A Sad Farewell to Samantha Pereira

Many of you may have heard by now, the Minneapolis improv community has suffered a great loss. Samantha Pereira, performer, director, teacher, and friend, was in a car accident on Thursday December 10 and passed away. We are having trouble finding the words to express our sorrow, and send our deepest sympathy to her family and friends. We only hope all who knew and loved Samantha can find solace in the knowledge that in her time cut short on the planet Samantha made a great difference. As a teacher at Stevie Ray’s and then later at HUGE Theater, it is not an exaggeration to say she changed her students’ lives. “Samantha believed in me before I believed in myself,” is a common refrain. Many of her students found courage just by seeing themselves through her eyes.

We will miss her forever. She was a bright spirit and a warm soul, with talent and generosity shining from every pore. The HUGE Theater education program owes her so much. She could always be relied on to teach as many students as we would give her, and was ready to share her heart with every new class. As any beginning improv student can tell you, there is nothing more terrifying than making a fool of yourself at an improv class. Samantha had a gift for letting you know it was going to be more than alright. It was going to be great, and you’re exactly where you belong. Samantha brought talent,energy, expertise, compassion, giggles, and love to HUGE, and made Sunday morning a golden time.

We love you, Samantha. Goodbye beautiful friend.

A few links:
For details on mass and visitation, go here.
If you would like to donate to HUGE in her name, the best spot is here.
To watch a Menudo video in Samantha’s honor, click here.

A lovely testimonial about HUGE classes

One of our students,  Edmund Bruyere, had the loveliest words to say about HUGE, we thought we’d share them with you: 

What does Minneapolis’ Huge Improv Theater mean to restoring the health of Disabled American Veterans? I know from personal experience that the creative art of improvisation that Huge provided through a monetary scholarship rekindled the air of social competence that was buried deep within my psyche and hidden by major depression. My mental health status prior to joining my group, The Jazz Hands, is associated with service-connected chronic osteoarthritis. Over the course of ten weeks the kind natured non-profit’s generosity, led by actress and comedian, Jill Bernard, reminded me how important it was to socialize, participate in fun activities, and be a human unrestrained by a condition that is now 90% disabling.

It is important that I highlight Huge’s role in restoring the health of a disabled American Veteran because many of our sisters and brothers are, or have returned, from the heavy burden of combat without knowing that they have a support system ready to nurture their mind, body and spirits as close as possible to the state they were prior to being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Huge’s curriculum reinforces the vital nature of acceptance and comradery. The physical venue, one which is still in dire need of upgrades, is prepared to accept the stage presence of veterans who may be wheel chair bound. But the magnitude of the role of improvisation to healing the unseen wounds and scars of combat is a task that will prove to be invaluable.

Our brothers and sisters need the support from community organizations like the Huge Improv Theater to become empowered to overcome many of the symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Current levels of symptomatology reflect war traumas which left untreated will have devastating effects personally and communally. Acting through improvisation will help veterans modulate deleterious unrecognized emotions such as major depression and anger. Once reconnected within a community of caring, such as that found within Huge, expression of emotions over time will spark a joyful psychological cohesion again. Interactions with peers and other caring adults will facilitate regaining the self-efficacy needed to take control of life again. I want to thank the leadership at the Huge Improv Theater for extending their caring hands and providing a platform for nurturing my mental health and social competence. I encourage other veterans to reach out to Jill Bernard and her staff for support.




All those little molecules add up to something beautiful

We’re thrilled to have received $10,000 in general operating support from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC). This is exciting not only because it provides much-needed funds to HUGE, but because it reflects the value Minnesota taxpayers place on the arts.

MRAC has been an important source of support for HUGE as we’ve been grown over the last five years. It is an amazing resource as a whole, and is staffed by wonderful individuals.

If you can, reach out to your state elected officials and thank them for making sure small arts organizations like HUGE receive Legacy funds via the Regional Arts Councils. (You can look up the names and addresses of your Senator and Representative here: )

Also, thanks to the improv community that supports HUGE in countless ways. Your support — of time, talent, and financial contributions — is what convinces a grant panel to approve HUGE’s requests for funding. Your support says much more than words can. And, as usual, it’s hard to find words to fully express our gratitude.

Thanks to all – we are proud to say:

This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund” !!!

