We interrupt your mid-October to bring you a late-breaking improv report. This November 3rd, Superlative Theater is collaborating with Suffern’s Rhino Comedy in the upcoming Fall Brawl! At stake are bragging rights until the next brawl.

The first round starts at 6 PM, in which the improv teams compete for audience votes. At 7:30 there’s a break for dinner and drinks at nearby Olé Olé. Then the improv resumes at 8:30 for the final round! 

Who will be crowned winner? Can you actually win at improv? Where is Suffern? All of these questions and more will answered at the next Fall Brawl!

You can get tickets at the door or ahead of time at the Rhino website. A steal at only $5! And while you’re there, check out all of the other great programming Rhino has to offer. Rhino Comedy is located at 96 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, NY.

We Had a Great Jam!

Last week, Superlative hosted its first open jam. About twenty-five people showed up, fourteen of them played, and everyone had a good time. Many thanks to Division Street Grill in Peekskill who opened their space and their bar to us that night.

The format we followed was simple: Every single person who signed up was guaranteed to be in a two-person scene. I believe two-person scenes are like the atom of improv; it’s the simplest unit and everything can be built up from it. Being so simple, anyone can play a two-person scene. Plus, it has the added bonus of giving a definite, assured spotlight to a participant, something that they might not get in a large group performance. Each scene was given a basic input, the suggestion of an occupation, a place, or a relationship—easy things anyone can key into.

We are, of course, a theater dedicated to all kinds of improv, and the includes long form. Players were split into two instant teams and created a montage of scenes based off of a single word. I enjoy using an ask-for like “What is a word that is beautiful to you,” or “a word that makes you feel smart,” because those questions often generate evocative multi-syllabic responses. For the long form, we made sure to explain how to indicate the end of scenes with a “sweep edit:” a semi-circle path jogged in front of the scene. 

Prior to the improvisations, we explained that the Superlative is a safe and supportive zone. That means we respect people’s bodies and boundaries and we avoid “touching the bikini area.” That is, perhaps, a G-rated way of saying something important, but it is clear and it works.

The evening was rounded out by a game of Improv Freeze Tag. This is just a fun way to end an improv show, because the game lends itself to fast and funny moments. Finding a great joke to end the game on is a surefire way to end the show on a high note, leaving everyone in a good mood!

We’ll be holding another jam in late October, and I hope to see you there!

The Questions Question

The Questions Question

Probably every mid-level group I have coached or taught asks, at some point, the same question.

“Can you ask questions?”

It’s a handy piece of advice, not asking questions, and it seems like it can serve a beginner well. But after a few classes, like many improv notes, the young student raises an internal objection. The teacher hasn’t done a good job of explaining why questions are so bad; they’ve only said not to do it. 

Classes, Coaching, and More!

Classes, Coaching, and More!

For many people, improv classes are great way to overcome stage fright or combat shyness. For actors, improv can enliven their performance in ways they never thought possible! And for some of us, like me, pure improv itself is a wonderful art form capable of producing truly surprising theatrical moments. Whatever your reason for learning improv is, you'll find quality training here at Superlative.