by Chloe Scully
The host stands in the middle of the small stage, clutching a metal bucket. “Welcome everyone to ‘Impropourri!’ Show of hands, who has never done improv before?”
It’s my first time attending ‘Impropourri’ with Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) and it looks promising. The seats are filled, the air is filled with excited murmurs, and I can recognize about a third of the room’s inhabitants from previous BIG shows. Today’s show is going to be amazing, I know it.
For those who don’t know, ‘Impropourri’ is one of BIG’s improv shows in which anyone - yes, ANYONE - can participate for free. You can come with a group or join one, and then you spend the next two to three hours having fun, watching other people perform, and improvising yourself.
Circling back to the host’s (Pamela) original question, a few people raise their hands, showing that they are indeed new to the world of improv. As I hang back, I watch to see how these newbies would interact with the pros of improv and vice versa.
To my delight, I soon couldn’t tell the difference, not due to inherent skill (although these “newbies” were fantastic), but rather due to the amount of fun that everyone was having. Laughter is rife and smiles are abundant. Not one act exits the stage without thunderous applause.
Sixteen troupes go on, with exciting names such as “Existential Angst,” “Kosher Pizza,” and “IOU.” Some of the more memorable routines involve toilet selfies, Cheerio-obsessed accountants, and even a question and answer segment with a “child of three parents.” This last segment is one of my favorites, due to the fact that everyone, even those too shy to go onstage themselves, is able to participate in.
Overall, I would say that ‘Impropourri’ is a success - it is fun, engaging, and not stressful or anxiety-inducing at all. The people who participate, whether new or used to improv, quickly adjust and their inherent comedy blooms for all to see. And don’t worry - if you’re not the type to perform onstage, you can still participate from your seat.This show is free, but donations are appreciated. So come on out to ‘Impropourri’ - it’s on at Single Carrot Theater, every Thursday 7:30pm to 10:30pm. We’re waiting to see what you can bring to our little show.
To read our last blog post, go to BIG Improv Blog. To go to Impropourri, please look at Impropourri - Eventbrite. To look at Baltimore Improv Group in general, click Baltimore Improv Group. To check out other improv jams in nearby cities, try Washington Improv Theater.
Various BIG members and friends contribute to the blog. Enjoy!