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Burlington Sketch Comedy Troupe Brings Sketch from Stage to Screen

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July 17, 2017

Since 2012, the Burlington sketch comedy troupe Stealing From Work has been bringing the funny to Burlington theater stages, the Vermont Comedy Club, video store customer appreciation days (RIP Waterfront Video), and at least one private retirement party. Recently called the area's "preeminent sketch team" by Seven Days newspaperStealing From Work is the brain child of writers and producers Marianne DiMascio and Angie Albeck. Last year the duo took the leap into filmmaking when they adapted their stage sketch "Becoming A Woman" into a short film. 

In this short parody of a 1950's industrial film, young Sally anticipates the many changes associated with becoming a woman. Nurse Jenkins calmly provides information and advice about the biological and social aspects of Sally's transition into womanhood. 
 
"Becoming a Woman" was directed by our community media colleague and Lake Champlain Access Television Executive Director Kevin Christopher, while RETN's own Jess Wilson served as Director of Photography and Editor. It was an official selection in the 2016 Vermont International Film Festival's Vermont Filmmakers' Showcase and the Boston Film Gala. RETN is pleased to present "Becoming a Woman" on our new Burlington Telecom channel BTV HD 216 - a channel that will feature the work of local filmmakers and showcase arts and culture in our region. 

Marianne DiMascio spoke to us about the film and future plans for Stealing From Work
 
1. Stealing From Work is a sketch comedy troupe that normally performs in front of live audiences. Why did you decide to take the leap and adapt a sketch for film and was there something in particular about this sketch that made it a natural choice?
 
“Becoming a Woman” is a parody of a 1950s sex education video for girls. Using film allowed us to incorporate details such as costumes, props, and film techniques (black and white vs. color) that could not be conveyed through a staged sketch. While the film is set in the 1950s, it sheds light on what has (and hasn’t) changed for women. A viewer of our program remarked “So funny and also cringe-worthy creepy in satire power.”  We hope “Becoming a Woman” entertains the audience while still being socially relevant. 
2. Talk about your inspiration for "Becoming a Woman" and a little about the process of bringing it to life on the stage and on film.
 
I was sick on the day of sex education in 5th grade. There has always been some mystery surrounding what was covered at school that day. My best friend Rachel told me there was a film that was so gross a classmate passed out. This has made me obsessed with the industrial education films of the 1950s-1970s. 
 
When this sketch is part of a live revue, we have the luxury of changing lines to reflect current events. For example, when a politician makes a statement about a woman, her body, or her right to access healthcare, we can incorporate this into the sketch the day it happens. For the film, we had to alter the script to have a much longer shelf life. Lines need to be relevant tomorrow and next year.  
 
3. This film was made here in with local talent and crew and with some equipment support from RETN and LCATV. Why is it important to you that it be seen locally on community channels like BTV HD?
 
By sharing this project with the RETN and LCATV community, we were able to reach a different audience. We strongly believe in accessibility to the arts and always offer a performance that is by donation. Sharing this program, “Becoming a Woman”, on cable access television, allows us to continue to offer affordable arts events. Also, seeing films made locally may inspire community members to create more art!
4. What's next for Stealing From Work? Any more films in your future?
We are in the process of writing new material for our next show. It takes about a year to conceive and birth a show. Our next film will be a “documentary” about the controversy surrounding some very talented athletes who competed in the Olympic trials in the compulsory Kegel exercise.
 
AIR DATES: 
 
RETN Channel 16 
  • Wednesday 7/26 9:00 pm
  • Thursday 7/27 1:00 am, 2:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8/1 11:00 am
  • Thursday 8/3 8:00 pm
  • Friday 8/4 12:00 am, 1:00 pm
 
BTV HD Channel 216 
 
  • Wednesday 7/26 9:00 pm
  • Thursday 7/27 1:00 am, 2:00 pm
  • Saturday 7/29 5:00 am
  • Tuesday 8/1 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8/2 12:00 am, 1:00 pm
  • Saturday 8/5 4:00 pm

 

More about Stealing from Work