New ticket pricing and options!

Dear friends of HUGE Theater,
Starting Friday, November 3, weekend ticket prices and purchase options are changing.

Winter Ticket Pricing :: Fridays and Saturdays

8:00pm: $10 online / $12 at the door
9:30pm: $10 online / $12 at the door
10:30pm: $8 online / $8 at the door

Flex Pass: $18 for any 2 shows on the same night
All Night Pass: $24 for all 3 shows on the same night

Audiences can purchase tickets for one, two or all three shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
The 8pm/9:30pm show tickets are no longer bundled together.

We are making this change and adjusting our ticket pricing seasonally to meet two realities:
1) Customers have consistently been confused by the combined 8pm/9:30pm ticket model.
2) Our audiences and programming are seasonal.

We originally set up to our 8/9:30pm combined ticket model to encourage audiences to stick around and sample improv. This was essential nearly seven years ago, when HUGE opened and longform improv was very new to the general public. Now we’re finding new audiences express much more confusion about our ticketing than our programming.

We recognize that theater attendance is seasonal and that we attract different audiences at different times of year. Our programming reflects this — we roll out new programming every two months or so — but our pricing model hasn’t caught up. Rather than treat winter the same as summer, we are treating the seasons, well, seasonally. Our goal is to make sure, no matter what the season, our ticket prices are affordable and as clear as possible.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a longtime friend and audience member at HUGE. Thank you! Many of you have become accustomed to seeing multiple shows, and we hope this change won’t keep you from being able to join us. We’ve had you in mind in designing the Flex Pass (any two shows) and the All Night Pass (all three shows).

We recognize our new winter pricing isn’t as inexpensive and convenient for our
long-time audiences.  To be honest, we’ll miss the wooden nickels and the ease of having audiences stick around between shows. At the same time, we won’t miss giving lengthy ticketing explanations online, at the box office and from the stage.
We’re also excited that the 9:30pm shows won’t have to encourage their audiences to come to the theater in hopes that enough audience turns in their wooden nickels from the 8pm show for new 9:30pm audience to get a seat.

Going forward, we’re going to adjust our pricing seasonally, to best meet the needs of audiences and performers. We appreciate that you’ve stuck with us so far, and hope you’ll continue to support HUGE.
We don’t do anything without considering how it affects our community, and we want you to know we truly welcome your feedback and, always and forever, appreciate your support.

Notes from the Annual Happy Hour with the Board

Sorry for the delay – you may have heard that things got a little crazy this fall!
There have been updates in some of these areas – especially programming for 2018 – but for the sake of clarity (and getting it posted) the information here is what was presented in August.

HUGE Happy Hour Meeting Notes :  August 17, 2017

Budgets and Operations – Molly Chase – Click on slides to see full size

Education – Jill Bernard
We may keep enrollment between 200-250 students per term going forward
We always have a waitlist and could add more classes, but we don’t have another space.
Also want students to have an excellent student experience and that gets harder to provide if we’re pushing our limits too much.

The 401 class has been redesigned. It was on the topic of Forms and now it is Ensemble Building. It is designed to answer questions that people had – e.g. What’s the best practice, how do you meet fellow players, and what kind of group should you have?

Jill is working on a new level between 201 and 301 to address the problem of steamrollers/not as generous improvisers who are too many scenes in a row, not listening to their scene partners, etc. Jill originally wrote the curriculum with shy people in mind.

Teen program ran classes and summer camp this year. We announced that we’re not continuing the teen program. Our mission statement is aimed at student and professional improvisers, and we can’t be all things to all people. Teen students might find a creative home at Stepping Stone and Brave New Institute or other great orgs.

Women –Trans – Femme – adding a second class taught by Hannah Wydeven for intermediate and advanced students. Very excited for this program to be expanding.

This year Jill introduced an expanded summer intensive – strengthened the weekday portion.


11% this year – We budget for up to 15%. Scholarships are based on financial need and artistic interest/potential.