Neutrino Video Project Cast(s) Announced

We are happy to announce the casts for the Neutrino Video Project – opening in March 2016 – along with some Neutrino news:  Due to overwhelming number of fantastic auditions and more extensive production process, we made the decision to cast not one, but TWO Neutrinos and double the scheduled run of the show into June of 2016 – To that end, we’re creating two casts!

Thank you to everyone that came out to audition – for your time and talent but also your patience while we had some big decisions and changes to make.

Neutrino Video Project 2016 cast:

Anna Tobin
Beth Gibbs
Breanna Cecile
Bryce Kalal
Christian Unser
Colin Anderson
Dan Jaquette
Dave Christians
Denzel Belin
Elliot Stevenson
Erin Sheppard
Hannah Wydeven
Jake Scott
James Moore
Jane White
Jeff Gyllen
Jen Scott
Jen Van Kaam
Joe Rapp
Katie Vannelli
Lauren Schwein
Lizzie Gardner
LJ Johnson
Lupe Muraszewski
Matt Houchin
Michael Ritchie
Mike Fotis
Mike Trost
MJ Marsh
Molly Chase
Phillip Simondet
Rita Boersma
Sean Dillon
Sid Oxborough
Sophie Brossard
Susannah Eckberg
Tim Hellendrung
Will Roberts

I can hear your laughter – it stays with me after all this time.

GTMD15 has now ended and we are left with so many thanks to give…

Once again, HUGE Theater held the 28 hour improv marathon (or Improvathon) to raise money on Give To The Max Day to support the ongoing growth and operations of the theater.  The people pictured above stayed and watched 24 hours (or more) of shows while also fundraising for our theater – and once again we were stunned, delighted and humbled by the incredible generosity of the community we serve.
Everyone here is still more than a little weepy with joy, for good reason.
I have even more reasons, as there have been some surprises since we all staggered home.

But first… THANK YOU to Common Roots and Steamship Cafe for providing coffee that fueled the insanity that fuels the theater. 


…and so much support that no amount of thanks will ever feel like enough.


Give To the Max Day is THE fundraising day of the year for HUGE Theater – we made the decision to give our supporters, students, members and audiences a break from constant fundraising in hopes that the experience coming to HUGE would never be impaired or interrupted by asking for money.

Instead we focus our efforts on our biggest event of the year – this is the day we reach out to members, friends, families, co-workers, audiences and everyone else we could reach – and what happens when we come to this community for support is always something to behold.

Last year we were shocked to find out we had reached our fundraising goal of $25,000 by the time Give to the Max Day began and went on to raise $44,965 in one day!  This year we asked everyone to do it again by setting our fundraising goal at $50,000.

The number are in from our box office and our official tally is $39,775.21  which brought our grand total with all online donations and door proceeds to:


We received 690 gifts online from over 500 donors all over the world – This is astonishing, humbling and cause for much celebration – BUT WAIT!!! – In a perfect moment of drama, HUGE won the final Golden Ticket from moments after the total raised was announced in the theater!


Early this morning I was informed via email that the Machov Family Foundation has generously donated the remaining balance – which means that HUGE THEATER HAS REACHED OUR GTMD15 GOAL OF FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!

The Winners

We are also thrilled to announce that our top Iron Audience fundraiser was Alex Carlson!

Top five fundraising performing groups:

1st place:  Squash Banana!

2nd place :  Horseface

3rd place:  We Have Cats

4th place:  The Farther Away Team

5th place:  Ladyfriend!


In closing, another heartfelt thanks to EVERY single person who participated in this achievement – staff, photographers, techs, donors, cleaning volunteers, runners of errands, and ALL the performers – Thank you so much!  Somehow we will find a way to say it (and type it) enough. You’re all so amazing and you are exactly what makes this place so incredible.

Seeing all our friends on stage or in the green room or in the hallways, behind the desk in the middle of the night, getting coffee in the afternoon, changing garbages or sleeping on the couch in the lobby – that is absolutely the best.

Not being able to go two minutes without seeing someone ask a performer or volunteer or audience member what they could do to help and just taking care of one another throughout all the hours of laughing, playing, cleaning, performing and hustle – that is what this is all about.

Nobody ever says they love HUGE or that HUGE is important because of the stage, the seats, the lights or the other parts of the building – they love this place and it 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 grateful you are all part of this place.

The place is closest to being the place we dreamed of when it is filled with all of you.

Thank you all.

