Recognizing that there is a surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 predicted to peak across the country this January, we at HUGE are making the difficult decision to postpone most of our January performances.
We make this decision out of our sense of duty to our mission and our community, recognizing that — were we to remain fully open in January — there is the strong potential we would contribute to the spread of a deadly disease.
At this time, we are delaying the Jan-Feb show lineup to Feb-Mar. If we deem further delays appropriate, we’ll try to make that call by January 20. And at this point, we’re still planning to hold our Anniversary Show on Jan 29 as a hybrid in-person/streaming show. This isn’t long-term — just a temporary delay while we wait for the crest of the Omicron wave to pass. It is a choice we hate to make, but we feel it is the best of the lousy options in front of us.
If you are a January ticketholder, we will shortly be processing ticket refunds.
Please as always, take care of yourselves and each other as we weather this storm. Get those vaccines and boosters. Wear those masks. We’ll see you soon.
We’re excited to announce our schedule for the January/February run! There are a few changes to our regular programing to point out.
First, we do not have a 10:30p show on Fridays and Saturdays scheduled. We hope to give everyone a little break and pick the 10:30p spot back up in March. If you’re a Bearded Company fan, don’t worry. They’ll be there!
Second, Show X will close on January 3rd with a celebration of their long and impressive run. The announcement is bittersweet; Show X has been an inspiration to Twin Cities improvisers for many years, but we are looking forward to working on what comes next. Please join us to toast the cast and walk down memory lane.
Finally, we have a new show called Shuffle Play at 8:00p on Fridays! It features some of the most talented musical improvisers in the Twin Cities. Each night, 2 groups will rotate through and amaze you. You never know who will pop up next!
And now, without further ado…
The Winter Show Schedule – January/February 2022
8:00 pm – Shuffle Play: Your Favorite Musical Groups in Rotation
Introducing a musical showcase featuring 2 of your favorite groups in 1 night! On the playlist: Drum Machine, The Feel Good About Yourself Orchestra, Lounge-asaurus Rex, Lounge Lizzy, The Other Jeannie Retelle, The Provettes and The Shrieking Harpies Present.
9:30 pm – Poems for Each Other
Theo Langason carves out space and time for connection, nostalgia and improvised songs based on beautiful memories provided by the audience.
8:00 pm – Off Book
Half-scripted, full speed ahead. It is every actor’s nightmare: getting thrown on stage to perform a play you’ve never read. That’s also the premise of Off Book. We have an actor memorize a script, then send them on stage with an improviser who has no idea what’s going on. Then we sit back and watch the magic happen.
9:30 pm – The Mess
A brand new improvised masterpiece, every Saturday night! Rita Boersma, Mike Fotis, Eric Knobel, Molly Ritchie, James Rone and Jake Scott are The Mess.
Again & Again
Again & Again’s improvisational scenes are focused on joy and cooperative make-believe from a group that absolutely adores each other, and wants you to experience that too.
Bryce Kalal and Chris Rodriguez present their duo, BRICK!, with a magical montage of made-up nonsense.
Luke and Ash Do a Harold
The Harold is a classic long form improv format usually performed by 6-8 people. Ash Webb and Luke McDonough will be performing it with just the two of them. Partially because they have studied the form for years, but mainly because they don’t have 4-6 friends.
My Town performs a fast paced improvised montage filled with nostalgia, mirth, and guttural sounds.
As a member of the cast, current producer and a representative of HUGE Theater – it is my bittersweet duty to let everyone know that a very difficult decision has been made :
Show X has run its course and it is time to stand the show down as a weekly event The show marked ten years the week before shutdown in 2020
The final Monday performance of Show X will be January 3rd, 2022
Show X was started 12 years ago when the members of Splendid Things reached out to other improv creators and assembled a team to raise the visibility of long form improv with a weekly show at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Over the years it has featured a tremendous roster of improvisers and special guests alike
It was also a crucial step toward the eventual opening of a dedicated theater for long form improv and a show that inspired many to become improvisers themselves.
Show X moved the art forward in a substantial way. That doesn’t mean it was meant to last forever and ever.
It’s my hope that Show X can be celebrated as it comes to a close AND that the cast of Show X will return from time to time as it began – as an independent group looking to put on an amazing show.
