|Photo courtesy of Station Theater|
|Inspired improvisational bedlam is created by (l. to r., standing): Tandi Kone, Laura Helmers, Royal Millen, Amy Birkhead; and (kneeling) Antoine Culbreath.|
Improvisational theater, usually shortened to "improv", is a theater performance where actors work without a prepared script, creating characters and situations spontaneously, often on themes suggested by the audience. The performances are almost always comedic, though some troupes use improv to create drama as well. Short-form improv consists of brief skits, while long-form improv seeks to spin out a theme into a more sustained story line. Houston is blessed with a number of improv theater troupes, and Station Theater is one, performing Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The format varies by day, and we attended on a Friday, which features long-form improv.
Improv is a bit like Nik Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope, as he did in 2012, in that nerves of steel are required, intense concentration, and a boatload of courage. Station Theater encourages performers by offering on Fridays a free class in improv at 7:30, with those attending admitted free to the 8:30 show. The early part of the performance had audience members formed into three teams of about six or seven members, and performing in sequence.More »