Butch Roy

– Executive Director of HUGE Theater and Humble Servant

Throwback Night 2016 Casts Announced

We are happy to announce the casts for Throwback Night – opening in January 2016 – but first, we would like to thank everyone that auditioned to be part of the show.

Thank you to everyone that came out – there were so many funny, talented, deserving people that it makes the task of creating a top-shelf, rockstar cast much much easier, but the task of creating a small cast WAY more difficult.

Without any further delay:

La Ronde – Directed by Joe Bozic

Adam Iverson
Adam Litz
Andrea Ravich
Brian Santa Maria
Denzel Belin
Gubby Kubik
LJ Johnson
Phillip Simondet
Sophie Brossard
Susannah Eckberg
Wells Farnham

Deconstruction – Directed by Mike Fotis

Aime Durenberger
Anna Tobin
Christian Unser
Christopher Harrington
Elizabeth Council
Emily Townswick
Erik Nielsen
Joe McGowan
Mary Kane
Matt Prindle
Phillip Schramm

Close Quarters – Directed by Drew Kersten

Amanda Underwood
Aurora Sandelands
Brian Rice
Elliot Stevenson
Emily Lindholm
Janelle Blasdel
Jay Kistler
Leah Isaacson
Matt Thorseon
Sarah Arnold
Spencer Retelle


Neutrino Audition Schedule

Thanks to everyone that signed up for auditions and waited patiently for the schedule – we were able to give most everyone their first choice of times – please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your time and warming up with your group beforehand.

October 10th :  10am-11am

Group 1 :  Sophie Brossard, Sean Dillon, Lauren Schwein, Erin Sheppard

Group 2 : Jen Scott, Jane White, Joe Rapp, Amy Zajack, MJ Marsh

Group 3 : Nathan Rouse, Hannah Wydeven, Nick Decker, Cicely Laing

October 10th :  11am-Noon

Group 1 :  Mike Fotis, Will Roberts, Michael Larson, Mike Trost

Group 2 : Joe Blum, Beth Gibbs, Jake Scott, Colin Anderson, Katie Moen

October 10th :  1pm-2pm

Group 1 :  Alex Carlson, Kathryn Vannelli, Sid Oxborough, LJ Johnson

Group 2 : Mike Krefting, Daniel Jacquette, Jen Van Kaam, Eric Heiberg

October 10th :  2pm-3pm

Group 1 :  Carolyn Blomberg, Mark Jelinek, Rita Boersma, Katie Moen

October 10th :  3pm-4pm

Group 1 :  Liv Augusta, Molly Chase, Dave Christians, Seniz Lennes

October 10th :  4pm-5pm

Group 1 :  , Bryce Kalal, James Satter, David Lipkin, Phil Schramm, Christian Unser

October 15th :  7pm-8pm

Group 1 :  Cody Nelson, Jeff Gyllen, Phillip Simondet, Kristen Pichette

Group 2 : Breanna Cecile, Lizzie Gardner, Elliot Stevenson, Susannah Eckberg

Group 3 : Jessica Ostendorf, Anna Tobin,Denzel Belin, Spencer Retelle

October 15th :  8pm-9pm

Group 1 : John Gershberg, Kevin Albertson,  Deborah Dopp


If you have any problems, questions or concerns – please email butch at hugetheater dot com





Improvathon 2015 Announcement and FAQs

Improvisers at HUGE Improv Theater are taking the stage — and not giving it back for 28 hours — to raise money for the the non-profit artist-led improvisational theater. It’s a one-of-a-kind fundraising barnstorm that coincides with Give to the Max Day, November 12, an annual event when Minnesotans display their generosity by celebrating and donating to local nonprofits through

The Improvathon gets underway on Wednesday night, November 11, starting at 8PM, leading up to the official Give to the Max Day start at midnight on Thursday, November 12. A succession of more than 125 local improvisers will lead audiences through 28 hours of spontaneous, unrehearsed, improvised theater. The program will end at midnight Nov. 12.

The goal of HUGE’s 28-hour Improvathon is to raise funds for the LynLake-area theater and support improvisational theater in the Twin Cities. In addition to producing 500+ shows a year, HUGE teaches 400+ students annually, and supports the education and career development of performing artists.

Admission is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested minimum donation of $10. HUGE is located at 3037 Lyndale Ave. South near Lake and Lyndale in Minneapolis.