Thank you all for more than a decade of incredible Monday nights
Executive Director Show X cast member since way, way back
Take a look at all the states from which we’ve received donations, and wrangle your friends across the country to give any amount to hugeimprovathaon.com before midnight central time on Thursday November 18th.
It’s here! The official line-up for Improvathon 2021! These amazing folks will be helping us hold the stage for a full 28 hours, in support of HUGE Theater on Give to the Max Day (Thursday, November 18).
Not performing, but want to be part of the action? No problem! We are looking for volunteers to hang out at the front desk and run errands … we even need some pro-level photographers to help capture the action. No prior experience is necessary to work the desk – we just need folks who can bring their enthusiasm for even just a few hours. You can sign up here!
Improvisers at HUGE Improv Theater are taking the stage — and not giving it back for 28 hours — to raise money for this non-profit, artist-led improvisational theater. It’s a one-of-a-kind fundraising barnstorm that coincides with Give to the Max Day, November 18, an annual event when Minnesotans display their generosity by celebrating and donating to local nonprofits through GiveMN.org. This year, as HUGE builds back after 15 months of COVID closure, this event is more important than ever.
All individuals entering the building must show proof of full vaccination – this includes staff, volunteers, audience, and performers.
Anyone in the building must be properly masked at all times, with the exception of performers backstage and on-stage.
Our seating capacity will be capped at 75%.
Every year there has been an in-person Improvathon, we have had an “Iron Audience” that commits to staying at the Theater for the entire duration of the event to watch shows. These intrepid souls are a treasured part of the Improvathon experience. For the sake of COVID safety, we are delaying until mid-October the decision on whether to have an Iron Audience on-site, have an online-only Iron Audience, or a mix of both. Stay tuned for more details!
What is the schedule? Starts: Wednesday, November 17 at 8:00PM Ends: Thursday, November 18 at 11:59PM Performances will take the stage in 20-30 minute blocks, throughout.
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, 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.
Why does HUGE schedule this to coincide with GiveMN.org’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 an extra $500 – $10,000 based on incentives from GiveMN.
2021 Prizes include:
$500 Golden Tickets every 15 minutes
Hourly $1000 Golden Tickets
Two “Power Hour” challenges – each worth $6,000
$500 Early Giving Tickets, daily starting Nov 1
The final $10,000 Super-size Golden Ticket!
Every donation of $5+ through GiveMN on GTMD is an entry to win those prizes.
What are some easy ways I can participate?
Come watch some shows – Bonus points if you make a donation to HUGE via GiveMN.org at home and then bring a printout to HUGE. $10 suggested donation, stay for as long as you’d like!
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 butch 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 Improvathon, but for all our shows. If you haven’t reviewed HUGE on Google, consider doing that. Sincere, great reviews are among the most valuable gifts you can give.
**registration does not guarantee a spot in the schedule as a performer – though we will do our best to accommodate all requests**
Can I be in more than one group that performs? Absolutely! 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. We set a minimum goal of $500 for each performance timeslot, which is very achievable, but it doesn’t pay to spread yourself TOO thin.
I’m uncomfortable doing an in-person performance… can I do something online, like last year’s Improvathon? While we’d love to have as many in-house performances as possible, we understand that not everyone is comfortable returning to in-person gatherings just yet, and we respect that. There is a place on the registration form to indicate if you’d prefer to do an online performance. We haven’t yet determined the logistics of how that will work, but we will assure that your online performance can be a part of Improvathon in some way.
Is there a prize? Yes. The 3 performers/groups that raise the most funds will receive a workshop from a special guest during Twin Cities Improv Festival in June. In addition, the group will receive their name on the wall, bragging rights, and a to-be-determined piece of new HUGE swag.
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 501(c)3 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 $500. Part of our goal is that Improvathon will beat lasts year’s fundraising total of $50,007. We truly believe we can get there and then some! But it does need to be an all-hands on deck situation.
We will do our best to make fundraising easy for you – and there are a lot of tools to do that, through GiveMN.org’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 giving family and friends an opportunity to support something you love!
