Georgetown Improv Association hosts Improvfest: They’re just one hot mess

DSC_0261This weekend, Georgetown Improv Association will be hosting its annual Improvfest. The festival will feature sets from visiting groups such as Ohio State University’s 8th Floor Improv, the University of Maryland’s The Bureau, University of Florida’s Theater Strike Force, the People’s Improv Theater, Tickle Party, and Washington Improv Theater’s Season Six.

Although somewhat of a lesser-known group in the Performing Arts department, the Georgetown Improv Association’s performances always abound with dynamism and humor, even if the performers themselves don’t realize it.

“I like it when we will be in the back  and we’ll be panicking like, ‘Oh my god there’s nothing going on with this scene,’ but at the same time the audience will be laughing.” said Joe Luther  (COL ’16).

In it’s preparations for the festival, GIA has managed difficulties obtaining performance space CSP, while trying to refine and focus on new aspects of the art.

“With every producer, I think, they each bring different focuses to the elements of improv that are important,” said Tucker Cholvin (SFS ’15). “I think last year we were very focused on game development and game structure.” Jayant Gandhi (SFS ’13) followed up by saying, “I have been focusing more on the relationships between characters.”

The troupe was been eagerly anticipating the arrival of other student and professional groups such as the University of Maryland The Bureau and Wasington Improv Theater’s Tickle Party. “I’m excited to see UMD because in the past we have traveled and seen them in competitions,” said Emlyn Crenshaw (COL ’15).

The troupe also hopes that Improvfest will raise new challenges and provide an opportunity for them to improve their own performance skills. Gandhi said, “Trying to get faster, I think, is the main thing since we have limited time this time around.”

However, as far as preparation goes, improv is unique in that you actually can’t prepare for a set. “We don’t really prepare for shows. There’s no lines to be learned. We just go up,” Cholvin said.

Gandhi went on to say, “Most of our pet peeves are when people ask us, ‘Tell us. Really, when do you write the script?”.

If the scenes were indeed written beforehand, Vox can’t help but fear for the sanctity of the future of comedy.

The shows are at 9 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Tickets are available for purchase online and cost $5 for students. Go if only to see Vox‘s wonderful advice columnist Emlyn perform.

Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice

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