[ you always hope – you never know ]
Beginning on Wednesday November 15th and running until just after midnight Thursday, November 16th – a 28 hour block of time lovingly known IMPROVATHON – HUGE Theater held our annual improv marathon to raise money on Give To The Max Day 2017.
This is a crucial day for HUGE Theater – it is a wonderful event that features not only 28 hours of performances but also an amazing chance to connect with the community as we all spend time in (or passing through) the same space and telling everyone we can collectively reach what this place and this art form mean to us.
Thanks are not enough to convey the love and joy that go into – and come out of – these crazy hours, but I will give it a shot.
Our amazing Iron Audience were in the seats the entire time and there were more than a few surprises along the way – You really did have to be there.
[ the nights are dark – the money’s green ]
Once again we thank Common Roots Catering and Steamship Coffee for all of the caffeinated liquid support they sent our way – there are few things as important to being awake and energetic and upright and on stage for 28 hours as caffeine. Please help us thank them!
[ shut your eyes and shudder at the laughter and the screams ]
The Improvathon is more than a giant love-fest – it’s also a competitive love-fest!
The groups performing and Iron Audience watching are all fundraising to support HUGE and we are excited to announce that the fund-raising-est groups were:
2. SUPER GOOD
3. SQUASH BANANA
The top Iron Audience fundraisers were:
1. SHEA ROBERTS GYLLEN
2. ANONYMOUS (we know who you are)
3. MARY KANE
Thank you to everyone that helped, volunteered, posted, tweeted, watched, ushered, cleaned, brewed more coffee, staffed the box office, took photos, performed and made us weep with joy.
[ hit the lights and shield your eyes ]
If you aren’t familiar already, Give To the Max Day is THE fundraising day of the year for HUGE as it is a focused day of charitable giving across Minnesota made possible by GiveMN. This year GiveMN helped raise more than twenty million dollars for non-profits across our state!
HUGE focuses all our energy and efforts on this day – and this year we aimed even higher with a goal of $75,000 – which we did not hit but I am so proud that we went for – it was less than a decade ago when having a theater for improv was a crazy dream and asking people to give to this cause felt impossible.
But nobody has as much fun doing the impossible as we do.
The numbers are in from our box office and our official GiveMN.org tally is $53,817 – which includes one “Golden Ticket” prize of $1,000 from GiveMN as well as an additional $4,000 for taking 2nd place in the Intermediate division (Gilda’s Club earned the top spot – what an amazing org to be on the leaderboard with!) along with 1107 online donations from ALL FIFTY STATES (and many provinces) as well as the in-person donations brought our GTMD total to…
[ on the fringes of the scene – still getting used to the dream ]
The hard part…
Trying to get this post written is always challenging – it takes many days for our brains to start working and words to start having meaning again – but trying to wrap it up is just impossible. The screen gets all blurry and my keyboard keeps getting all wet.
Strange as it feels to keep moving these words forward, year after year – they are still true, forever and always – so I will keep repeating them:
“This place is important because of the people you will find here.
Some of the most generous, dedicated, wonderful, funny and talented people I have ever met in my life and it is my profound privilege to know.”
I am so proud to be part of this place.
A changing part of an ever-changing place, as I got to (finally) announce that this is my last Improvathon as the President of our Board of Directors – as of January 2018 the gavel is handed to the amazing Adia Morris-Swanger !
I am so proud of the work we do here and the difference it makes in between (as well as during) the times that we have to play together here – as a community that is maturing and growing and learning and sometimes leading the way for others in our art form.
I am so proud that I can serve this place that serves this community – It has been my greatest joy and most humbling experience – and I could not be more grateful for everyone that has been moved to support it.
My thanks will never feel like enough so I lean on the words of others.
“Find the others.
Find the people in the same place as you who want to build the same things.
Ask them what they’re interested in, ask them what they’re making, and ask them if you can help.
Put it together….
…Start talking. Start building it. Make it calmly, and make it complex and inclusive.
Make it real. Make it human. Make it weird and wonderful.
No more circuses. Make Future Everything.” – Warren Ellis
Thank you all – I am luckiest because I get to build this with you.
Executive Director of HUGE Theater and Humble Servant