We reserve a couple spots in each 101 class for scholarship students – so while we have openings for up to 18 people, we sell only up to 16 spots.

TCIF scholarships were an example of pay it forward – We say how many people need scholarships and people stepped up to fund them. We had more than double the number as previous years– 21 TCIF scholarships this year.

Word of mouth is overwhelmingly the reason that people sign up for classes

Diversity and Inclusion update – John Gebretatose

John went to a Toronto Improv Festival and met three Directors of Diversity and Inclusion from various improv theaters around North America. He wrote a proposal for HUGE and was hired.
He started work in November 2016 on a contract basis

John’s strategy was to go to artists in different art categories and to see if he could bring them in to HUGE for improv. Brought word of mouth and validity to improv.

John currently earns $300/month stipend, plus additional hourly pay during TCIF as a contractor. Molly is looking into grants to find more funds to support this work. Robin noted she’s doing some grant prospecting and will keep an eye out for a potential fit for HUGE.

Part of John’s work has been to not only get the word out about auditions and performance/learning opportunities, but to provide prep work and support for auditions. An example is this year’s ComedySportz auditions. John led the way on making sure POC performers felt ready for the auditions, and attended/joined the auditions to provide extra support.

Examples of additional programming include:
Coaching sessions with groups
Facebook group for people of color
POC-only workshops
Greg Parks recently taught a POC-only workshop, for which there is growing demand, since jams are a great start but participants expressed wanting to get more instruction.

Monthly POC jams have been an effective way for people of color to try improv.
Noted that greater clarification could be useful in terms of whether it is both performers and audience that need to be people of color to attend. (It is both – John updated the site yesterday to clarify.)

John is doing a lot of work cultivating relationships and encouraging participation. His work is inspiring others to do similar types of work. Since the POC jams started in Nov/Dec of 2016, other jams have been started:
Queer Jam – independently run and promoted by student and improviser Craig Corsi
Worn Treads – independently produced by a small group of improvisers. The jam is for people aged 40 and older. It is primarily for people who started improv later in life and have a different experience and family obligations than their student peers who are in their 20s and early 30s.

Progress in auditions:

  • Going forward:
    Working with Jill on scholarship program.
    Reviving Islamic Sisterhood workshop – Taj Ruler is going to teach.
    2nd ever Our Cities Our Stages event planned for October
    Brunches and/or field trips
    POC Showcases coming soon
    Working with Butch and HUGE to find ways to add more POCs in the staff.
    3rd-annual Black and Funny Festival in February 2018

Meanwhile, we continue to work on building relationships in larger arts community, e.g. Jill taught a workshop to the New Native Theater last summer and to teachers from MU Collective.

Artistic Update – Nels Lennes

Throwback program  – This program casts 3 teams (8-11 people each), so gives about 30 people a chance at 8 weeks of performance.  Throwback Night will run in January/February 2018.
This year, HUGE is discontinuing the second stage of the program – the “Throwgram” program in previous years – in which each team would have a second 8-week run of a new form they create based on their Throwback Night form.
HUGE shows and independent proposed shows will fill the Friday 8pm slots at are opened up – By discontinuing this part of the Throwback program, HUGE opens up 6 months on the calendar. An additional benefit is that having that much stage time for the 30-person cast helped further the impression that you see the same people on stage all the time.

Returning shows –  Many options have been discussed, the schedule is still taking shape and is always very fluid – potentially Family Funeral (which is complementary to Family Dinner)
Unique shows confirmed include Troubadour and Attenborough. These unique shows are essential for the improv community because they clearly represent an expression of improv not otherwise seen –  we don’t want to narrow focus. We want the community to learn, grow, and create the next amazing new thing – not just what they already see on stage and think is a successful format to copy or adapt to secure a run of shows.

