not that it ever matters to a sketch comedian, whose job is to embody all sorts of characters. We both admitted that we felt less homophobia in the comedy world than in any other. "I don't think people care that much. I primarily do improv with other people, which can sometimes feel a bit restrictive." Not that they don't want him to do gay characters. Quite the opposite. "I censor myself sometimes because I don't want to keep bringing up yet another gay character into every scene."
So what's in the long-term future for Anders Yates? "My greatest ambition is for other people to produce all of my future projects, just lining up to make my ideas happen for me. Realistic, right?" Yes, and no. The important thing is just to keep working. And playing games.
Uncalled For will be presenting PLAYDAY MAYDAY at Theatre Passe Muraille from November 24 - December 4, 2016.