I have been chewing on this for a week or so, trying to get to the bottom of it so I can reply to the person that sent it, but that doesn’t seem possible since it was posted anonymously – but talking about it has brought up some interesting points that I wanted to get down here.
I am going to leave the comments open so people can discuss if they want – I’ve been shutting them off because of the ridiculous number of spam bots we get comments from that I have to spend my time screening out. We’ll give it another try with this because I think it is important that we get feedback on it, not just from other improvisers but from the public as well.
Ok. Here we go.
We got feedback from Groupon customers, one person in particular posted several, all of which were in the same vein, but the final one says:
“This theater is NOT an improv theater. everything is scripted. I was very disappointed. Maybe they should change their name to the Huge Scripted-Improv Theater”
Now, before I go any further I want to make it absolutely clear that this person is incorrect. Could not be any more wrong. EVERYTHING at HUGE is improvised. Absolutely nothing is scripted. Everything else is 100% improvised, 100% of the time.
But this person went on and ON about it. Even made some suggestions along with their wild accusations and suggestion that we change our name. I want to address the important pieces.
“not really improv”
Now we get comments all the time from people that some of the shows MUST be planned beforehand or someone will stop us on the way out and say “Ok, c’mon – how much of that did you guys really make up?” and that’s something we should be really proud of and it’s part of what makes improvised theater so fun and amazing – that you can do something on stage that is fun and unique and totally playful but still come together as a cast and really listen to one another and improvise a show that people can’t imagine being able to do without planning in advance.
That means we are doing great work and I’m very proud when I am asked those questions – some people ask and still leave convinced that we are faking it, no matter what we say. They will never believe us. There is no proof that would be enough. They have forgotten how to play and would rather spend their energy trying to get us to admit that everyone else has too than just sit back and enjoy it.
“could have been scripted”
They also went on to suggest that we do shorter “skits” instead of longer sets, because the longer scenes could have been scripted and we should do shorter scenes that keep coming back and using the suggestion to “prove” that it’s being improvised.
We exist to further unscripted and improvised theater, to help explore all the amazing things it can do and shapes it can take. We will not cripple that effort and limit where we can go just because you have no idea what is possible.
Plus – we can never PROVE we are improvising.
We always COULD BE pretending to improvise and play when instead we have really written a new and different show for every night, rehearsed it and are spending our time reciting it instead of really being in the moment on stage enjoying something magical and surprising. Sure, we COULD do that – be we aren’t stupid.
And if you think that sounds easier and more plausible than the fact that people can get on stage and pretend together and create something amazing – you are so painfully wrong and I feel bad for you. Your world sounds like a boring place and we are not going to spend one second letting your lack of imagination distract us from all the awesome things that are possible.
Any suggestion that we should spend any time trying to prove that we are improvising is soundly rejected.
We are improvising. You just have to trust us or not, but I suggest you decide if you trust us before you give us your money.
We are not here to prove it.
We are here to do it.