The show calendar is programmed through the end of 2017 with confirmation that The Other Jeanie Retelle and Painters will be performing late Saturday nights in November/December – and some of 2018 has already taken shape.
HUGE shows Off Book and Kabaam are slated to return in 2018 so far

Directors and Assistant Directors – Taking a page from the TA and teaching the teachers initiative, Nels and Butch are using a similar template for directors in building up the assistant director program – every show HUGE has produced over the past year has included an Assistant Director position and we hope to transition several HUGE shows over to new direction with Nels in a more of a supper/oversight role in the coming year to keep that progress moving.

Another encouraging sign of growth: more auditions for upcoming shows – HUGE announced last year that auditions would be held for every HUGE production and not only did that result in changing casts for all HUGE shows, we have been seeing more independent show are having auditions.
Changing the way shows are created and cast – in the past shows have almost always come to us fully cast with/by the people that created it – this shift means more opportunities for more artists and a clearer path to the stage.

Q & A

What is max possible ticket sales for a month?
If we sold out every single show, with no days off, we would earn $291,200.

How does TCIF compare to previous festivals?
It was well-attended but we suffered some pretty serious setbacks and losses due to losing a major headliner after the lineup had been announced and workshop schedules had already been crafted and contracted around a group that could not come.

Is HUGE going to work to find ways to add more POCs in the staff?
Yes, this is in-progress – The primary focus has been on artistic opportunity, since that is our mission, and we don’t want to detour someone that is on their way to be on our stage to put them behind the bar. We’ve started cross training when possible and hiring more staff when able.

Question: Will there be pods coming up?
Yes! For example, Jill Bernard has a pod on stage picture coming up this fall!



Rated G Auditions

Rated-G, the Improvised Family-Friendly Musical is holding auditions for our upcoming run in March and April. The show combines singing, dancing, and storytelling to create a fun musical romp for all ages, much like the animated classics of our childhood.
**Improvisers must be comfortable with improvised singing and performing family friendly improv.**Directed by: Doug Neithercott
Music by: John Hilsen
Production Team: Erin Kennedy, Aaron Cook, and Nathan Kelly Rouse**Those interested in being cast must be available for at least 7 of the 8 rehearsal days listed.
All rehearsals will be from 11-1pm, every Saturday in January and February.**
The show’s run will be Saturdays at 6:30pm in March and April

Auditions are in half hour increments:
Saturday 11/11 (HUGE Theater)
Sunday 11/12 (CSz Theater)

Any questions? You can contact Erin:


PARTY RIOT cast announced

Note from Sally Foster, PARTY RIOT’s producer:

Thank you to all who auditioned yesterday for PARTY RIOT! Having so many incredible, badass, talented women all in the same room was incredible, and we’ve personally never felt so empowered to create art in this community. We hope you felt the same!

Unfortunately, as with any show, there were more amazing auditions than there were spots in the show. This casting was particularly difficult because we saw almost 70 talented women and had around 25 spots in the show maximum. If you weren’t cast, please don’t give up – reach out to those you improvised with in auditions and start a group for Improv-a-Go-Go! Our community needs more women like you on our stages.

With all that said, here is our PARTY RIOT 2017/2018 cast list:

Shannon Foy
Jennifer Adriene Burks
Mackenzi Brophy
Jill Bernard
Cicely Robin Laing
Mawrgyn Roper
Anna Tobin
Erin Sheppard
Vann Daley
Lizzie Gardner
Carolyn Blomberg
Shea Roberts
Erin Kennedy
Liz Council
Molly Chase
Laura Hild
Susannah Eckberg
Jada Pulley
Jen van Kaam
Zoa Dru
Sarah Turner
Andrea Ravich
Jen Scott

Everyone who auditioned should have received an email regarding the casting decision this morning by 10:30am

Sally Foster

Family Dinner 2017 Cast Announced

What an extraordinary showing, Twin Cities. Way to go.
We easily could have cast this show 3 times over with what you all brought and it was extremely difficult to narrow down.   Thank you for everyone’s courage and talent.

