Every Friday night, Columbus’s newest hotspot attracts dozens of performing artists — from comics, poets and dancers to actors, singers and musicians. Whether your gift is sleight of hand or turn of phrase, you too can take the stage at No Shame Theater, a venue of the Springer Opera House for emerging artists and everyday creative minds. Think open mic night meets underground arts movement.
The No Shame concept began more than 20 years ago out of the back of a pickup truck, but it came to Columbus only four months ago.
It’s simple: you have five minutes; perform something original, but don’t break anything, including the law, the set, yourself and the audience.
You can clog, rhyme or rant, and the good news is you don’t have to be at your Broadway best.
“You could completely fall on your face, and we would still applaud you,” said Michael Stiggers, a member of the comedy music group 4Guys, a mainstay on the No Shame stage.
The rest of the group — Jim Pharr, Cameron Bean and Adam Archer — which first performed together at No Shame, agreed.
The audience is supportive and understands mistakes, blunders and outright failures, they said. That’s actually the theme behind No Shame: an uncensored, nonjudgmental avenue for expression.
You never know what you’re going to get, but that’s part of the fun, said SFC Zachary Smith, who attended a show with his wife, CPT Ashley Smith, for the first time in January.
“This is like a date night for us. I would definitely come again,” Ashley said. Both would recommend the experience, especially since you can’t beat the price: $5. Your fiver includes the chance to see original work of a featured visual artist and hear announcements about upcoming art events. The show also involves (voluntary) audience participation — you may find yourself on stage even if you didn’t sign up.