Summertime, in the improv world, is pretty much prime improv and comedy festival season, and some of your favorite Torch groups and performers are getting out into the world.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York has its annual Del Close Marathon and in July, Galapagos* will appear there for its sixth time and Umlautilde* is making its out of town festival debut.
Over Labor Day weekend, the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival will host about a million improv troupes, sketch groups, and stand up comedians in Austin, Texas. Galapagos*, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ*, and LOL Observatory* will be representing #torchphx in the Lone Star State.
Galapagos* is also hitting Improvaganza, the Hawaiian improv festival in Honolulu, this September for the second year in a row.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am fully disclosing that I am in each group or show that has an asterisk next to it.
Hopefully, acknowledging that will make me seem less self-absorbed or self-aggrandizing, and if not, I should note that in the Kurt Vonnegut novel Galapagos, an asterisk next to a character’s name indicated that they would be dead by the end of the book. So, that’s that.
Joking aside (because I was totally pausing for your LOLs) and all that said, getting groups and shows into a festival is a group effort. Also, once we’re there, we do take the responsibility of representing Phoenix improv and the Torch seriously, even as we have fun and shoot to put on great shows.
I think it pays off to be a part of the greater, nation-wide improv community. We not only learn from each other, but we can support our fellow artists off stage as much as we do so on stage.
Just last week, Annie Hoff and Levin O’Connor (of Now? and iO West Harold team, USS Rock N Roll) passed through on their way to Albuquerque performing a show and then later doing a workshop for our students. They were totally fantastic and fun people to boot!
Our friends at The New Movement Theater in Austin (who invaded Phoenix, our theatre, and our hearts last fall) had a student, James, who was moving out to Phoenix for a few months on some secret mission type stuff. He didn’t want to lose his improv touch, though, and asked about what was going on here that he could link up with.
Chris Trew (of Chris and Tami, TNM, Studio 8, and, probably, at some point, NWO) sent James our way. When our new Level I class started, James slipped right in and signed up on the spot! That’s the power of improv!
Our new friend, Megan, asked our Twitter account, @TheTorchTheatre, if there were any shows going on next Saturday. Turns out that she’s another TNMer who’s on a road trip and wants to see what kind of longform improv is going on in Phoenix.
So, again – improv brings people together and, as we often say, improv is the winner!