If you are truly uncomfortable asking friends and family to donate, this is not the right HUGE performance opportunity for you. Everyone is welcome to enter the Improv-A-Go-Go lottery, or take a class and perform in the showcase, or 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.
Can I renew my Membership that day for part of my fundraising goal? Members and Memberships are ALWAYS very much appreciated but we’ve enacted a rule that memberships will not count toward Improvathon team goals nor will it count toward the final tally of what is raised during Improvathon. Our membership system is totally separate from GiveMN.org, which makes it logistically impractical.
When should I start seeking donations? The IDEAL day to receive donations is on Give to the Max Day itself — November 18, because that’s when most of the Golden Ticket prizes are given out. But donations November 1-17 are also eligible for early Golden Ticket. So we encourage you to start making those donation asks any time in November, but encourage people to give on the day, if they can.
I don’t see the answer to my question here – who can I contact? Feel free to send questions to Sean at hugetheater dot com.
For the sake of clarity, HUGE Theater wants to spell out our policies with regards to COVID-19 and classes in more detail. This is where we currently stand:
All students, teachers, staff, and volunteers of HUGE Theater must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be on-site at HUGE. “Fully vaccinated” means that the individual has received the full series of vaccinations (2 each for Moderna and Pfizer, 1 for Johnson & Johnson) and 14 days have elapsed since the final dose.
All students and teachers are required to be masked, with the mask covering both nose and mouth, anytime they are inside the building.
If a student or teacher contracts COVID-19, they may not attend class until they have recovered and tested negative for the virus twice, at least 24 hours apart.
If a student or teacher has been exposed to COVID-19, they may not attend class until they have received a negative result from a COVID test taken at least 3 days after the exposure.
If a student or teacher lives in a household with someone who has contracted COVID, they may not attend class until the household member has recovered, and the student/teacher has taken a test and gotten a negative result.
In any case where a student or teacher may have unintentionally exposed a class to COVID, that individual should alert Jill Bernard (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible, so that the rest of the class can be notified.
We do not wish to punish students for responsible behavior, so any weeks a student must miss due to contracting or being exposed to COVID, they may request a discount/refund for that portion of their tuition.
Our foremost concern, always, is the well-being of our community. There is no improv that is worth our staff or students contracting a potentially deadly disease. While we believe that the measures we have in place greatly mitigate this possibility, we also recognize that no in-person group contact is wholly without risk. So we thank you for taking all reasonable measures in helping taking care of each other during these challenging times.
Further information on HUGE’s policies and practices in response to COVID-19 can be found here:
The schedule for Fall is ready and we’re super excited to get back to our more regular show schedule (masked and with proof of vaccination, of course!). We looked first to reach out and reschedule shows that lost their run in 2020 and because of that, as well as a relatively quick ramp-up to get back at it, some of our yearly ongoing productions are taking a little nap this year to make room (see you next time, Creature Feature!).
We are very excited to welcome back HUGE Wednesdays, Improv-A-Go-Go as well as our weekend lineups. So here’s all the fun, and we do mean ALL the fun, that is coming at you for September and October.
FRIDAYS (Sept 3rd – Oct 29th)
8 pm – Foul Play: An Improvised Agatha Christie
Secrets! Intrigue! Scandal! Deceit! Suspense! MURDER. An improvised mystery in the style of Agatha Christie.
9:30 pm – Brotha Brotha
Twin Cities-based Improv duo. Fast. Hilarious. Inspired. Indescribable tbh. And aside from being Black this is NOTHING like 90s TV show Sister, Sister.
10:30 pm – The Bearded Co. presents Bearded High
Hang out with the students at Bearded High as they navigate the complicated waters of teenage life. At Bearded High, you can be whoever you want to be. But that’s the big question. Who, exactly, do you want to be?
SATURDAYS (Sept 4th – Oct 30th)
8 pm – Shrieking Harpies
The Shrieking Harpies present an improvised musical that will make you see the magic around you.
9:30 pm – Guts & Teeth
Guts & Teeth are hyper-jubilant soul-septuplets who make epic stage-cartoons about the nightmares of the modern world.
10:30 pm – Bad Poets Society
Bad Poets Society is a collection of improvisers/poets of questionable talent. Together, we weave together scenes and spontaneous spoken word. Sometimes, it’s good. Always, it’s ART.
