What to Expect at an Improv Show

So you’re about to see your first improv show. Hooray! Seeing improv can be a magical experience, to witness something so strange but so creative come together in front of your eyes — magic!

And while it’s good to go into a show without too many expectations, it’s super helpful to know what exactly you’re getting into.

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is improv?

Improv (or improvisation, if you want to be formal about it) is a performance art form where “players” or improvisers go out on stage without a script and attempt to make stuff up! Many times it involves participation from the audience, usually just a simple one word suggestion.

Oh, so like “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

Mmmm, yes and no. “Whose Line” employs short form improv, which is a series of games designed to spark quick, funny responses. Some of the teams at Finest City Improv are short form teams, like RC Georges and Cast Away. Some teams use games in part to inform their long form set, like FCI house team Killer Giraffe.

Okay, if it’s not “Whose Line,” then what is it?

It’s long form improv! It’s about creating characters, relationships, and situations on the fly. Most sets last between 15 and 25 minutes. When practicing long form improv, students learn all different “forms” of improv, which is just a fancy way of saying there are patterns to follow. But when you’re in the audience, you don’t need to worry about it. Just sit back and enjoy the chaos!

Will it be funny?

Yes! Maybe. Hopefully? Long form improv isn’t necessarily about being the funniest, but being true to what you’ve created. If the players are doing it right, it should just *naturally* be funny. Then again, improvisers are big hams, so they really, really wanna be funny.

Do you have drinks? Snacks? Drinky-drinks?

Yes, yes, and… yes! We have an awesome little lobby with a full bar where you can also order food from the Lafayette Hotel restaurant. And you can absolutely bring the food and drinks you ordered into our cabaret-style theater. We also have a nightly happy hour!

Will these be student shows? I’m a little leery…

We understand! While we do have a number of student shows where our amazing students get the chance to strut their stuff, those are often clearly stated, like our Student Shindig or Recess.

I saw my first show and looks like so much fun! Can I do it, too?

ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTLY! We have an incredible training center where with a well-educated staff. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, we recommend our FREE Discover Improv classes, which held on a regular basis. Learn more here!

Still have questions? Contact us at info@finestcityimprov.com. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for info on upcoming events!

Upcoming Shows!


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