The Weekly Format: Flipping the Script

NAME: Flipping the Script
HISTORY: Improv is an art form with a strong relationship with sketch comedy. At Second City in Chicago sketches are written out of improvised scenes in rehearsals. One of Second City’s most traditionally popular shows was a weekly sketch/improv show that started with sketches and moved to straight improvisation. The following week, the sketch show would be based off of the improv set that happened the week previously. Thus, a fair amount of sketch comedy feeds off of improv for ideas and premises.
THE BREAKDOWN: In a theater with projection capabilities, a video sketch is chosen and played for the audience. When the video is over, the lights come up on stage and the improvisers do a show using information gained from the sketch.
Multiple videos can be used if the team is finding that they don’t mine enough information from one. If the team is concerned with proving that they are improvising, a series of videos can be nominated and the audience can select one through some sort of devised system. This form is also an opportunity for groups to cross-promote one another, throwing a night where teams perform shows based on each other’s sketches.