Full Love Throttle and 3 Play

Thurs. Jan. 15, 8:30 p.m.


Theatre 99

After 17 years of collaborating on stage with various ensembles, Greg Tavares and Brandy Sullivan, co-founders of the Charleston Comedy Festival, recently decided to pare things down for a two-person act. Under the name Full Love Throttle, the duo creates characters and scenes without backup.

“It’s very close to Greg’s and my heart. It just kind of made sense,” Sullivan says. “Greg and I have been working together since ’95. Greg can throw stuff at me and he knows that I’ll honor and support it, and I can do the same with him. It’s really fun.”

Sullivan and Tavares have already performed Full Love Throttle six times this year. They pick a member from the audience and ask him or her quick questions that launch a series of free associations. They use that as inspiration for the scenes.

“It’s all about character and relationships,” Tavares says. “We do a pretty good job of actually figuring out who we are, where we are, and what we’re doing. We’re naturally comedic together.”

Tavares initially started 3 Play with Jenny Pringle, performing as a two-person show over the course of a few months. They eventually enlisted director R.W. “Smitty” Smith into the stage act. It took on a new life.

It’s less about yuks and more about creating an environment to work with.

“There are two things that make 3 Play different from other improv groups,” says Tavares. “One, we focus on realistic scene work — I’m an actor before I’m a comedian, and so are Jenny and Smitty. We try to believe what we say. And two, we do what’s called ‘scene painting,’ where we describe the environment a little bit before we step into it as characters. You never know who’ll show up.”