We are excited to welcome to the table this year:

Adam Iverson
Alexis Camille
Anna Tobin
Butch Roy
Dane Stauffer
Ellen Jaquette
Ellie Hino
Emily Townswick
Erin Sheppard
Jake Scott
Jen Scott
Justin Betancourt
Katy Kessler
Matt Prindle
Mike Fotis
MJ Marsh
Sam Baker Harris
Sam Landman
Seniz Yargici Lennes
Tom Winner
Vann Daley

Step NEXT : Getting to know the unknowns

STEP THREE:  Feedback at our Community Forum affirmed that HUGE is needed and that our community is unequivocal in rejecting white supremacy.  To that end, we held an emergency board meeting on Wednesday, September 13, and resolved the following:

We are committed that HUGE must stay open and continue to serve our community.

We’re committed to ending our current tenancy through purchase or relocation by the end of our lease – August 31, 2023, or sooner if possible. We are considering all options, including attempting to purchase the building. It is also possible our landlord will sell the building to someone else.

We know firsthand the complexity of the task at hand and we will not put the legacy of HUGE at risk by being hasty. We have an imperative to do the research that positions HUGE for a sustainable next chapter. We are meeting with experts in a variety of fields and putting in the work to determine our options.

We are committed to helping our staff and community grow stronger so we can all be ready for the hard work ahead. Staff members are attending restorative justice training this month and HUGE is adding trauma-informed instruction training for our teachers this winter.

NEXT STEPS: We will continue to post updates as we learn more.
We are grateful for this amazing community and we appreciate your kind words and offers of support. There is no doubt we will need it.

Throwback Night Auditions – Full Schedule

If you cannot make your scheduled time, please email to let us know right away – please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your audition to check in and warm up with your group.

Monday – October 2nd – Evening Schedule

5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM
Jonathan Brown Brooke Fanning Andy Christian Lucas Hines
John bickford Erik Ostrom Timothy Eberle Peter P
Tommy Caravello Jamie Bonczyk Josh Krauskopf
Michael DallaValle
Ally Rae Anna Marie Schmidt Heather Hemmer Jay Kistler
Vann Daley Matt Judkins Jada Pulley Eric Brown
Lilly Rotter Jessabelle Olmstead Pamela Mazzone Shannon Foy
Sandra Struthers Ava Wichmann Susannah Eckberg Shea Roberts

Saturday – October 7th – Morning Schedule

10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM 11:30 AM
Michael Deneen Christian Unser Katie novak Gabby Avond
Monique Dargis Joe McGowan Douglas Cox Shelby Schroeder
Ben Wagner Ryan Vanasse Heather Baldwin Kim Lambert
Cody Madison Adam Boutz Kate Zabinski Madhu Bangalore
Mawrgyn Roper Kyle Decker Jeff Kaisershot Abe vanderBent
Lauren Schaeffer Max Beyer John Eisenrich Ava Fojtik
Blake Thielmann  Vanessa Tu Clayton Anderson  Sarah Maxwell

Saturday – October 7th – Afternoon Schedule

12:00 PM 12:30 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM
Amy Zajack Matt Arriola Mary Ruebel Mike McCarron
Michael Weingartner Gavin Nachtigall Keren Gudeman
Justin Betancourt
Catherine Thimmesh Joseph Schifsky Hannah Fiedler Issabelle Allen
Kyle B Dekker Wells Farnham Erik Nielsen Chris Ragnacci
Michael Bloom Kevin Macklin Frank Kohlasch Jen Paulson
Philip Skretvedt Eric Geistfeld Eric Heiberg Jesse Burrows


3:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM
Edd Jones Lauren Chesnut Phillip Schramm Derek Landseidel Erica Solomon
Richard Hammons Ryan Klima Kristen Marks Matt Selchow Breanna Cecile
Valerie Hurst Bryce Kalal Lars Midthun Richard Ralston Michael Renner
Carlyn Lindstrom Danny Sussman Madeline Spott  Aiden Milligan Daniel Schwartz
Kevin Albertson Seniz Lennes Matt Axelson Emily Townswick
Jeff Roberts Gyllen
Becky Hauser Ryan Blix Sam Beeson Brynn Berryhill Abigail Sugahara
 Michael Rogers