HUGE WEDNESDAYS (Sept 1st – Oct 27th) at 8pm
Odechrome – Becky Wilkinson Hauser and Adam Iverson
One Decent Channel – One Decent Channel is improv veterans Nels Lennes and Butch Roy performing the Monoscene. The entire set consists of one long scene, rather than a series of scenes. More “tiny one act play” than a series of scenes, Nels and Butch take a suggestion and explore with patience and deliberateness.
Identity Crisis – C Michael Menge (they & he) and Chip Gehring (they/them) take you through a chaotic montage of trans gay nonsense! They queer connection with silliness, heart, and a healthy dose of panic.
Babe Train presents Sleepover! – Do you remember staying up way past your bedtime? Whispering secrets under the covers? IM-ing your crush with your friends? Sleepover is a nostalgia-filled narrative about the wildest sleepovers ever had. Join us for a night of silly, nostalgic, sometimes nightmarish fun. So buckle up, your BFFs mom just called and you’re invited to a sleepover! Sweet dreams…xoxo, Babe Train
You can grab your tickets for any and all of it here! Can’t wait to see you.
To protect the health and safety of our community while continuing to perform live shows – the following policy is in effect at HUGE at all times:
ALL patrons, staff, students and performers must be fully vaccinated to be in the building.
Proof of vaccination is required for entry.
Masks are required at all times (except for performers on stage).
Why is this policy necessary? Our community is our highest priority. Taking reasonable steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission at HUGE is fundamental to serving our community’s safety and well-being.
What forms of proof are accepted?
a physical vaccine card
a photo of a physical vaccine card
a verified vaccination record via the smartphone app Docket
Can unvaccinated kids/babies be in the theater? No. While we understand this may interfere with some patrons’ attendance plans, in our judgment it is not safe for unvaccinated people of any age to attend in-person indoor events at this time.
What happens if I can’t attend for COVID-related reasons, such as having COVID, having been exposed to COVID, not being able to find proof of vaccination, or not being able to bring a child/infant who is not vaccine-eligible? If you contact us before the start of the show, we will be happy to refund any affected tickets.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
You can find a free vaccination location near you HERE.
What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?
You can request a copy of your Minnesota vaccination record HERE or download the Docket app. For other states, find Immunization Information Systems contact information HERE
What precautions are being taken for classes?
Here are the COVID-19 procedures we’ve instituted to maximize safety at improv classes at HUGE.
Everyone is vaccinated, and all students and teachers will show proof of vaccination at the first class.
We will all be wearing masks during class.
We have reduced the class sizes, instead of 16-18 students, they are 12-14 students, to make sure there is adequate space to spread out.
We ask that students with symptoms or close-contact with infected persons do not come to class. Emergency refunds available.
We will have no games, exercises or scenes that involve physical contact.
We have had the HVAC contractor check that our filters are clean.
We have hand sanitizer and masks available.
We will offer an improv showcase at the end of classes, the audience seating will be capped at 75% capacity, and they will show proof of vaccination and be masked.
Students who have had exposure can return to class after one negative test, students who have had COVID-19 can return to class after two negative tests 24 hours apart. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/quarguide.pdf
We will follow all the latest news and charts, to make any adjustments needed during the class term.
We will always keep our COVID-19 policies up-to-date via a link on the front page of hugetheater.com
Application deadline: Sept 30, 2021 Start date: Negotiable, targeting Oct – Nov 2021 To apply: Send your résumé, a cover letter, and 3 references to email@example.com
Hours: 30 hours/week (requires many evenings and weekends) Compensation: Salaried employee, $32,250 per year Other benefits: Results-oriented work environment (flexible hours), free parking. At 30 hours per week, employees receive stipend for health care premiums (currently set at $300/month).
HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis is an artist-led company dedicated to supporting the Twin Cities’ diverse and thriving improv community through performance and education.
ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTION AT HUGE THEATER
HUGE’s vision is to continue the development of the art form of longform improv, and to foster diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We do not constrain our programming to a particular style of longform improv. Instead we seek to showcase a variety of styles that demonstrate excellence in performance; for example, we celebrate foundational forms of improv and we encourage experimentation.
