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 our shows like our Friday 8pm Pro show and our Saturday 10pm Clubhouse show sometimes weave short form games into the show but otherwise we focus primarily on long-form improv.

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

It’s long form improv! It’s about creating theater… with characters, relationships, and situations… on the fly… based on an audience suggestion.  No two shows are ever alike! Most “sets” (shows) last about 25 minutes and can be comprised of many interrelated scenes (and sometimes songs and dances!). 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 comedy!

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… soon! We have an awesome little lobby with snacks and drinks available.  We are currently waiting to get our ABC license and hopefully will be able to offer beer and wine soon. For this reason we are a 21 and up club.

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.  And, they are usually paired with a “pro” or “house” team show. Also, our students are pretty funny in their own right!

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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