Anyone interested in performing and/or being an Iron Audience contender is encouraged to come to the Improvathon Kick-Off meeting on Sunday, October 11, at 4PM at HUGE Improv Theater.



What is Improvathon?
Improvathon is a 28-hour improv marathon fundraiser benefiting HUGE Improv Theater. It is timed to coincide with’s Give to the Max Day, an annual statewide day of giving, on Thursday, November 12, 2015.

What is the schedule?
Starts: Wednesday, November 11 at 8:00PM
Ends: Thursday, November 12 at 11:59PM

So that’s it? 28-hours of improv and fundraising?
Basically! But it ends up being much more. It is a chance for the larger community – students, performers and audience — to get together. In years past, the Improvathon has been the impetus for brand new groups to form. It is also an important opportunity for many students and performers to get on stage and show their friends and family – inside and outside the Twin Cities — why improv and HUGE are important to them.

Also, there are amazing people who sign up to be Iron Audience contenders and watch 24-hours of improv. These intrepid souls form the backbone of the audience, especially at 3:30 in the morning, and support performers.

Why does HUGE schedule this to coincide with’s Give to the Max Day?
Give to the Max Day (GTMD) is an important arts and nonprofit awareness tool that makes a big impact statewide. By participating in GTMD, we are part of a much larger event, and are supporting fellow Minnesota nonprofits.

In addition, HUGE will be eligible to win $1,000 – $10,000 extra dollars based on incentives from GiveMN.

What are some easy ways I can participate?

Come watch some shows – Bonus points if you make a donation to HUGE via at home and then bring a printout to HUGE.

Be an Iron Audience Contender – If you are comfortable with staying up for 24-hours (midnight to midnight), this could be a great option. If not, just come out and watch some shows! A lot of us will be there, and it will be fun. (See Iron Audience FAQ below for more details.)

Volunteer – We’ll need 30 hours of box officers, tech booth operators, help with food, general tidying, massage therapists (?), you name it! A volunteer sign-up sheet will be posted soon.

Encourage people to contribute before they come to the theater – Our goal is to get donors to donate online and bring a printout w/ them to HUGE. It’s faster/easier for them and for the box office.

Offer or find a Matching Grant – GiveMN has piles of research that says projects with Matching Grants receive more donations. A Matching Grant can be as small as $100 to be effective. Contact molly at hugetheater dot com if you’re interested.

Donate! – Back one or more teams of your choosing, don’t be shy.

Spread the word– Word of mouth is incredibly important to HUGE, not only for the Improvathon, but for all our shows. If you haven’t reviewed HUGE on Yelp or Google, consider doing that. Sincere, great reviews are among the most valuable gifts you can give.


How many performance slots are there, and how do I sign up?
There are approximately 42 timeslots available, about the same as last year.  The link to the form to request at performance time is COMING SOON.

Can I be in more than one group that performs?
Of course! We just ask that you consider how thin you are spreading yourself in terms of time and energy, but also your ability to contribute to each groups’ fundraising goals. Also know that there are a lot of improvisers who want to participate, and so try to leave room for others.

Is there a prize?
Yes. The performer/group that raises the most funds will receive a custom coaching session from a special guest, either in March or during Twin Cities Improv Festival in June. In addition, the group will receive their name on the wall, bragging rights, and a free membership to the HUGE Annex for rehearsal time for a year.

Pro Tip: Finding matching grants for your group are a great strategy if you want to win the top fundraising prize, but also is a great thing for people that want to give before Give to the Max Day. It is a great way to get the word out and start fundraising right away. At present, we don’t have a matching donor set up. You could get one for your own group. Or ask your work if they donate to 501c3 nonprofits like HUGE.

I’m uncomfortable with fundraising, but I want to perform. Can I just sign up for a performance time?
Not really. Improvathon is HUGE’s biggest annual fundraiser. We are asking each performance time to try to raise at least $350. In years past we haven’t specifically asked groups to fundraise as part of this event, but it is very important to sustaining the theater. Part of our hope and vision that Improvathon could raise $45,000 for HUGE this year. (It sounds like a lot, but that’s just over one month’s operating expenses.)

We will do our best to make fundraising easy for you – and there are a lot of tools to do that, through’s online donation site and through tips and samples we will provide. Keep in mind, this isn’t about cold calling strangers. You’ll be asking family and friends who know you, and are asking them to support a nonprofit cause that’s personally important to you.

