Washington Improv Theatre’s “iMusical” has been a long-standing staple to the theatre’s slate of rotating productions. For several years the improvised musical has taken on new formats and wrinkles and the latest includes a trip back in time.
Last weekend I visited The Source on 14th street to see what happens when a group not only has to create comedic material on the fly but also add a little song and dance as well.
The show starts with the selection of the time period, which was done by a random audience member who chose among four mystery cards. In the show I attended the ensemble was sent back… to the future!
After collecting suggestions of futuristic themes and ideas (rocket ships and really small iPods), the ensemble got to work in creating a musical about a two families who become separated from their sons. Because it was in the future it was only appropriate that one family consisted of a brazen space explorer father and a half-human, half-cylon mother.
Things certainly got interesting that night.
Photo courtesy Washington Improv Theatre
In a month where the words “seeds”, “upsets”, and “winners” are tossed around like a Rebecca Black music video, I found myself in room where several players were gearing up for their own big game in another big tournament.
No I’m not talking about the College Basketball Invitational. I’m talking about Washington Improv Theatre’s Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament, otherwise known as FIST.
Starting back on March 10th WIT kicked off their 5th annual tournament where teams of Improvisers face off against each other for the ultimate title. Over the course of 31 days, 47 teams made up of 141 performers will face-off in head-to-head matches as well as several “grand slam” matches where four teams compete.
Each match consists of a 12-minute performance from each team. The improv will be fast and furious and won’t be like what you may know from the days of “Whose Line Is It Anyways”. The rules forbid short games, making teams opt for longer forms of improv.
After the each team performs the audience votes for the winner, who then moves one step closer to the FIST title. While the votes are tallied the audience enjoys a performance from one WIT’s six house troops. It makes for a night of comedy that’s guaranteed to be something you’ve never seen before.