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Who is in the chair?

This came to our by way of FairPlay with an ask that we make a statement in response :

“The [ directors ] that HUGE Theater hires for their shows to produce are seemingly missing the intersection in representation. While I applaud the number of non-male identified people they have hired to direct, they are aggressively white, and often will employ a POC female as an Assistant Director. This is not a good look and I don’t feel comfortable informing people of auditions there when there is no POC in leadership roles in the rehearsal rooms. Their diversity leader is looking more and more like a token as far as leadership at HUGE.”

OF NOTE: This came to us at a time when the Assistant Directors (which we certainly view as a leadership role) were still TBD and conversations are still in progress – we made sure to make this note a part of that conversation as well so there was full disclosure and no one would have to wonder if this was a factor

We have been talking to people of color about the director’s chair – Those we have spoken to for Throwback Night have either had schedule conflicts or don’t feel ready themselves.
Those we haven’t spoken to yet may not be on our radar yet as people we know to be interested or perhaps a better fit for another show in the future.

All that means is we are going to keep asking and working – the process isn’t just pushing a boulder up a hill, it’s pushing ten boulders up ten hills and we know we have a lot more to do and none of those boulders has moved as far as we’d like.

We have had some failures where in the rush to diversify, POC improvisors found themselves in less-than-optimal circumstances which is the opposite of the dream. We understand you’d rather we worked faster, so it’s ok if you don’t feel we’ve gotten far enough for you to send people our way, that comfort and trust is what we’re doing a lot of work to earn.

The truth is that you’re right – we’re not there yet.
If we were only doing it for good optics it would be so much easier, but we’re not.
We are hoping you will stick around, because what we are building has a solid foundation, with an eye on sustainability – and we want you to be part of it as well.

To anyone reading: if you feel like you personally have been overlooked for a director’s position at HUGE, please come speak to us, it is a conversation that cannot be had through blog posts

Thank you for calling it out!
Written/Posted by: Butch Roy
on behalf of the leadership team at HUGE

It’s the Annual Happy Hour with the Board of Directors!

Saturday, September 28th, 4:30-6:30pm | Free!

It’s the Annual Happy Hour with the Board of Directors!
Come have a soda or beer, and we will share all the latest news about HUGE and our future plans.

This is one of our favorite traditions and a very important way for us to hear from the people we serve as well as report to them how we are doing. This is a two-way sharing that makes HUGE better.

– Open House from 4:30-5pm – come see the space!

– Meeting from 5-6:30pm – You can come for all of it or just drop in when you can!

If you have questions you’d like the Board of Directors to answer during the Happy Hour, ask them using the link below (anonymously or non-anonymously …nononymously?) and we’ll answer them at the meeting!

https://goo.gl/forms/K6Gffd5AlwTqHOYs1

Board of Directors (Butch Roy, Jill Bernard, Nels Lennes, Robin Gillette, Adia Morris)
photographed by Adam Iverson

Auditions OPEN for Throwback Night 2020

We are excited to announce the auditions for Throwback 2020 running Fridays at 8p in January & February. This season’s forms are Cat’s Cradle, The Living Room and Deconstruction. Directors are Jill Bernard, Rita Boersma and Hannah Wydeven.

Use this form to request an audition for any/all of the following groups:

Cat’s Cradle – Directed by Jill Bernard: Assistant Director – TBD
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 1p-3p, Oct 26th – Dec 28th (no rehearsal Nov 30) and Friday Jan 3rd 6-7p
Deconstruction – Directed by Hannah Wydeven ; Assistant Director – TBD
Rehearsals :: Sundays Oct 20th & 27th, 4-6p and Wednesdays 7-9p, Nov 6th-Jan 1st (no rehearsal Dec 25)
Living Room – Directed by Rita Boersma ; Assistant Director – TBD
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 10a-12p Oct 26th-Dec 28th (no rehearsal Nov 30) and Sunday Dec 15th 1p-3p

AUDITION TIMES will be scheduled:
Saturday 10/5 from 10am-5:30pm
Wednesday 10/9 from 4pm-7pm
Options will be removed as time slots fill

PERFORMANCES
Throwback Night will run Fridays at 8pm in January and February at HUGE Theater

REHEARSALS
We tried to be as consistent as possible but space is limited at HUGE so there are a couple one-off times here and there. Please check to make sure you are able to make the scheduled rehearsal times for the show(s) you would like to audition for – rehearsals will run 8-10 weeks (approximately end October-early Jan with possible holiday breaks), cast are expected to miss no more than 2 rehearsals.

