I attended the March 15th Improv Night performance with no idea what to expect, only knowing it was 18 and up and that there could be crude and or inappropriate language. The crowd was greeted with a hilarious host who immediately took to taking down hecklers in the audience with quick-witted passion. She then introduced the comedian cast to come onto the stage, each walking out separately to their own personal entrance song. They then started preforming various impromptu skits, with random topics sometimes chosen from audience members. Subjects included politics, current events, incest, death, bestiality, and sex, all in a light-hearted manner.
If you ever enjoyed watching “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” on television years ago, you would thoroughly enjoy the upcoming Improv Night performances. Starting around two years ago as a fundraiser for Backdoor Theatre, the Improv Nights have created a troupe of anywhere from 15 to 20 local comedians from all genders, ages, races and backgrounds. All of the performers are volunteers, making the show all the more impressive. Every show is completely different, rotating out hosts, comedians, and skits. Performances are fully directed by the host, who in addition to fulfilling the role of host, writes the jokes and organizes the skits.
I asked recent host, Jessica Wood, about her experiences with the troupe. “The cast has no idea what games they’re going to play, they just know the rules of the games. It’s literally all on the spot.” Jessica conveyed. She continued, “The whole point of improv is that it’s not about you, it’s about making your partner look good, because in turn that makes you look good, and the troupe look good. Connection is a huge thing for a troupe to have; it’s like one big team. It’s so important to have that teamwork. Improv is more than just phallic jokes, it teaches you a lot of concepts. The biggest one that I get is the fear of failure, and how it’s okay to go up there and mess up, and then you just keep on going. That’s probably been the biggest thing, because whenever we do our workshops we talk about ‘yes, and’, which is an improv concept. And you can take that into life, rather than saying no to everything, just say yes and see what happens.” Recalling her performances, Jessica said, “There have been times during shows that I went up to say something I thought was funny, and it either didn’t work or I messed up when I said it. Sometimes when you mess up that’s funnier than anything else because it shows you’re human.”
If you are interested in attending one of these gut-wrenchingly funny performances, future show times will be April 26, 2019 at 7:00 PM, September 13, 2019 at 7:00 PM, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM, and December 20, 2019 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are selling out fast, so be sure to get yours ahead of time through the Backdoor Theatre website or in person during business hours.