Haunted ghost tours in Baltimore seem like a lot of work, going from place to place. In an effort to find a way for my ghosting experience to be a little less active, I talked to Kim Le â one of the creators of an improvised show called GHOST PARTY.
Read on below for a transcript of our conversation:
The etymology of the word 'bingo' is unknown. Unsatisfied, I reached out to Robyn Stegman to at least find out the etymology of her show Improv Bingo Night.
See below for a live transcript of our discussion as it happens.
Baltimore Improv Group welcomed Kate Zelensky as a teacher and improviser in September 2017. We’re wishing her well as she skips town later this year, but first! We had a conversation about her time at BIG.
Kate developed many BIG shows including Surprise Party, KZ Irregulars, Romper Room, and When Improv Meets Stand Up.
Sharing her methods, language and tools to many in our community, Kate taught BIG classes such as Evente, Monoscene, Openings and Initiations, and Intro to Game.
Before arriving in the Baltimore area, Kate spent 10 years at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City performing with former Harold Night team Sandino, weekend team Airwolf, and taught all levels at the UCBNY training center for 5 years.
Read on for a transcript of our conversation.
Make others look good. This loving maxim lies at the the heart of improv comedy and our Baltimore performing arts community. How do we place ourselves with partners who we can support and who will support us in turn? Impossible you say!
We know someone who does think it's possible! Improviser and improv coach Justin Brashear created a new opportunity for us to come together on the same stage! Just as the earlier paragraph foreshadowed. Justin produces a new show called The Kaleidoscope. Read on for a transcript of our discussion.
Scott Lichtor performs as a talented improv comedy actor. He also created a new show – The NORMAL Show – debuting in October 2018.
When the word normal is mentioned, I wonder why someone has spelled the name Norman wrong. Or perhaps they meant Norma?
While not named either of those names, Scott talked with me about the show in an interview. Read below for the transcript of our discussion:
Like many of you, I'm perusing Eventbrite for a way to avoid household chores. Then I came across the official description of a show at The BIG Theater called Extra Credit: An Improv JAM!
I’m very confused, what is this! So I demanded answers from the show’s producer and host, Barry Wright. This sounds way better than dusting my baseboards. Read on for the transcript of our discussion.
Mitch Fishbein has definitely made an impact on the BIG community since taking his first class in May 2016. Mitch played an integral role in the fundraising campaign to make 1727 N. Charles St. the home for BIG’s classes and performances in 2017.
Thanks to his support, performers and audience members can hang out in “Lenny’s Lobby,” named after Mitch’s father. The front classroom in the has been dubbed The MITCH (for Musical Improv Training Comedy Home) for all of his contributions to the BIG community.
You can find Mitch at Club 1727, the weekly musical improv jam Mitch helped to create. Club 1727 takes place in Lenny’s Lobby.
Mitch performs regularly with Bad Karaoke Experience, an indie musical improv team which recently presented “Mitch’s Fairy Tale: An Improvised Musical” as part of BIG’s Wednesday Lab show. Mitch co-founded the team with Brian E. Young.
Besides his support of the BIG community and love of musical improv, Mitch also recognizes the importance of history.
“As a 6 year old, my father, Lenny, took me and my brother to see JFK's funeral procession in 1963,” he said. “Fifteen years later, I met my future wife, Yvonne, at the Reflections Disco in Baltimore. Yvonne and I got married on Nov. 22nd, 1981, the same day of the month that John F. Kennedy was shot in the head.”
BIG is going free in May. The Baltimore Improv Group, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the performance and teaching of improv comedy, will make all of its shows free during the month of May, according to BIG Managing Director Terry Withers.
“It’s an exciting experiment for us. When I first proposed we not charge anything for our shows, I got some weird looks. But the more I talked to members of our community about it, the more people got excited,” said Withers. “Improvisers are generous by their nature, and none of us is in this to make a fortune. What we want most of all is to share the wonderful fun of watching and participating in improv comedy.”
The improv group performs six nights a week at its current home The BIG Theater at 1727 N. Charles Street in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.
