Alumni & Performer FAQ


What does it mean to be Alumni?

Alumni means you have graduated the Torch Theatre training program. Alumni get a special rate on shows – $5.00 for an entire night of shows.


What does it mean to be a Performer?

A performer is anyone who performs regularly on the Torch schedule. Any performer gets free standby shows on the nights they have performances. If a performer attends on an off night – tickets are regular price.


Can Alumni also be a Performer?



What is a House Performer?

A house performer is someone who is on a Torch certified House Team. These performers get free shows on stand-by whenever they come to The Torch Theatre.


What are the House Teams?

The current Torch certified House Teams are the headlining teams on Trifectas & Revolvers. The list is: Light Rail Pirates, Apollo 12, Galapagos, JaxN Reed, Mail Order Bride and Unicorn Warpath.


I am a performer and/or alumni and love seeing shows – is there an option for me to save money?

We do sell performer/alumni passes that are good for an entire year for the price of $50. These can be purchased at the Box Office and end one year from your purchase date.


I am an alumni and want to perform more – how do I start my group?

Gather some people you like together and find out from your group what the commitment levels are. Discuss your group goals. After you settle on those things, decide a date to get together – we recommend a weekly or bi-monthly schedule. Then you need to find a space where you can meet. It can be someones house – however, should be an area that is open enough to run scenes. In the beginning a lot of time will be spent getting to know each other and should be focused on having fun and finding your shared interest in improv and performance style/structure. You should also focus on doing things together such as miniture golf or seeing a movie, creating shared experiences builds your group chemistry. After which time you should start thinking about getting a coach.


Why would we need a coach?

A coach will be able to strengthen you to a degree that you may not be able to do on your own. They can mediate improv discussion and guide you into directions of a play that you may not be able to find on your own. They will give feedback to the group and to individuals that a group may not be comfortable giving. They will motivate, encourage growth and strengthen skills. Ultimately a coach will help you focus and achieve your goals in a more expedited manner.


How do we find a coach?

There are Torch Theatre instructors and senior performers who have interest in coaching depending on their schedules. You can ask anyone of them to help you – either be your coach or help you find one. If you like any particular performer and think they have insight to give . . . even if they are not currently coaching or ever have, just ask them and see if they are interested. Here is a list of current improvisors available for coaching in our Performer Resource Page.


Do we have to pay for a coach?

Most likely yes, especially some of the active coaches in the community – every coach has a different rate. So that conversation will have to be discussed pretty early so you know what your coach expects from you. If you ask a performer to coach who may be new to the process – often they will donate their time for the experience.


I am just starting to submit my groups, how do I go about such a thing?

You can visit the submission page which is a list of all the shows we have open forms for. The page stays up to date on what submissions are open when. Each event has it’s own list of requirements and rules.


What are the differences between shows?

Cagematch – The best place for your new group to start. Also a great place for random shows and performance you want to try and/or experiment with. These are open submissions and a welcome stage for all performers who feature longform improvisation. It is a competition match – so you play head to head with another team. We even keep a history account. The winners of the match become the Champions and go on to play another week. These submissions open about every two months and are most often on a first come first serve basis. There are a few restictions to submitting – so for your first time, please read thoroughly.

General Torch Submissions – This is to submit your team for the general Torch Theatre schedule on Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights. We encourage newer groups to wait until they have gained some momentum as a group before submitting for the regular stage. Ways to do that include having rehearsals and possibly getting a coach depending on your goals as a group. You can submit for Cagematch, PIP Tournaments & Ghostfest as well as finding opportunities outside the Torch Theatre to prepare yourself for regular shows. For continued groups – factors will go into scheduling, some groups will get predetermined shows every month and other groups will get shows based on availability and other variables. To understand more about that visit the submission page.

Cerberus Cups This is a show that happens every fifth weekend in a month – it is a Phoenix Improv Festival fundraiser – and a competition where three teams of three compete, with three bouts there are 9 teams total. Players often pick people they would enjoy playing with for a one off adventure and it’s a great way to strengthen yourself as a player. This event does include a $33 entry fee as well as a cash prize to the winner.

Ghostfest A non-stop 32 hour improv festival at The Torch Theatre during Halloween time. It is a fantastic opportunity to submit current groups, crazy ideas and one-offs. Ghostfest is open to everyone and everything and submissions open around July/August every summer.

Phoenix Improv FestivalOur annual festival occurs every April and submissions open every September. We hold our festival at The Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix. Submissions for our festival is through The National Improv Network. Which is also an amazing resource as a group and performer to find opportunities to do festivals around the country.

