The Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) advances the art and appreciation of comedy improv in the Baltimore region through enthusiastic participation and education. BIG enhances the quality of, expands participation in, and fosters the appreciation for improv throughout Baltimore.
BIG envisions awareness of, participation in and passion for improv comedy spread throughout the Baltimore region. We similarly envision improv’s infectious culture of support spread throughout the greater Baltimore area, inspiring community and creativity among all.
Key values we work to promote include:
- YES AND - An approach to life that encourages us to build harmoniously on the ideas, values and preferences of others rather than placing our ideas, values and preferences above our colleagues or in competition with them.
- MAKE OTHERS LOOK LIKE GENIUSES - Improv teaches us to honor and celebrate others, even if objectively they make mistakes or reflect opportunities for personal improvement, as we all do. When we make choices that amplify the best in someone else’s actions, we actively invest in a bigger, better, shared success.
- A GROUP IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS - Improvisers enhance each other’s strengths through unconditional support, acceptance and enthusiasm. By embracing ideas without judgment, improv turns so-so ideas into good ideas, good ideas into great ideas and great ideas into earth-shattering masterpieces.
- INCLUSIVITY & RESPECT - In pursuit of its goals BIG seeks to share the joy of improv with everyone. In order to ensure that all parties feel welcome and able to fully participate in our offerings, BIG insists that all stakeholders uphold these standards:
- Mutual Respect & Civility
- Acceptance and Celebration of our Diversity as a source of strength
The Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) began in 2004 and has been celebrating the joy of performing and teaching improv comedy ever since. Mike Subelsky founded the company after moving from San Diego to Maryland. Determined to bring improv to Baltimore, Mike biked around town and hung up flyers. 4 people responded and became the first members of the Baltimore Improv Group. In the years since, BIG has grown to 100+ performers, taught thousands of students how to improvise, produced thousands of shows and entertained (we hope) tens of thousands of attendees. In October 2017 the new BIG Theater in Station North opened.
BIG teaches Six sessions of Seven week Improv Classes for adults each year. BIG also provides classes and workshops for kids and teens, and an Annual Improv Summer camp. We are in our third year as resident artists with Young Audiences of Maryland (YAMD). With YAMD, we perform in assemblies and teach residencies in schools across Maryland.
Training and Events
BIG performs over 120 times per year in Baltimore City and the surrounding area. These performances include our regular mainstage shows, shows for organizations from Bank of America to Johns Hopkins, and for private clients from bachlorette parties to bar mitzvahs. Since 2007 BIG has hosted the annual Baltimore Improv Festival. In an average year, BIG performs for over 5000 people.