A brief history of the Throwback forms for 2018

Improv is, by definition, unscripted. The mechanics, devices and aesthetic that help a performance hang together are called the “form”. Every year we celebrate some classic forms from the 80s and 90s as part of our Throwback Night, Fridays at 8pm in January and February.

This year features Close Quarters, the Armando, and the Harold.

Close Quarters debuted at Second City ETC in 1997. Formed by Peter Gwinn and directed by Noah Gregoropoulos. It explores scenes with heightened characters that exist more or less simultaneously in adjacent spaces.

The Armando form grew out of an ImprovOlympic Chicago show that started in 1995. Created by Adam McKay and Dave Koechner and directed by the legendary director/teacher Del Close, the form involves scenes inspired by a monologist, originally improvisor Armando Diaz himself.

The Harold is the original long form, created by The Committee in San Francisco in the 1960s and honed at iO Theater in Chicago in the 1980s as a collaboration between Del Close and Charna Halpern. It weaves together three threads into a single piece.

If you would like to nerd out further, The Improv Resource Wiki has extensive descriptions of many forms here: https://wiki.improvresourcecenter.com/index.php?title=Category:Improv_Forms