With our one day traveling show “The U-Ha-Ha”, Baltimore Improv Group takes to the streets in a U-Haul celebrating our full year of free shows
“The U-Ha-Ha”, you ask? It's a traveling improv comedy show. Any performer, staff, and volunteer who sign up can visit select neighborhoods in Baltimore City on Saturday May 11, 2019 from 9a.m. - 9p.m.
We're creating a mobile theater to reach neighborhoods around the city. After renting a large U-Haul with a sign to the side of reading “U-Ha-Ha”, volunteers are converting a truck into a mobile theater. This is a fun way to extend our mission to spread improv throughout Baltimore.
Last year, we presented “Yes You May” where tickets to all of our shows were reduced to exact $0. Free show shave continued all year long! Now we're finding new ways to celebrate a full year of free comedy shows in our Station North theater while also trying to reach new audiences.
Our Artistic Director Jennifer "Jenn" Withers was a Radio City Rockette before she fell in love with improv in New York City. In 2007, she began studying with teachers at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) and The Magnet Theater.
“Yes! You! May! is back again! It feels great to be celebrating the first year of free shows at Baltimore Improv Group.” said Jenn who also performed regularly with a UCB Lloyd team. Now she works to develop our nonprofit mission to bring that comedy experience to Baltimore City.
Our Managing Director Terry Withers also started improvising in 2007. He became a teacher and performer at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and now teaches improv as a faculty member of BIG University and tours the nation with a few different improv shows.
“We'd like to hit neighborhoods far enough from our theater that walking isn't a comfortable option,” said Terry. “For sure we'll visit some neighborhoods that are known for foot traffic like Hampden, but we also want to hit residential areas, the farther from BIG the better, within city confines. ”
Performers will visit Baltimore neighborhoods and perform improv comedy shows inside the truck as a mobile theater! At each location, we'll set up the truck with seats, free water, free soda, and a full staff to create a theater on wheels. Free shows have been insanely popular, but not everyone can make it to Station North.
“Somehow it has become our permanent policy and I love that it has!” said Terry. “The year anniversary is a great time to celebrate free theater in Baltimore!"
Also as part of the “Yes You May” series, The BIG Theater will continue of last May’s “The Polaroid Challenge”. If you're new to BIG, this is an event where performers within the theater canvas the city inviting new guests to see comedy at BIG.
“I'm so excited we've gone a full year since we first offered free shows last May,” said Terry. “At the time we thought we would only have free shows for a month or maybe two.”
Performers, look to invite anyone who has never seen an improv show at BIG. It also totally counts if they havn’t visited the theater in at least one year. Volunteers take a Polaroid picture with guests to display in the lobby. If you bring the most new guests, you'll win a Polaroid camera for keeps.
“This last year of free shows has been awesome, and I feel proud of the work BIG is doing - becoming more of a theater of the people by aiming to make our improv comedy shows as accessible as possible to as many as possible,” said Jennifer. “It is incredibly rewarding.”
“The U-Ha-Ha” is Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout Baltimore. For updated information go to bigimprov.org/uhaha
Behind the scenes of Baltimore Improv Group's workshops, classes, and FREE comedy shows. Learn more about the teachers, students, and staff that create improv comedy magic every day.
Various BIG members and friends contribute to the blog. Enjoy!