PAY
Each cast member is paid per show night they perform. Here is more information about HUGE’s payout model:
http://www.hugetheater.com/blog/2016/02/28/performer-payment-model/

Please email rita@hugetheater.com if you have any questions

If you cannot view this form, click here:

https://forms.gle/B8UzGHd1SJe9iSZ19

HUGE Show Proposal Form now OPEN!

It’s that tiiiiiime! The Show Proposal form is now open for the month of September. We will be accepting proposals through Sept. 30th, 2019. We schedule the majority of shows 6-8 months out, though we hold a few programming slots open to have greater flexibility to schedule 1-3 months out.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to rita@hugetheater.com. Can’t wait to see what you’re all scheming!

Thanks, as always, for considering HUGE as a potential venue for your show.

If you cannot see the form, please click here:

https://forms.gle/XD5tnebBc7ShyxmZ6

Family Dinner auditions now OPEN!

Family Dinner is holding auditions to add performers to the current cast. CLARIFICATION: Director Molly Ritchie has already cast some people. This would be supplementing that cast.

Please fill out this form to request an audition time for Family Dinner 2019- directed by the show’s creator, Molly Ritchie. Assistant Director: Kim Sigler

Back for its eighth holiday season at HUGE, Family Dinner is improv done in the genre of realism. An unscripted dramatic comedy in two acts about a family gathering for a holiday meal. Act One is the arrival, Act Two takes place at the table while eating REAL FOOD.

Thank you very much for your interest in Family Dinner 2019!

PERFORMANCES
Family Dinner will run Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00PM, Nov 1 – Dec 28 2019 at HUGE Improv Theater. You must be available for at least 6 shows. Scheduling will vary.

AUDITIONS
will be held at HUGE Theater. You will be notified of your scheduled time via email.
Sun. 9/1, 12:00 – 7:00 PM
Wed. 9/4, 4:00 – 7:00 PM

REHEARSALS
will be held at HUGE Theater (3037 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis)
Wednesdays 9/18 – 10/30, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, and
Mondays 10/21 & 10/28, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
You must be able to attend at least 7 of the 9 rehearsals to be considered for casting.

PAY
There is a $50 stipend paid per performance you are scheduled.

If you cannot see the form, please click this link:

https://forms.gle/YwGADUJs5GbYLLks5

Farewell, friend

Ian Welch – Improviser of the Year 2016

So often in this community, I hear people say “I don’t remember how we met” about someone that they find themselves close to – which is a tribute to the openness of the people in it and the trust and acceptance that prevails so often in these spaces. Very often the connections come fast and close without a great deal of effort needed and it’s easy to feel you’ve met people that are now a part of your life, which makes it all the more difficult when our community loses someone like Ian Welch.

I remember seeing Ian’s first show in the Improv A Go Go – it was a solo improvised spooky horror genre piece and Ian was clearly nervous but never backed away from the vision he was going for and never rushed through it – I was struck by how bold it was for a new performer and how patient it was, surely rooted in the style that Ian clearly enjoyed.
It was weird, it was quiet, it was brave and it was different than anything else on stage that night.

It was the experience that stands out when I think about Ian.
Ian was as generous and genuine off stage as he was on stage – always curious and interested in what others were creating and learning from everyone around him – as well as being a thoughtful and adventurous creator who was always willing to share his next idea or recommend a book or just quietly share the space and listen.

He was always eager to learn from artists around him and brought his unique voice to every project, which is why it is no surprise that we’ve heard from so many people that got to perform with Ian, even for a short time or on a few occasions, letting us know what an impact he had on them.

What Ian brought to the stage – or to any room he was in – stirred the people around him
The moments and laughter he was part of were that much better because of him.
His sudden loss leaves a great space and sadness that touches everyone around us.

We will miss you, Ian
Thank you for these beautiful memories you left with us.

– Butch Roy
On behalf of the Board and leadership at HUGE

Important news on the HUGE capital campaign

Important news about the HUGE capital campaign

Well friends, this isn’t the news we hoped to share with you. Unfortunately, HUGE’s planned purchase of 2728 Lyndale (the Art Materials building) cannot move forward. However, this is not the end of our search for a new, permanent home, and we’re in a much stronger place to secure that new home than we were three months ago.