Sunday – October 8th – Evening Schedule

5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM
Matt Tatone Pam Franklin Adam Mellerup Craig Corsi
Mark Jelinek Elisabeth Groebel Nathan Kelly
Kristin Turnblom
Erik Hoversten Tyler Martindale Marty Wessels Nikki Vroman
Danielle Heinert Mike Hanson Becci Schmidt Alicia Wheelock
Cicely Laing Bradley Machov Tom Schmidt Zoa Dru
Chris Barth Matt Slater Kya Fischer Aaron Cook
Meredith Jacobs Trevor Charon
Casey MacCallum

Improvathon 2017 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 16, an annual event when Minnesotans display their generosity by celebrating and donating to local nonprofits through

Improv Performance Request:
Iron Audience Contender:

The Improvathon gets underway on Wednesday night, November 15, starting at 8PM, leading up to the official Give to the Max Day start at midnight on Thursday, November 16. 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. 16.

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.



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 16, 2017.

What is the schedule?
Starts: Wednesday, November 15 at 8:00PM
Ends: Thursday, November 16 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 in October.

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 a performance time is:

**registration does not guarantee a spot as an Iron Audience or in the schedule as a Performer – though we will do our best to accommodate requests**

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 HUGE hoodies (within reason).

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 $50,000 or more for HUGE this year. (It sounds like a lot, but that’s about 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.

Cool, I will renew my Membership that day for part of my fundraising goal!
Oh, gosh, you guys. Members and Memberships are ALWAYS very much appreciated but administering this has grown too complex to sustain. New this year is a rule that memberships — while enormously appreciated — will not count toward Improvathon team goals nor will it count toward the final tally of what is raised during Improvathon.


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 HUGE Theater hoodie. 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 17. 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. For that reason, we reserve the right to discontinue any person’s participation in Iron Audience, including in concern for health, safety or comfort. 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 is here:

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 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.

Cool, I will renew my Membership that day for part of my fundraising goal!
Oh, gosh, you guys. Members and Memberships are ALWAYS very much appreciated but administering this has grown too complex to sustain. New this year is a rule that memberships — while enormously appreciated — will not count toward Iron Audience goals nor will it count toward the final tally of what is raised during Improvathon.

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.

What were those registration links again?
Improv Performance Request:
Iron Audience Contender:

Throwback Night Auditions

The form to request an audition time for Throwback Night – opening January 2018 at HUGE Theater, 8pm on Friday nights!

— You do NOT need to know or have any experience with the form to audition or be in the show – forms will be taught in rehearsal — 

La Ronde – Directed by Michael Ritchie
Rehearsals :: Wednesdays 6-8pm
The Living Room – Directed by Jill Bernard
Rehearsals :: Saturdays Noon-3pm
Close Quarters – Directed by Lauren Anderson*
Rehearsals :: Tuesday 6:30-8:30pm

*Nels Lennes will take over directing The Close Quarters group partway through rehearsals based on Lauren’s Brave New Workshops Holiday tech/preview/show schedule.

AUDITION TIMES will be scheduled:
Monday 10/2 between 5-7pm
Saturday 10/7 between 10am – 6pm
Sunday 10/8 between 5-7pm

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

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 from mid-October to mid-December (expecting there will be some breaks needed around the holidays) cast are expected to miss no more than 2 rehearsals.

Assistant Directors :
Erin Kennedy will be AD for Close Quarters
Phil Petersen will be AD for La Ronde
Maureen Tubbs will be AD for The Living Room

Audition schedules will be sent via email and posted on the HUGE blogs when they are ready

If you cannot see the form below CLICK HERE

STEP 2a : NOTES from the Community Forum

Thank you for your patience – we decided against a verbatim transcript due to some privacy concerns but have put together a full summary of the meeting and discussion.

