The Weekly Format: Improv Incognito

NAME: Improv Incognito
I have come to believe that a show should be a complete experience from the moment someone enters the theater to the moment they leave. When I was in theatre school, the plays I loved the most were the kind that allowed us to improvise in character with the audience before the show began. Sometimes, the play would start when the performers would rise from seats scattered throughout the audience. It would feel as if the play appeared from within the audience itself. It is an amazingly inclusive experience.
THE BREAKDOWN: As the patrons filter in to see the show for the evening, informally walking around and finding their seats or getting drinks, the improvisers are hanging out within them as if they are simply other patrons. The improvisers walk around and talk to audience members, getting to know a few of them. When the show is ready to start, the improvisers rise from seats within the audience and take the stage. From the stories and information gathered through their conversations with the audience, they create the show.
NOTES: For ultimate awesome effect, the improvisers don’t share the stories with each other before they take the stage together. Each performer has his/her set of stories from which to build premises. The fun lies in threading the premises together. Also, select audience members will have the private joy of the show arising from their stories without anyone else knowing it was their stories, which I think will add an extra element of excited energy to the room.