Butch is going to write another blog entry, but he hasn’t yet, so I thought I’d write a pre-blog entry. I just invented that, it’s an new thing. The essence is this: HUGE Improv Theater is your theater. It belongs to you. If we wanted it to belong to us, we would’ve founded a for-profit theater and called it “Butch Roy’s Improvatorium.” We did not do that. We opened your theater and called it HUGE so that you’d know it was a big deal.
The Improv A Go Go Schedule :: September – December
You may have noticed that the great people at the Minnesota Fringe Festival have taken over HUGE Theater! The festival lasts until next Sunday and is a stuff-yourself-silly buffet of the best theater you’ll see all year.
They asked Butch to write a guest blog about how to view and review improv, it’s really pretty handy, check it out:
Hey folks – WE DID IT!
Thanks to the donations to the Virtual Rent Party to the tune of $1800, the incredible contributions on Friday in response to the Pay What You Can shows to the amount of $2400 and an evening of drinking, dancing and donating – and the $1000 bonus pledged by our landlord – HUGE Theater made the rent.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot say it enough. Thank you.
Many of the donations came from the very people we hope to be able to pay for performing on our stage, people that have already put in countless hours producing shows and helping promote HUGE every day – while it weighs on me a bit to know that we are taking funding from people we should be giving it to, we are in no position to turn away any help we can get.
Been meaning to sit down and blog for a while now but I’ve been a bit conflicted about it – on one hand I want very much to be really transparent and up front about how things are going on the business end of things but at the same time, I feel like part of my job is saying “hell yes we can do this” and posting bleak financials isn’t really the way to rally everyone’s spirits so I tend to stress out about this myself and focus on the fact that things around HUGE have been kicking ass in pretty much every other area besides money.
The shows have been great, the bar is open, Saturday nights have been full houses and generally the word seems to be getting around. When people ask how things are going at HUGE I tell them the shows are kicking ass – which may have accidentally given people the impression that the hard part is over and it’s time to relax.
That may sound like a joke but it’s actually been a common problem at HUGE – I’ve had people come in and see that we use an iPad as our cash register and comment that we must be doing pretty great, when in fact we are incredibly lucky to have gotten the donations of technology and equipment that allow us to run the place.
Two big things this week, so it seems to be time for another blog ::
The bar is open!
Last night, HUGE served the first drinks from our newly-approved bar area. It has been a long, tedious, expensive and frustrating process that often felt like it was going nowhere – insert joke about it driving us to drink, har har.
Everyone kept reminding us how much it was going to help HUGE in terms of revenue but it was easy to miss the other really important reason to do it – the theater feels more like a place to spend time with friends. Strange as that sounds, it’s totally true. At the end of the shows the building would be dark and quiet and we would often find ourselves trying to decide on a place to go hang out that wasn’t too crowded to sit, too loud to talk or basically just enough of a pain to get in the way of hanging out together.
Here is the weird HUGE schedule for the next couple weeks as we prep for the improv festival and get the bar area built (and a couple other surprises) – we will be working furiously to get everything ready in a few short days but there are still a couple dates to get your improv fix ::
Monday – June 13th, 8pm – Show X
Tpt is shooting a segment on HUGE Theater and we would love to have everyone there to enjoy the show and be part of the taping. Hopefully the TpT camera crew can get in a turf war with another crew shooting nearby…Tickets are 2 for 1.
Tuesday – June 14th – Dark :: No Fight Club
Wednesday – June 15th – Dark :: No Drop-in class, No show
Thursday – June 16th – Dark :: No Show
Friday – June 17th – Dark :: No Show
Saturday – June 18th – Dark :: No Show
Sunday – June 19th, 8pm – Improv A Go Go
Monday – June 20th, 8pm – Show X – with special guest!
Tuesday – June 21st – Dark :: No Fight Club
Wednesday – June 22nd – Improv Mixer – No Show
Thursday – June 23rd – Twin Cities Improv Festival begins!
HUGE updates ::
After being open for a few months, someone apparently realized we had yet to undergo a couple of important inspections and sent the appropriate people our way with clipboards in hand.
Thankfully, we are not in trouble or at odds with the city over anything. They are doing their due diligence and we are making (mostly small) changes to comply with their requests.
Beer and wine –
This is the one everyone asks about, and the one that we never seem to make any progress on regardless of how many steps in the process we go through. Luckily we are coming to the end of the whole thing with a vote at the City Council meeting on the 27th of May.
Should they vote to approve, everything then goes to the Mayor’s office the next day and a whole new cycle of paperwork kicks in while we get approval to order from vendors and have to (very quickly) acquire the permitted coolers and electrical mods to store/serve the beer in question.
All told, the soonest we can sell would be June 5th – thanks to some weird rule about the license not taking effect until the following Saturday. I was hoping we would be raising a toast at the IAGG Anniversary Show but we should be all set for TCIF!
If you live in the area it would be great if you could call your city councilperson and tell them you would like to have a beer at your favorite new improv theater, to better enjoy “the arts”
Something new every day – that has been the mantra at HUGE during the daylight hours. We don’t mess around.
I do actually try to get something new done or added to the theater every working day I have there, big or small, partly as a way to keep myself from getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of things there still are to do. Sometimes it’s as small as a fishbowl full of cell phones, sometimes it’s new software on the tech booth computers to make running shows easier. This week we made the “last” big addition to the theater by expanding into the backstage area.
(We need to work on our check-receiving faces.)
Thanks, you guys. I said earlier that people might’ve felt bad about making me spend my own money, but the truth is, it is worth well more than $5000 to me to know people want HUGE Theater to succeed. There are many of you, and you’re from everywhere and all walks of life. It’s incredibly gratifying. My heart is warmed. I cried, I laughed, I did a little dance.