If you are truly uncomfortable asking friends and family to donate, please choose another way to perform at HUGE. Everyone is welcome to Space Jam each week, or to enter the Improv A Go Go lottery, or to take a class and perform in the showcase, or to submit a show idea, or all of the above. And those are just the opportunities at HUGE, there are many more in the Twin Cities. All to say, this is not just a performance slot, it is a chance to financially support a nonprofit theater with a mission to support the improv community.


Every year, around 11-25 people sign up to be Iron Audience contenders, which means they plan to stay awake to watch 24-hours of improv (midnight to midnight).

Does having an Iron Audience really help?
Performers are grateful for the Iron Audience, and the tremendous boost their presence gives. In return, performers work hard to create the best show possible for the audience, even at — or maybe especially at —  3AM. Beyond that, Iron Audience helps HUGE by posting on social media and, of course, and by raising funds.

What does an Iron Audience contender get?

Those who watch 24 hours of improv (midnight to midnight) get their name on HUGE’s wall and a badge, plus an Improvathon T-shirt. Beyond that, HUGE does what it can to make Iron Audience contenders welcome and comfortable.

This year, the Iron Audience contender who raises the most funds will receive a Golden Ticket to HUGE, good for a year of free shows, and a hoodie with a special badge. All Iron Audience contenders that complete the 24-hours will get their names on HUGE’s wall, plus a T-shirt and badge.

What are the Iron Audience rules?
The rules are based in the honor system — the idea is to be in the theater watching performances, and no performances can be skipped. Sleeping through shows and/or being absent from the theater are outside of the spirit of the event. That said, people need to take breaks for bathroom and snacks, and may want to step outside under the awning to get some fresh air. It is also possible a person might doze off here and there. All of these things are acceptable.

The Iron Audience portion of the event runs for 24-hours and begins promptly at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 12. There is a kick-off reception and four hours of improv prior to that (starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night) that you are of course welcome to attend. But it’s not part of Iron Audience.

What if I change my mind, or get sick, or get called into work?
This is a low-pressure, low-stakes event where your health and peace of mind are top priority. If at any point you’re feeling sick and/or just need to take a break or go home, you should! We will never stop being grateful for all you do.

I’m uncomfortable with fundraising, but I want to be an Iron Audience contender. Can I just show up and stay?
Not exactly. You are certainly free to come to HUGE and watch as much improv as you’d like! To participate as an Iron Audience contender, though, is to participate in an important part of the fundraiser. This portion of the event is arguably the most “a-thon” part of the whole Improvathon. We are asking each Iron Audience contender to sign up by November 5 and to commit to raising at least $100 for HUGE as part of the event. (Registration link coming soon.)

We will do our best to make fundraising easy for you – and there are a lot of tools to do that, through’s online donation site and through tips and samples we will provide. Keep in mind, this isn’t about cold calling strangers. You’ll be asking family and friends who know you, and are asking them to support a nonprofit cause that’s personally important to you.

I don’t see the answer to my question here – who can I contact?
Feel free to send questions to molly at hugetheater dot com.


Happy Hour with the Board 2015

Photo by Adam Iverson

Photo by Adam Iverson

August 13, 2015 – About 40 people attended this year’s Open House and Meeting, where Butch Roy, Jill Bernard, Molly Chase, and Nels Lennes presented. (Everyone enjoyed reminding each other that Butch had recently returned from being at sea.)

Adam Iverson took photos and Kevin Albertson presented tips for promoting your shows, events or groups via social media .

First up – an update on the Strategic Plan!

HUGE’s first years were guided by a three-year strategic plan, 2011-2013, and we’ve been guided by an updated plan covering 2015-2017. We held and documented a strategic meeting that bridged the year between, and laid out our plans for 2014.

The money

It costs about $40K per month to run HUGE Theater – even though we’re not yet paying people anywhere near what we would like. (More on that below.)

Income and Expenses so far in 2015 are much greater than they’ve been in previous years. Charts follow.

Notably, we currently have $30K in reserve funds, which is particularly significant coming out of summer, our slowest season by far.

This is how we’ve been spending in 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.47.22 PM

Our major expense areas are rent and payroll. We expect payroll to grow while occupancy costs stay roughly the same over the coming years. Our rent has remained the same over the years but property taxes have increased steadily and we took on the Annex space, currently $11,264.93 for the 3037 building space and $3,500 per month for the Annex space.