STEP TWO: Community Forum

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 5-7pm at HUGE Theater

This forum was for the community to come and say what’s on their minds, and help HUGE leadership with next steps. The forum was moderated by Levi Weinhagen. Following is a summary of the meeting, which includes some transcribed sections (in italics) from the meeting. Even when there are transcriptions, they are not court-reporter perfect. We ask that you read to get a general understanding of the conversation, rather than to parse specific phrasing. The moderator and speakers are named, but the Forum participants’ names are redacted for purpose of practicality and to foster open, free-flowing conversation.

Moderator Levi Weinhagen kicked off the meeting:

A few things to mention up top, we’re going to talk about stuff that may be heavy and challenging. Top line priority is to take care of yourself – feel free to step out and come back. Keep in mind that everyone here is here to support HUGE. If someone says something that you disagree with, confront that idea, not the person. The goal is to have us all in discussion as a community of folks.

 Executive director of Jewish Community Action, Carin Mrotz, gave a brief statement at the start of the meeting, paraphrased as follows. To get a sense of the expansive work that her org does, please visit

I’ve been to HUGE. We did a Jewish Storytellers event. I have a bunch of friends who perform at HUGE and I have a lot of experience of being attacked by Nazis. Through social media, email – I’ve found stuff in my mailbox. To lead a Jewish organization in this time is not an easy thing to do, but important in this time.

It is a big deal. This is not just Nazis on Twitter. What we’re seeing is white supremacy being codified and enshrined in the government. People who believe their whiteness is under attack have found legitimacy in the White House and in Congress. All to say: you don’t donate to David Duke campaign not knowing who he is. When he ran for the Louisiana State Senate, the state GOP chair disavowed him. Even Republicans in Louisiana have a bar that David Duke does not meet.

What does it mean to give money to someone who is giving money like him? It’s not sustainable long-term. You have to start the process of movement. Do it in a way that does engage the community.

This is in no way easy, and at no point will be easy. Engage your community about who you’re giving money to, engage in white supremacy. There are landlords all over the city who are not giving to David Duke, but who won’t rent to black families, or evict immigrants without cause because they know their tenants can’t defend themselves.

What does it mean to own property? Grow capacity to address these issues but also bring people into motion to do what is morally right. Try to use this opportunity to do something awesome and powerful, even though this really sucks.

Levi: [Thanks Carin for coming to speak, then forum transitions to group conversation.]  I’ve been doing improv and comedy for 20 years. HUGE is doing what they wanted to do. Deeply committed to comedy as not just a valid art form but a tool for justice. This could not have happened to a better or worse group of people. I don’t know anyone better prepared to deal with this than HUGE. A lot of people who feel that way — who feel this sucks, but it also sucks for the opposition.

The Forum conversation unfolded for a total of two hours. During that time, many ideas were floated, including what’s listed here. These ideas are not all mutually exclusive and no conclusions were drawn. This Forum was a first conversation.

A range of ideas came up

– Moving as soon as the lease is up

– Breaking the lease, paying the penalty, and moving

– Stop paying rent (this is not an option for us as it is illegal)

– Using the space we have as long as we have it to:

— host fundraisers for worthy organizations

— use our walls to express our values

— use our art to express our values; do even more programming that supports people of color, Jewish people, queer and gender nonconforming people, and others.

– I’m a performer and teacher. [After the news about white supremacy] it’s just not the same place. I had never thought about [the landlord] before. I want to reclaim this space as ours. He doesn’t make this space, we do. We have a lot of wall space, gallery space — we can create art, have people talk about it, and work it out the way we know how.

– Levi: I encourage asset mapping – taking time to figuring out what access to money or power you have. You might think I’m just this person – I’m just an improviser, a person – we don’t always think about who we connect with. Important thing to work on. Who do you know who knows someone?

 I perform at HUGE a lot. It may be worth series drop in classes tell stories about issues like this but remaining apolitical. How can we utilize the HUGE stage and tackle sexism and racism.

Maybe we do 24-hours of I’m Black and I’m Proud show; I’m Jewish and I’m proud.