Some background: As we announced previously, one of our anticipated lenders recently backed out of financing our project, which was a substantial setback to our plans. Miraculously, that same day, we were connected with a potential partner organization, to explore the possibility of their purchasing the space on our behalf, with a contractual agreement to sell the building to HUGE after 2-3 years. This would have given us the benefit of the new building and the extra time to complete our fundraising. After deliberation, that partner organization did not feel they could proceed at this time.

Obviously, this is a disappointment. We knew we were swinging for the fences, but that doesn’t lessen the sting. Still, while this is a step backward, it is absolutely not fatal to our long-term plans. HUGE remains committed to moving out of 3037 Lyndale and into our own permanent home as soon as we can. And we’re ahead of where we were in late May in a few very important ways. First, we now have a dedicated building fund of over $160,000 (and growing!), which will help us to act quickly when the right opportunity arises. Second, we’ve learned a great deal. Most significantly for us, though, this campaign activated world-wide love and support for HUGE, encouraging people far and wide to put their feelings about HUGE into words, perhaps for the first time ever. And that momentum will carry us to where we need to go.

We recognize that many of you donated with a specific plan and building in mind. We hope that you will nonetheless stand with us as we adjust course for this next leg of the journey. Your contributions are — if anything — even more vital than ever to the ultimate goal. We want to be crystal clear that we will retain and use all capital campaign donations for that purpose — costs and expenses related to securing and building out a permanent home for HUGE. We have no intention of moving those funds into general operations, or otherwise squandering your amazing efforts.

When we do land in our permanent home, we will honor our $1000+ donors with brick plaques on the wall, commemorating your generous gifts. In the meantime, we intend to put up a printed list of our campaign donors in our current lobby as well as a digital list on our website, so you can be recognized. To all of you giving according to your ability, whether it was $10 or $10,000, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have been a source of constant inspiration throughout this summer’s campaign, and we look forward to delivering on our promise to you: a permanent home for Twin Cities improvisation and its community.

We’re going to take the weekend to recover, then on Monday morning, the process of finding a new home for HUGE will resume with gusto. As always, we’re grateful to have a community that believes that improv is important, and supports our efforts. If there are any questions or concerns we can address, please feel free to contact us at admin@hugetheater.com, and we will respond promptly.

Thank you,

The Board and Leadership Staff of HUGE Improv Theater

Capital campaign rollercoaster

Hey friends! Today we shared some important information about the Giant Leap Capital Campaign in our August HUGEletter.

Some great news . . .

Giant Leap around the world!
This past weekend, 12 improv companies across the United States, from coast to coast — and in the Philippines! — performed shows to benefit and support the Giant Leap capital campaign, turning this into a truly worldwide effort. No word yet on the full impact, but we do know this generated at least one $10K donation from a friend of the Bearded Company LA. So we’re pretty chuffed about that and just wildly grateful to everyone involved.
 
A gigantic match…
Thank you to everyone who participated in Lorinda Chagnon’s $10,000 matching pool. We are thrilled to announce that the $30,000 match checkto those funds has arrived and been deposited to the campaign!
 
A big ol’ milestone…
With the help of the donations above and many others, we have surpassed $160,000, putting us over 25% of the way to our $640,000 goal! 242 people and groups have donated to the campaign, with over 60 giving $1000 or more. You are all so amazing.
 

. . . and some rollercoaster news

In mid-July, we received the disappointing news that one of our lenders — one of the institutions we were depending upon for a loan — was withdrawing its support, based on our level of fundraising to date. This was obviously devastating news for us to receive, and we feared it would mean the end of our attempt to purchase 2728 Lyndale. Truthfully, it still might.However, all is not lost. On the contrary, there is a strong possibility that we could find ourselves in an even better situation than before. We are waiting, with well-founded optimism, on some news that — if it goes the way we hope it will — would allow us to move forward with the occupancy and eventual ownership of 2728 Lyndale… and to do so without having to hit the $640K fundraising mark by September 1.As you can imagine, we are waiting on tenterhooks for the outcome of this news, because frankly, the success of this particular purchase probably depends on it. We’ve been told to expect an answer at the end of August. So in the meantime, we’re in kind of a state of limbo.What isn’t in a state of limbo is our continued need to raise capital funds. Whether we get good news or bad news at the end of August, we are going to move out of 3037 Lyndale and into a permanent home at our earliest opportunity, and in the long run, we will need the funds to do it. So thank you to everyone who has donated… we are in awe of your generosity. Over $160K to date, mostly from individual donors, is a gobsmacking achievement. And we’ve still got a full month in the initial drive. 