Highlights on the May calendar include Shakespeare Out of the Park (Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.); We Need a Hero, (Saturdays at 8 p.m.), an epic improvised spoof of “Avengers: Infinity War;” and BIG TIME (Fridays at 8 p.m.), in which a Baltimorean of note is interviewed on stage only to have the interview spun into no-holds-barred comedy. May’s guests include Jamyla Krempel (WYPR, May 4) and Lou Catelli (the “patron saint of Hampden,” May 25).
“Improv has its roots as a performing art form for the everyday person. It isn’t ballet or opera. It’s all about listening, sharing ideas and supporting each other’s disparate points of view with abandon,” said Withers. “I think free tickets underlines our commitment to those values. We want you here, we don’t care about your money. If a month of free shows results in just one or two more great improvisers joining our community, it will have been immeasurably worth it."
Now in its 14th season, Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) is dedicated to advancing the art and appreciation of improvisational theatre in the Greater Baltimore area through a dynamic program of performance, instruction, and outreach. A 501(c)3 non-profit, BIG believes in “Yes Anding” its community members, students, performers, audience and the larger citizenship of Baltimore, both on and offstage. If you’re looking for a laugh or to make great new friends, then you’ve found your home at BIG.
What a weekend! Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) started a new Friday evening event that honors Baltimoreans who make the city a better place.
Last Friday, Deputy City Solicitor of Baltimore Dana Petersen Moore told a story about her life. BIG's best improvisers then created a series of scenes based on her experiences.
The BIG Time starts at 8pm on Friday nights, and here is the schedule for the rest of January:
January 12: Doreen Bolger, arts supporter and former director, Baltimore Museum of Art
January 19: Colin Campbell, Reporter, The Baltimore Sun
January 25: Ann Costlow, Founder, Sofi's Crepes
Jess Henkin and Laura Wexler of Stoop Storytelling Series hosted a successful fundraiser for Baltimore Improv Group. We can't thank them enough! Mike Subelsky, BIG Founder, also shared a story along with Thomas Dotstry, Patrick Hampton, Jordan Lally, and Sheila McMeniman.
Will Hines (UCB - LA) told a story about taking a leap and booking time to record a podcast session at the famed Abby Road Studios. Talk about taking a leap!
Several improvisers also took workshops with Will Hines and learned about the importance of details in scenes. Everyone had a blast!
We hope to see you in January, and stay tuned for February's schedule!
The first time I met Mitch, he was wearing a Beach Boys Pet Sounds t-shirt. I couldn't resist complimenting the shirt. For the optimal reading experience, I recommend listening to this album while you read this article. Or soon after if you have a hard time reading and listening to words.
Mitch started taking improv classes after watching his middle son, Adam, perform at Washington Improv Theater and with his team The Female Accent. After asking questions of Adam like 'what is a warm-up' and 'what do you do for 2 hours in an improv class?', Mitch decided to jump in and take Tavish Forsyth's 101 class at Baltimore Improv Group. It turned out to be games! And fun with strangers.
His one true love is music, and soon after he jumped at taking Musical Improv with Bridget Cavaiola. Soon after the class ended, Mitch and Brian Young started Bad Karaoke Experience to continue exploring the world of music made up on the spot. Almost a year later, they are performing at Mitch's birthday party this Saturday, November 18th at The BIG Theater.
Come see some of BIG's best improvisers incorporate stories of Mitch's life into a set and several scenes. Maybe a scene will come up about his favorite restaurants. Daniela's in Hampden is one of his favorites, and it reminds him of travels to Sardinia. He also celebrated several birthdays and events Helmad Afghan Restaurant in Mt. Vernon. Will those places be the place of a scene on Saturday? We can't wait for you to come and see!
Lookout for a sign commemorating Mitch's father, Lenny, in the lobby. Leonard Fishbein (1929-2009) introduced Mitch to The Ed Sullivan Show, George Carlin, and Alan King. As part of BIG's mission to serve all of Baltimore, anyone who cannot afford a ticket to a show will get to see great comedy on Lenny.
What does Mitch plan next? His goal is to perform a fully improvised musical in the coming years. He started the Club 1727: An Open Musical-Improv Jam open musical improv night, and this happens every Wednesday in the BIG lobby. Mitch's vision for BIG includes having programming seven nights a week and, eventually, a BIG Musical Improv Festival!
Various BIG members and friends contribute to the blog. Enjoy!