North Texas Daily

UNT Improv teaches how to be funny

UNT Improv teaches how to be funny

February 28
20:09 2013

Kyle Kehrwald

Contributing Writer

UNT Improv is expanding its reach to Thursday nights, offering a completely improvised hour-long free show starting at 8 p.m.

The show is in standard long form, where a group of six to eight people get a word from the audience and create a scene based off the word. As the scene progresses, other members will use the material to keep the scene going for up to 30 minutes. Then a second group takes over with a new word and repeats the process.

“We really just want to spread the love of live comedy and let everyone know that stand-up isn’t the only thing you can do on a stage that’s funny,” UNT Improv member Jason Pollard said.

The performances are a way of getting people acquainted with the idea of improvisation.

“A lot of people aren’t comfortable participating in improv at first,” UNT Improv president Colten Winburn said. “This is a venue for people to see exactly what improv is, and they can just watch without feeling pressure to get up there with us.”

Those who want to get involved can then go to the Monday workshop and jam sessions. The workshop is from 8-9 p.m. in Wooten 222 and helps people learn the principles of improvisation through various exercises. The jam session that immediately follows splits people up into groups to perform for each other.

Thursday’s performers are selected from the Monday night jams. The improvisers are switched out each week to give every member a chance to perform and offer variety to the audience.

Occasionally UNT’s competitive improv troupe Lazer Minnelli will perform, but UNT Improv gives everyone a chance to perform.

“The best part, as a performer, is to see people come out to the show in one mood, and leave a different, happy mood,” said undeclared business freshman Matthew Woldt, a member of the improv group.

The members agree that improv is fun, and Winburn said it could even be life changing.

“It makes you more outgoing and confident and a better person. Standard comedy is about competition,” Winburn said. “Improv is about teamwork and listening and supporting each other.”

UNT Improv has been unofficially active for five years, but became an official group last fall. Members are not required to have prior experience, and the members who run the workshops have three or more years of improv under their belt.

Visit UNT Improv’s Facebook page or their Twitter account for more information about upcoming shows or news shared at meetings.

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