–  I come here because I take the Women-Trans-Femme non-binary class. Comedy and entertainment has always been that comedy needs to have a social justice purpose behind it. Entertainment affects our self-worth and how we respect. Humor entertainment art, should mean something to the person taking it in. Isn’t always how we think of improv, think of art. Tackling things through humor and improv, as more than just trying to be funny. Who are we trying to bring joy to, consider what we’re trying to bring humor more deeply than I want spotlight. Changing whole rhetoric for building or changing inwards.

– I don’t want us to stop doing this conversation regularly. We need to chip away it, we are what it does as a group. As the Diversity and Inclusion director, I want to make sure people don’t forget about the work, and just go back to routine. Steadfast and keep this work what is routine, as routine as possible.

What can HUGE can do? HUGE can continue creating this community of diverse backgrounds and people. HUGE can do something. But I can’t be like HUGE do this work for me, I gotta do this work, too.

Feelings and concerns raised

– Some expressed anger at the current situation

– Some said they felt safer inside HUGE’s walls than outside of them — but that they fear HUGE will become a target

– Some noted an increase in fascist propaganda in the area in the last 3-4 months

– One participant said:  I really appreciate that you’re taking this head on. Right now, in the community [that I am a part of] a lot of people are hiding from racism and sexism, which I find inherently disappointing.

One participant said: Levi, you asked for ideas and feelings. We haven’t really addressed the anger. I just want to verbalize. I get pissed, gets me heated. The idea about safety is I want to fight back. That’s just my initial impulse.

– Spread love, don’t fight with hate. Don’t be negative about it. Embrace that scene.

There’s space for all these ideas in some way or form. Heavy on your heart, set aside time, there’s room for all these things. Take the passion we have and figure it out together.

Conversation about white supremacy

Participant: The more we talk about this, I wonder what Nazi means to a lot of people. It’s white supremacy. What it means in your own home, when you walk out of here. For me [as a person of color] just stepping outside I’m already everything they hate.

Participant: Saying Nazi is a way of distancing ourselves from white supremacy. There’s a level of privilege to even say what should we do. Many don’t even get to ask the question. Keeping that in mind is really important. Deciding we can’t stay here for 7 years, even though it means we may be destroyed, is a privilege.

Levi: I also want to clarify that this is not the work of people of color, this is the responsibility of white folks. We benefit from white supremacy, we’re the ones who need to destroy it.

Participant: My first reaction was I know HUGE isn’t affiliated. It’s no big deal, they stand for community, proud of the organization. I feel like it’s my privilege [as a white male]. No one is trying to legislate my ability to marry and no one is trying to exterminate my race or religion. I think of myself as progressive. I want to be engaged. I gotta know it. I want to see that kind of programming.

Participant: There are people that want to be aware. I perform here, work here, love here. Let’s drown them in love. How do we bring them? Double down our efforts and reach out to more groups. You have a karmic debt to pay the universe, but we’re here for you.

Participant: What are folks going to do when you go home? How do we tell the story? How do we get folks culturally understanding each other? I can talk to some things that are culturally relevant to me, but there’s an automatic wall when there’s a white person. Many times I’m one of two black folks in the room, period. That wall is a level is discomfort – I’m uncomfortable and I can ignore/put up a wall. I can code switch, which is different with people of color. Your everyday interactions with human beings – white supremacy, that’s what this is. Not just about Nazis. We need to engage with each other, we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on ourselves.

Participant (white male): Is there a way to hold a workshop? Trainings and workshops around intercultural development, understanding white supremacy. White supremacy is important to acknowledge. This training that we’re talking about is for white people.

Participant:  The throughline is we pay white supremacists every day. A lot of businesses support these [white supremacy] ideals. As far as I know, paying rent doesn’t change that.

Participant:  I give money to white supremacists all day every day. Sometimes they’re standing right in front of me. We can remember with the seriousness of it, comedy gets that work done. If it’s new to you, someone said Nazi and now you’re like: now this is my problem.

Questions and Answers

Q: What expression is legally allowable on stage?

