Obviously Unrehearsed Improv Announcement List


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Eric Webb <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:37:22 -0600
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Well, here it is: The last reminder to go out before our next show, which
will be:

OU Improv!
8:00pm-10pm in the Heritage Room, OMU (2nd floor above the food court): With
a 15 minute open mic starting at 8pm. Three 5-minute slots available. Sign
up by 7:30pm.

6:30pm: Hack Circle
7:00pm: Warm-Up

After-Show: 10:30pm-???: The ususal post-Improv gathering at The Lair (r) at
932 Drake Dr.

A special thanks to Brandon, Clint, Marcy, Kevin, Mikki, and Doug for
chalking and flyer-ing yesterday. Hope to see more of you come out for this
in two weeks, to publicize our next show.

What follows are the details on the new schedule and other changes decided
on in the 1st ever administrative/organizational meeting in the 2-year
history of OUI! that was held last Sunday.

If you just want to show up and laugh, then feel free to stop reading now.
If you plan on playing, participating, etc... then please, for the love of
comedy, READ ON!!!

- Eric


Hello OU Improvers,

We had some great input from folks at the administrative meeting we held on
Sunday. A big thanks goes out to all those that attended. We would like to
put the major points forward for mass consideration. While reading this,
please keep in mind that we consider OU Improv! to always be a masterful
work in progress with room for continuing suggestions and changes.

First, the timing of the show will be a little more solid so that people
know better when we begin and when we might end.  The rough schedule will be
as follows with details on the new additions to follow.


•   6:30-7:00pm:        Hack Circle and Hanging Out.
•   7:00-8:00pm:        Small Group Warm-Ups

•   8:00-8:15pm:        Opening act/Open mic
•   8:15-9:00pm:        Improv Games
•   9:00-9:15pm:        Intermission
•   9:15-10:00pm:       Improv Games

•   10:00-??????: Meet & Greet and Experimental Improv!

Now for the more squishy scheduling details:

•   Hack Circle: Seeing that lots of OU Improvers are also Hacky Sack Ninjas
™, a special “hacky sack time” seems appropriate to allow those who would
like to gather and play, the opportunity to do so, without cutting into the
Improv warm-up time.

•   Pre-Show Warm-Ups: The group warm-ups will be played in smaller groups.
These games will deal with movement in space, character development, and the
elements of scenes. It will be like a mini-workshop to get everyone feeling
like they could get up front and maybe make the rest of us laugh. Everyone
wanting to play should take advantage of this time, not just the core
players. Anthony, Clint and maybe a few others will function as leaders in
the groups.

•   Opening Act/Open Mic: The opening act section is in response to requests
from several members to have a chance to do standup routines during the
regular OUI! show. We decided to make a home for these folks right at the
beginning of a show and allow them to function as a warm-up/anticipation
builder for the main event, while still giving them the opportunity to “get
their funny on”. Anyone can do a stand-up routine, sing us a funny song
(with or without musical accompaniment), read a silly poem etc. Each person
will have 1 slot up to 5 minutes max to perform, allowing for a total of 3
opening acts per show. Please try to notify us in advance if you want a
slot, otherwise be there by 7:30 to sign-up for a slot.

•   Main Event: The show is basically like usual… full of solemnity and
grace :-) We have trimmed down the actually play time to try and avoid
“burn-out” on the part of the audience, and instituted a definitive

•   After-Show: After 10pm we encourage everyone to stick around for some
experimental improv lovin’. This is the time when we play new games and make
up our own. (We have the room until 1:00am, so we can play until whenever.)

Master of Ceremonies

In a very important discussion, we better defined the role and laid out the
responsibilities of the MC. Keeping a schedule like the one we’ve set out
above will depend heavily on the involvement of an MC to keep the show
moving and focused. The MC (with the possibility of two people co-MC’ing)
should not be someone participating in games on that evening. This
separation will help to eliminate players as MC’s that are trying to do two
things at once: focus on the microcosm of the games while keeping in mind
the overall macrocosm of the show. Anybody (including core players, they
just can’t play for that particular show) can be the MC. Just let us know
ahead of time if you’re interested in doing the job. The job of MC is very
important because it keeps chaos from roosting in our shows.  For now, Eric
and Marcy will probably be the ones doing it. Let us know if you want to.

Duties of an MC

•   Coordinate the beginnings and endings of games.

•   Keep the show rolling. Follow the playlist for the evening.

•   Get ask-fors from the audience.

•   Be aware of the disposition and mood of the players when taking
suggestions from the audience.
Try and find suggestions they may really want to use.

•   Be able to sense a climax in the game and call the end of the game,
should it be appropriate.

Fun Club Rules (They’re just guidelines, really.)

We’ve articulated a few guidelines so that everyone will know them and
consider them conditions of playing with OU Improv!.

1.   When the MC accepts the suggestions from the crowd, then the players in
the game must run with it.

2.   If a player doesn’t like the suggested set-up for the game, they should
withdraw (or tag out) from that game and let someone else play it. Player’s
shouldn’t be trying to steer games in a given direction out of personal

3.   When the MC calls the end of the game, the players should gracefully
exit the playing area. Don’t ignore the MC or get miffed because the game is
over. (The end is called usually following a climax so that the players look
good and so that the game does not run on overly long.) Besides, there are
always more games.

4.   Additional or supplemental players are encouraged to jump-in and save a
scene if they have something to offer. The established players should go
with the new direction and acknowledge the new elements of the scene.

5.   At the beginning of a show, a short disclaimer will be presented so
people know a little bit about how tasteless and ridiculous the next two
hours might be and that while no one person or group is ever targeted in a
premeditated or malicious manner, nothing is sacred or taboo. We are equal
opportunity offenders, in the name of comedy.

6.   Improv is about being flexible and creative with whatever is thrown at
you. Planning ahead is not encouraged… except when it concerns the macrocosm
of the entire show and how its run… yeah, that’s the ticket!

Props Needs:

We are looking for donations to the prop box. Hats, masks, wigs, costume
pieces, gadgets, accessories are welcome and needed. Also, if you have any
weird generic props like big pieces of foam or other nondescript shapes to
be used in the “props” game, let us know.

If you want more info about improv comedy, check out this website:
www.humanpingpongball.com. It is the authoritative online encyclopedia for

Of course, if you have questions or comments, get in touch.


Marcy Fleming
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Eric Webb
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