We have big growth needs in payroll – we’re working hard to make sure we’re growing in a balanced way that serves the health and stability of the theater while still providing for artists as well. What we’ve known for a long time was affirmed by a funder, which is essentially: “If HUGE couldn’t hire replacements for salaried staff tomorrow if you were hit by a truck, at the same rate you’re being paid, then the future of your organization is at risk.”

Even though we know that we’re not yet hitting the market rate (as defined by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofit’s Salary and Benefits Survey), we have also continuously fought one another to NOT take pay increases in order to secure the stability of the theater. That said, we are going to have to make market payment a priority over the next few years, and will continue to make sure we’re doing so in as balanced a way as possible.

Currently the two full-time management staff (Jill and Butch) make $2,000 per month, Molly and Nels make $400 per month – exclusively for work performed as staff.  No one now or in the future is compensated for work as a director of the board of HUGE Theater.

*there is currently not a budget for Roofices

**Roofices are a running joke about installing offices on the roof of the building.

***or ARE they a joke?!?


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So far in 2015 we’ve earned $82, 507 in ticket sales. Tickets sales make up half our earned income. The chart shows ticket sales year over year from 2011 – present. The good news is that the peaks and valleys have been consistent enough that we’ve been able to learn over time where we need to push harder, which allows us to make decisions like the annual run of a Groupon to offset seasonal declining ticket sales in the warming months


Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.47.52 PM


This is where our donations come from. Individual donations are not only important for keeping the theater open and giving us more stability, but also demonstrate that many people are invested in HUGE. This is meaningful to funders, humbling for us, and just a very powerful message.

Going back to the point about our reserve funds. In 2014 coming out of summer we had $7,000 in the bank, which is not even the building rent, and had to regain a lot of ground with ticket sales and the fall term of classes. The big leap back onto solid ground was absolutely accelerated by the Improvathon and allowed us to end the year in the black.

We will never forget how our donors gave $44,965 in one day! We’d hoped to raise $25k, but everyone’s dedication and generosity blew that estimate out of the water. It was amazing.

Oh, and we’re totally going to ask everyone to do something like this again this November. Stay tuned.

The big news for 2015 in contributed income is, of course,  the fact that we received two grants for General Operating support – from the McKnight Foundation and the MN State Arts Board.

The McKnight Foundation has been engaged in a long conversation since HUGE Theater began and has offered guidance along the way to help us know that we’re growing in the right direction as an arts organization. The recognition of the McKnight Foundation is something that means a great deal to us at HUGE Theater – it says to us and the rest of the world that we are a serious organization supporting serious artists at a serious art form. That is something that not only feels like the validation of a lot of hard work, it sends a clear signal of improv’s place among the arts in Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Arts Board funding is a 4-year commitment that recognizes HUGE as a highly capable nonprofit dedicated to supporting the arts for all Minnesotans. It is a big deal, and we could not be more excited.

This is where we thank Molly Chase for all her hard work (I can’t say “tireless” because we know how exhausting the process was – both writing the grants and managing us at HUGE) because we would not be where we are without what she has achieved. It’s amazing. She’s amazing. 


This is where we get into paying performers

Part of our current pay model has to take into account clearing certain levels of operating costs so we’re not jeopardizing the theater’s stability because we have a great month of ticket sales.

We are always considering ways to adjust the formula to favor higher payment for performers, and have this in mind when forecasting and budgeting. We feel performer payments are part of our responsibility in keeping the promise of our mission to support artists.

This is where we get to the future of The Board

The current overlap of our Board of Directors and staff members is more akin to a startup than to a traditional nonprofit. While we’ve found this structure has been very helpful for our first years of rapid growth, we fully understand the need to adopt a more traditional model.

This is an important part of our strategic plan for 2015-2017, and is going to be a shift away from the shorthand of “the board” to represent the general management of the theater. As we add more people to the board, it will mean there will be people on the board that improvisers might not know or have direct contact with.

We have already started work on expansion by forming an advisory board from which we’ll recruit board members. We have also recently attended a board recruitment event for people of color organized by Board Repair, which was a great event.

The main thing to know is that HUGE’s board will be made up of members from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who are passionate about HUGE’s mission and who have specific skills that will help us grow.