PIP Tournament – The Phoenix Improv Playoffs occurs on Fridays in March. The competition is set up just like March Madness with a sweet sixteen number of improv groups. All groups are encouraged to compete. There are submission rules that apply – for example, you can only perform in two teams, you are not allowed roster changes and if you go head to head with another team – you must choose one. This event requires a $20 troupe entry fee as well as a trophy and cash prize to the winners. The PIMP is also a fundraiser for the Phoenix Improv Festival.


How else can I perform to strengthen myself as an individual?

We have many jam opportunities – as well as various shows throughout that are open to single performers.

Bingo Jam — Every 1st Saturday of the month — 6:30pm to participate, 7:00pm to watch. everybody plays!

Flash Jam — Every 4th Friday at 11:15pm – everybody plays!

Gemini Show — A predetermined one off show of duos to celebrate the twin in June. Every year we hold an open submission process to determine the duos.

Third Wheel — A show in February featuring real improv couples who get a random third wheel performer picked from willing participants.

GGGGhost Jam — The featured jam in Ghostfest – all performers in costume get to play!


I want to keep learning – what are my options?

We often run one shot workshops & advanced electives throughout the year, if you are receiving the news letter or on the facebook group – you will be updated when those things become available. However you can always check in on our Take A Class page. We also allow students to retake classes at a very affordable discount. Retake spots in classes are dependent on room left in class after all first time students are registered, therefore, registration to retake will put you on stand-by.


What if I’ve been performing regularly but have not taken any classes at The Torch Theatre, do I start at Level 1?

The Torch Theatre does require every student to start at Level 1. Although some improvisors have learned elsewhere or have been performing long enough to reach a certain level of education. Our program is designed to not only teach you improv in a progressive way – it also teaches our specific approach to longform. The vocabulary and progressive education from Level 1 on is imperative to your success when reaching the more advanced levels. We definitely want to support your interest in pursuing that formal improv education and can work with you on Level 1 options. Please contact us to let us know that interests you.


What workshops will I be eligible for?

You most likely will apply for equivalent experience for many workshops. That will be dependent on your level of knowledge. Feel free to ask us if there is a prerequisite that you are unsure about in regards to workshops by contacting us.


How can I get involved beyond performing?

You can volunteer at the Torch Theatre for Box Office & Tech. In turn you’ll learn the opening, closing and cleaning procedures. We are always in need for volunteers. We are also always in need for marketing solutions, grant writing and open to suggestions of way to improve. You can always e-mail Jacqueline Arend or use the contact form if you can offer assistance, have solutions, ideas and questions. We also have a suggestion box for comments you wish to offer anonymously.


Torch Theatre performer etiquette:

~ Check-in — Have your entire group arrive at least 15 minutes before the show time (not performance time) to check in with the host/house manager.

~The green room is available for setting your belongings down, storing things in the fridge and hanging out – however, be respectful of other groups and performers use of the room. During shows you must use your bedroom voices, as loud talking, laughter and talking at once can be heard in the Theatre.

~Do not congregate in front of the box office or any doorways such as the front door, the theater, tech or bathroom. In the same vein try not to congest the hallway.

~Lining up (or generally passing through) the hallway while the show is in session — There should be no talking, no whispering or noise making. The sound carries into the theater very easily. Please keep this in mind when opening the back door and entering into the building. Respect your fellows on stage while you are in the hallway and try not to give them any distractions.

~The back door — going in and out to the green room. Please shut the door lightly, slowly and with the handle turned. Avoid slamming and pulling the door shut. In the same regard – try to step over the thresh hold. Stepping on it creates a load bang.

~Warming up — The gate inside the alley leads to the side of the building. Most groups warm up there. Once your group finishes and are the last to leave, please lock the gate behind you. If you go behind the building or out of sight – let the house manager/host know where you’ll be for time cues.

~ Coming off stage — Come off stage and immediately go out back or up front before talking, fight the temptation to talk in the hallway on your way out. It can be a huge distraction for the host.

~ Drinking — KNOW YOUR LIMITS! Over drinking can make you difficult on stage. Respect your group enough to say no to that next drink until after the show.


Performer Resource Page

This is a password protected page – inquire at for the password. It include coach contacts, Torch organization documents & space booking.


If you have additional questions, concerns, need clarification or have suggestions for the Torch Theatre.

Please leave your thoughts in our anonymous suggestion box. It gets delivered to Jacqueline Arend who handles community relations. We are happy to have the feedback and an open forum to express yourself. We are always striving to create a safe environment, continue to grow as an organization and represent the art of improvisation. We welcome your help in doing so. If you’d like a direct response feel free to contact us so we can open some dialogue.


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