"Bravo" or "Tip Your Waiter"

theater

When you think of improv do you think of a theater...where people sit in rows of seats and watch the show from the dark?  Or do you think of a club with cabaret tables and a 2 drink minimum?

In a theater:
  • Plays
  • musicals
  • variety shows
  • the occasional lecture
  • ushers
  • and a curtain

In a club :

  • Stand up comics
  • bands
  • drinks
  • snacks
  • waiters
  • and neon lights

How do those things affect the improvisation?

In a theater you can develop storytelling and relationships.  The improv is more 'theatrical'.

In a club can be more random with stronger shorter scenes.  The improv is more 'comic'.

The operational necessity of serving drinks brings with it a built in disruption [or distraction].

It is easier to do club-improv in a theater than to do theater-improv in a club.

To argue which style of improv is 'better' would be useless.  It's simply important to determine which style of improv you enjoy.  Once you've done that then it can be helpful to you as a producer and performer to consider the expectations and experiences of the venue in which you present your improvisation.

For example:  In a club it may be helpful to use microphones so that you can be heard above the bar noise.  And, after all, microphones are part of the club experience.

Where do you perform improv?

Which do you prefer: club or theater?

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