The Education Update!

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This is a graph of our class enrollment over time, which represents both growth in interest in our program but also the growth of the program itself. We have expanded our capacity over time as we’ve been able and those classes have seen growth in enrollment as well.


We don’t run a summer term for our 10-week classes because of the natural fall off in enrollment in the summer time.

This year, we’re taking a new approach to the month of August. In the past we held one weekend intensive, with a focus on advanced skills. This year, we’re adding a second advanced skill weekend intensive as well as a brand new Summer Slam for beginners. The weekend Summer Slam is for beginners to come learn fundamentals in a short amount of time if they can’t commit to a 10 week process or have been unsure about signing up for a longer class session to get started. We’re happy to report that enrollment has had strong numbers for all three intensives. (With people traveling here from as far as Sweden!)

Class jams!

Students frequently tell us they wish they had more time for scenes, and also, having a single showcase at the end of class is too much pressure. In response, we’re trying out a weekly jam where classes will just have extra time to try out things they’re learning in class in an open laboratory environment with students from other levels.
Butch Roy
Daniel Jaquette
Drew Kersten
Hannah Wydeven
Jill Bernard
Joe Rapp
Mary Mangan
Michael Ritchie
MJ Marsh
Molly Chase
Nels Lennes
Rita Boersma
Samantha Pereira
Sean Dillon
Tane Danger
Adam Iverson
Beth Gibbs
Bradley Machov
Carolyn Blomberg
Casey Haeg
Ellen Jaquette
Erin Kennedy
Gubby Kubik
John Gebretatose
Kristen Anne Pichette
Lucas Vonasek
Michael Dallavalle
Sidney Oxborough
Sophie Brossard
Will Roberts
Dane Stauffer
Darwin Smith
James Detmar
James Rone
Phil Lusardi
Rita Boersma

Plus Drop In Class, of course, managed by Mike Dallavalle with Samantha Pereira.


This is an experimental evolution to our advanced curriculum to hopefully better address the needs of more experienced improvisers – who are already spending their improv time and energy in lots of others ways – to allow them to find and focus on topics they are interested in.

Corporate Workshop training!

Jill is going to train our teachers and TAs to lead a very simple low-cost one-hour workshop that organizations can hire. This will get HUGE out into the cities and give our teachers and TAs valuable experience.


Seniz organized a super teen summer camp in July with 25 students from all around the metro area. They practiced basics of improv and participated in specialty workshops with professional improvisers in the community. The 10-week fall session is now enrolling! Starts September 6th. For more info and registration, visit hugetheater/teens

Production Updates

Show Submission process clarification:  we have moved ALL submission conversations, ideas, etc that are to be considered for the HUGE stage to the Show Proposal Form. We’re happy to discuss ideas with anyone and love talking about cool new concepts, but it will not be considered unless it arrives through the Show Proposal Form.

Returning shows!

Creature Feature, Survivors of the Undead Plague and Star Trek: The Next Improvisation are all returning – with Star Trek being directed this year by Joe Bozic. Also this fall: The Bearded Men‘s improvised Dungeons & Dragons show returns, as does The Mess beginning in November. Family Dinner will run during in the holiday months (November and December) on Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM.

New shows!

In September and October, Interplanetary Appeal is opening their show Now What?!, where the audience gets to guide the characters’ decisions along the way.

Wonderful Wonderful will be doing It’s a Wonderful Wonderful Life on Fridays at 9:30PM in the holiday months as well for another holiday genre show.

Special Shows!

Rob Belushi and Jon Barinholtz are bringing their workshop and improvised duo show Sheldon to HUGE the first weekend in November — workshop registration will be posted soon!

Auditions and 2016

Throwback Night will be returning, along with the complete Throwgram series that follows, in January 2016. Auditions will be posted for Throwback this fall.

Special thanks to Zoa Green for all of her help as Nels’ assistant in the Throwgram process, helping keep things organized, scheduled and running smoothly!

The Neutrino Video Project is finally in motion. Auditions are being held October 10 and 15.  Applications for auditions are currently being accepted HERE.

The New Website!

The last bit of news we announced was the new HUGE site, which has obviously launched since then, but Brian Smallbeck put together our new calendar-centric website and is still in the process of hunting down all the bugs and completing our performer-facing pages where improvisers can find all the “official” answers to questions they might have about being a performer at HUGE.