Answering Anonymous Question: Age in Improv

We received an anonymous message via our contact form:

“The local improv community has taken some amazing steps recently to address issues around gender and racial inequality. I recently noticed the TCIF form has demographic questions, and think this is a very good thing. I wonder if as a community we could yes and this momentum for another protected class often forgotten in improv – age. Thanks in part to the great work that has been done, I’d be willing to wager that that women and people of color would currently find the community more welcoming than those in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Many groups are now excited to involve more women and people of color. Few are even considering the fifty-something-year-old.

Sexual orientation also seems be be currently not getting the heat, but I can’t speak to that from experience. How can we keep this momentum going to make this a better place for all and not just those currently holding the megaphone?”

Improv has been populated by those who have the easiest access – young, healthy people without other obligations tugging on their time and money, who are familiar with improv and for whom transportation and late nights performing, practicing and hanging out are no problem.

Much credit must be given to the Brave New Workshop’s 55+ program, which has introduced so people to improv in their fifties, sixties, and seventies, and spawned great improv groups like Track Lighting, who are finishing a run of shows at HUGE Wednesdays. But there’s no reason that older improvisors need to be sequestered on to age-specific improv teams. We should all get to play together!

This project needs a hero, a version of Fair Play or the Tiny Funny Women Fest or Blackout or Lavender Panic; or John Gebretatose and Alsa Bruno who founded the Black and Funny Fest, to raise the topic and start the movement. When that hero arises, HUGE Theater will support them with all of our strength and resources. Thank you for putting out the call.