The Boston Typewriter Orchestra began when Tim Devin decided to e-mail a bunch of friends to ask if they’d like to join. His inspiration came from an encounter with a waitress in an Allston bar after he had acquired a thrift store typewriter. Long story. Early practices were held in a Cambridge apartment. Along the way it was decided the group would play manual typewriters to create compositions based on rhythmic typewriter manipulation within an office environment that would be the source for comedy and satire.
The BTO’s first big break came in July, 2006 when the Orchestra was featured in a Boston Globe article before a performance at the Somerville Art Beat Festival. Over the last ten or more years, the line up has continued to change as one valuable member moves on in life and another comes along to claim their chair and bring a new element to the Orchestra.
The BTO started out playing mostly at parties and in clubs but, over the years, has risen to being featured in a wide variety of venues including festivals, special events, libraries, museums, an underground restaurant, a hotel opening and cultural conferences throughout New England and New York. The BTO has performed numerous times on national television, appearing on CNN, NBC’s Weekend Today, America’s Got Talent and Fox Cable News among others.
According to founding member Jay O’Grady, “The key is to not take yourself too seriously while enjoying the creative process. When audiences genuinely appreciate your performance, it’s very satisfying.” Also satisfying for members of the world’s most celebrated typewriter orchestra: Appearing in the just released major motion picture California Typewriter, putting out Termination Without Prejudice, Volume 1, their brand new hit EP on ten inch vinyl and, of course, returning to Burlington to headline a benefit for the 13th annual Festival on Saturday, September 16 at 7 PM in Contois Auditorium!
Annie Russell is an emerging comic based in Burlington. She has opened for Marc Maron on the Flynn’s MainStage, for Al Madrigal at the University of Vermont and for The Onion as part of The BBF Celebrity Lecture Series. She performs regularly at Vermont Comedy Club and has performed in the Boston Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, Green Mountain Comedy Festival and the Waking Windows Festival. She produces and hosts Cringe!, a “wildly unique and wince-inducing” monthly show, and No Chill with Annie Russell, a podcast that explores the relationship between the arts and mental health. She co-hosts United We Standup, a monthly political comedy show at Vermont Comedy Club.