End Game Improv

EndgameImprovciverREVIEW

LGBTQ Jam is an evolving improv group made up of LGBTQ folks. They had their 3rd performance presented by EndGames Improv at the Unscripted Theater in San Francisco on January 21st. The show was about an hour and a half long including an intermission. LGBTQ Jam invited audience members on stage during their show, adding new ideas and new styles of humor throughout the performance. The group asked the audience for one-word suggestions and then created a series of skits based on each suggestion. Their skits ranged from a conversation between a massage therapist and a client, to an aquarium store that houses skeletons, to miley cyrus teaching a baseball team how to twerk to improve their batting skills.

I thought the funniest improvisation was a skit based on the word “turbine.” One performer started off by standing on a chair and acting like a tour guide at the Hoover Dam. The rest of the performers quickly joined in and took up character as tourists, flashing pretend cameras and asking the tour guide humorously annoying questions. One tourist was convinced that the dam was really a Hoover vacuum, and a series of witticisms ensued as the tourists become increasingly confused about the nature of the dam. While many skits were laugh-out-loud funny others fell flat, but it is all fun and games with improv. The awkward moments have their place in the process and, when acknowledged by the performers, add to the humor.

Some performers of LGBTQ Jam and some audience participants took classes through EndGame Improv, which offers training in group dynamics, character development, scene work, and utilizing games. This training came through in the performance with smooth scene transitions and with some performers cleverly referencing jokes from earlier skits later in the show. The skill level of the audience members who volunteered to participate was also impressive.

Halfway through the performance, one troop member Roman read inspiring Audre Lorde quotes and talked about how improv saved his life. He feels empowered when performing improv and encourages other LGBTQ people to take an improv class or attend a show and give participating a try. You can catch performances by LGBTQ Jam on the first Wednesdays of the month at Stage Werx in San Francisco (time to be determined).

Revae Hitt is a Guest contributor at InQueery.