An Evening at the Improv opens Stetson's theatre season

September 27, 2012

An Evening at the Improv, featuring Danny Loecken and Katie Jared, among several other student actors, offers fun and games at Stetson’s ‘Second Stage’ in the Museum of Florida Art. Photo by Ken McCoy.

Stetson University opens its 107th season with an unscripted comedy show featuring a variety of improvised scenes and games. The interactive, improvised show draws on a popular comedy style known as “long form improv” which has been sweeping the nation. The show opens Thursday, Sept. 27, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 30 at Stetson Theatre Arts’ “Second Stage” located inside the Museum of Florida Art, at 600 N. Woodland Blvd. adjacent to campus.

An Evening at the Improv is directed by Kevin Kearney, a guest director for Stetson who has produced award-winning improv comedy in Chicago.

Blending several forms of comedy, this improvised show will be unlike any you have seen in the past. The familiar games, a la Whose Line is it Anyway, in which performers compete against each other to get the biggest laugh, will be taken to new heights. Not just games, but entire scenes are improvised, which means the show doesn’t stop when the buzzer goes off, and the characters can wind up going anywhere. Wacky, zany characters will be given the chance to develop throughout the evening, and can find themselves dropping in on scenes where you would never expect them. The audience has to be on their toes, too; the performers will base their improv on audience suggestions, and participation is a must! Some lucky volunteers will even get to see their own lives dramatized in front of them, through the wild lens of improv comedy. It is certain to be an exciting, fun-filled night – and every performance is different!

“Improvised comedy is always a thrill to watch, but what we’re doing at Stetson is particularly interesting,” said director Kevin Kearney. “The performers aren’t just rattling off punch lines; they are drawing on their formal theatrical training, injecting comedic games with quality acting. The stakes are high, because the show is not limited by the rules of any one game, so the scenes could really go anywhere. The most impressive part of this kind of comedy isn’t the gut busting humor – though that’s certainly there – it’s the ability of the performers to develop themes through their improvisation, elevating the show to the level of a scripted play.”

The ensemble cast of improvisors includes four women and five men: Caitlyn Foster, Katie Jared, Amanda Roy, Emily Stevenson, Danny Loecken, Jacob Manos, Dylan Mullins, Nick Pollitt and Tony Recktenwald. Over 22 years of improv experience are represented between the performers and director.

An Evening at the Improv will be presented Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 27 through 29, at 8 p.m. The final performance will be a matinee on Sunday, September 30, at 3 p.m.

Admission for each performance is $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Stetson students. Stetson students, faculty and staff presenting valid I.D. will be admitted free of charge. Parking is free. Tickets will be available at the door, and can be purchased by either cash or check. Reserved tickets must be picked up 30 minutes prior to the start of each show. For information or reservations, call Stetson Theatre’s “Second Stage” box office at (386) 822-8700. Box office hours are from 3:30 to 5:30 every weekday afternoon from Sept. 17-28, and one hour prior to curtain of each performance.


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