Another important aspect of HUGE’s organizational philosophy is that there should be a clear path to the stage: for students to transition into performers, performers to continually develop as artists and artistic leaders, and performers and directors to create work outside of HUGE itself.
HUGE’s artistic director is responsible for shaping, communicating and implementing the artistic vision of HUGE, for the continued development of performers at HUGE, and for major decisions regarding the hire and ongoing professional development of artistic staff. This role is part of the management/operations team, along with the executive director, director of education, director of diversity and inclusion, and managing director; and is accountable to the management/operations team and reports to the executive director.
Align artistic programming with HUGE’s mission and support artistic excellence
Articulate HUGE’s artistic vision and represent the theater
Influence theater direction and management as part of the management/operations team
Contribute time, talent and general support for HUGE’s fundraising efforts
Foster working relationships and familiarity with the Twin Cities improv community, which is at the heart of all we do
Show development and scheduling
Currently, approximately 30% of shows on our stage are produced by HUGE directly, while the remaining 70% of shows are produced independently.
For shows produced by HUGE:
Direct one show a year if desired
Hire and supervise directors and assistant directors
Oversee auditions and continue to refine audition process for all HUGE-produced shows
For independently produced shows:
Oversee, promote, and refine the show submission process
Communicate and coordinate with independent directors and producers regarding artistic decisions
Program show schedule
Provide guidance on audition and rehearsal best practices
Evaluation and feedback
Provide artistic evaluation and feedback for HUGE Wednesdays shows and all weekend shows by: attending a minimum of two performances during their run, monitoring and assessing quality, and developing a formal feedback process for show producers and directors and/or cast that includes recommendations for potential next steps.
Work with program coordinator to gather online feedback from evaluation form that goes to all casts, directors and assistant directors; targeting an 80% minimum participation rate. Include this information in feedback given to the shows’ director (and assistant director and/or producer, as applicable). Meet with Directors (and Assistant Directors) to discuss.
Interface with Director of Diversity and Inclusion to continue the progress in the areas of diversity and inclusion on HUGE’s stage
Oversee and continue to develop the Assistant Director Program. Implement and refine purpose, path, expectations, evaluation and feedback
Create avenues for artistic and professional development of directors. Implement and refine purpose, path, expectations, evaluation and feedback
Maintain show pipeline and evaluation process and communication with an eye on transparency and timeliness
Develop new shows and programs in alignment with HUGE’s mission
Logistics and communication
Communicate show selection and coordinate scheduling with producers and directors
Announce show selection and schedule with public
Schedule auditions and callbacks (as applicable) in coordination with program coordinator
Ensure that safety standards and boundary check-in practices are known and followed
Be the general artistic point of contact for HUGE, for example manage artistic queries regarding licensing shows, or general inquiries from theaters, festivals, and show producers
Other duties as needed
Due to the small size of HUGE’s core staff, members of the leadership team with occasionally be called upon to take on additional responsibilities, in accordance with their skills and capacity
REQUIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
7+ years professional improv experience
3+ years experience teaching and directing improv, with an emphasis on longform
Effective management that aligns with artistic values and HUGE’s mission and values
Strong organizational, oral, and written communication
Commitment to furthering HUGE’s efforts at building diversity and inclusion
Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and deadlines
Ability to say no gracefully, reject proposals by friends and colleagues, and be the bearer of bad news in casting and other situations.
Support of artists and students, including fostering a safe and inclusive environment.
The ideal candidate will also have experience in nonprofit management.
Glossary of terms
Because of the changing nature of improv groups and productions, it’s useful to clarify the terms as HUGE is using them:
Show: Any production proposed and/or booked at HUGE Group : May be a set cast (i.e. The Mess) or may be a production entity that assembles a cast for a run of show. Producer: Person responsible for production support on the show side – may include all aspects of the group’s responsibilities outside of the artistic direction of show content, i.e. scheduling rehearsals, point of contact for logistics for both cast and venue, etc. Director: Person responsible for the quality and content of what is performed on stage – point of contact with venue for matters of artistic vision and quality as well as any issues, concerns and feedback involving the cast. Assistant Director: Responsible for working with the director to co-create and communicate the vision for the show with the cast through rehearsals and notes.