A: Most expression on stage is legally allowable. You cannot endorse or disparage a current candidate in an election (this includes Trump who declared his candidacy for 2020 soon after taking office). More generally, HUGE considers improv to be an artform that is deeply personal and responsive to social change. We typically let our art do the expression through honesty and humor, rather than, for example, making a speech from the stage.  Blackout is one example of groups tackling tough issues through this artform, there are many more.

Q: Have there have been any threats to HUGE?

A: The only threat so far has been someone wanting to target our landlord with administrative hurdles, which we discouraged as it would only marginally harm our landlord but would likely force us to close until the issue was resolved.

A participant added: I volunteer at the front desk at HUGE and want to make sure people know that HUGE is great about always being available to walk people to their car. Please speak up if you would like someone to accompany you, we can do it if we know.

Q: If something were to happen, what’s best way to let us know?

A: If something happens while you’re in the building, please speak to a house manager or a teacher right away. They can assist you, file report and/or help you call 911. If the situation is less urgent, there are a lot of channels to contact us: HUGE’s Facebook page/direct message, Twitter, Email, call and leave a message (voicemails are emailed to the operations team right away). We are responsive and want to know right away.

Q: If HUGE did move, what  would a capital campaign be like — in cost and how long would it take?

A: A capital campaign would generally take 3-7 years and would need to raise $1-3M. These often involve individual donors contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Theres also the cost of changing locations, which many theaters take a long time to recover or never recover. There’s a theater in Atlanta that is a great example. They knew ahead of time that they would have to move, it went wonderfully, and it still took $2.2million dollars and 3 years, with a small delay and a $40k overage.  

Q: Have you checked our covenants about what it would state? Is there any kind of statement in the bylaws of the building that say that nobody can own or lease from him that he can discriminate? Is there anything pertaining to this building.

A: The only document we have is our lease, and it does not include any language like that. We can certainly look into that, though.

Q: Has HUGE reached out to your landlord’s other tenants?

A: We’ve only talked to a couple other businesses affected by the news.

Q: Has anyone reached out to a real estate attorney to see what the options are?

A: Yes, we are finding out what our options are.

Q: Will the full board be meeting?

A: Yes. We’ve been talking and we’ll be meeting in some way, even if it’s not formal and probably won’t be publicly announced, it’ll just be part of how we’re dealing with this situation.

Concluding Thoughts

– Participant: I understand and support reasons want to move to another spot, also understand that it would be a lot of work to make that happen. I find it really important to add on to distinction. We have an opportunity now. One way to look at it is we’re giving money. Another is that we are taking their property and turning it into an anti-mission to their statement. We get to take one, and this is the one that we’ve got. We’re going to fight and use his property to do it.  If we moved, there could be a KKK operation in HUGE’s place. Important to keep this place as long as we can. Moving is flight. We have to stay and fight.

Participant: It’s like almost like a sit-in. I’m going to do everything in my power to oppose what you represent. Within these walls we develop a new culture. That’s a really important thing.

– Jill:  Butch, Molly, Nels and I aren’t the owners of HUGE. HUGE is a nonprofit and is beholden to the public. YOU are the owners.

– Levi: So you heard Jill. You are all the owners of this space. I am available to anyone who wants to have an uncomfortable conversation. Being really uncomfortable has become my jam. I will spend some time with you. This is an open offer. I’m going to ask Butch to give some closing thoughts.

– Butch: A couple things. Thank you everyone for being here. Weird times ahead. This is not a normal problem that anyone could have foreseen. We’re trying to take great care. That’s the most important thing. We have already gotten a note that worried [our public statement] might be inviting danger or conflict. So, know that HUGE is aware of that and as an org may not be incredibly vocal — but nobody’s waiting for this to go away. We’ll be posting notes from this meeting.  I don’t know when we’ll have hard and fast decisions to announce. There’s no simple answer.

– Levi: I want to reiterate: do self-work to be ready to do this work. Also, relax a bit, let everything out or in. Thank you all for participating in this.