If you’ve been holding off donating to see whether the 2728 Lyndale project will move forward, please don’t wait. Your contribution is an opportunity to make a great big difference, no matter what. You’ll be helping us create this space, or you’ll be making an even bigger difference on the next one.

A Note on the Giant Leap Campaign

Hey there all you friends of HUGE!

We’re deep in the heart of our Giant Leap Capital Campaign for the purchase of our new building. Thank you all so much for everything all of you have done and given already.

We’ve gotten some really helpful feedback from some folks that a reason they haven’t donated is that they don’t feel like you can make an impact. That they see a $640,000 capital campaign as the sort of thing that is going to depend on a handful of incredibly rich funders, so why bother.

Please know: we ARE going after those great big donations. And we have substantive reasons to believe this fundraising campaign can and will succeed. But we also need our community to step up as much as it can. It makes a very real difference. We’re not a conventional theater organization, and we can’t attack this campaign in a conventional way. We have already raised over $135K in individual donations and pledges alone, and we think with your help we could double that by September.

Our ask of you is $1000. We know that isn’t a small number. Honestly, it is a big number for all of us too. We’ve already seen some really creative and heroic approaches to meeting that target. People are hosting events and shows. People have approached their families, employers, improv teams, and social groups. We’ve also seen thousands of dollars of small donations, via cash, text, or website. Each donation may be a drop in the bucket, but as anyone with a leak can tell you, DROPS FILL BUCKETS. So if $1000 isn’t a number you (or you and your friends) can swing, please swing whatever number you can. It all matters.

The other thing we’ve heard is concern about what happens to the campaign funds, if the purchase of the Arts Materials building falls through. If for any reason that should heartbreakingly occur, it won’t be the end, but a beginning of a longer journey. We will continue seeking out a space where we can make a permanent home, and the funds raised will continue to support that effort, purchase, and build-out. If you’d like to donate, but your donation is contingent on the success of this particular project, please let us know. We want to honor our ethical obligations, with regards to the use of your donations.

Right now, there is another matching opportunity to help people’s donations go further. HUGE’s Board of Directors is putting up matching funds for up to $5000 in donations. To contribute to meeting that match, give at the link below.

https://www.givemn.org/story/0vn8ef

Thank you all for EVERYTHING you are doing to help make HUGE — and this campaign — a success. We are awed by the community we get to serve.

Love, HUGE

AUDITION NOTICE: Creature Feature & Ka-Baam!!

We are holding JOINT audition times for two shows coming to HUGE this Fall: Creature Feature and Ka-Baam!

YES – you may absolutely audition for both of the shows listed!

We will collect responses and send audition schedules as quickly as possible – rehearsal and performance schedules are listed below
Signups will close June 2nd, or when time slots are full.

Creature Feature
directors: Anna Tobin & Brian Hodge-Rice

KaBaam!! the improvised comic book:  
director: Doug Neithercott
assistant director: TBA


The Details

Saturday 6/8 – 3pm-7pm
Tuesday 6/11 – 5:30pm-10pm

Callbacks for Ka-Baam!! will be held Saturday 6/15, 3-6p if needed to see more of your skills.
Callbacks for Creature Feature will be held Tuesday 6/18, 5:30-10pm if needed to see more of your skills.

PERFORMANCES
Creature Feature – Sept/Oct on Fridays at 8pm
KaBaam!! – Sept/Oct on Saturdays at 8pm

REHEARSALS
Please check to make sure you are able to make the scheduled rehearsal times for the show(s) you would like to audition for – rehearsals will run 8-10 weeks, cast are expected to miss no more than 2 rehearsals.

Creature Feature – Wednesdays 6pm-8pm, July 10 – Sep 4

Ka-Baam!! – Tu 7/16, 8p-10p
Tu 7/23, 8-10p
Sun 7/28, 11a-2p
Sun 8/4, 11a-2p
Tu 8/6, 8p-10p
Sun 8/11, 11a-2p
Tu 8/20, 8p-10p
Tu 8/27, 8p-10p
Tu 9/3, 8p-10p


CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR AUDITIONS

If you have any questions about auditions or casting – please email Rita@hugetheater.com