Two full length Stage Fright shows now online


Yesterday was the closing night of STAGE FRIGHT: AN IMPROVISED HOMAGE TO HITCHCOCK. For those of you who missed the run, or for anyone who might want to catch a little more, there are now two full shows available on Vimeo. Featured below are the shows from the last two Saturdays. A special thanks to KEVIN REGAN for filming.

Show from Saturday, April 23rd
Suggested Location: Library + Suggested Psychological Fear: Spiders

Show from Saturday, April 30th
Suggested Location: Blimp + Suggested Psychological Obsession: Counting

Click This: Roe, Schier and Radzinski chat it up on CBS Philly


Here’s a clip from featuring AMIE ROE, KRISTEN SCHIER and MARY RADZINSKI talking about being female in comedy, many of their inspirations coming up, and what their ideal audience might look like.

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Promo trailer for Stage Fright – closing this weekend


Using clips from the show on Saturday, 4/23 (a show inspired by a library and spiders), here’s a promo trailer for STAGE FRIGHT: AN IMPROVISED HOMAGE TO HITCHCOCK – giving you a taste of what the shows have been like. The show closes this Sunday, so you only have three chances to see a new Hitchcockian story improvised just for you.


Video: The Roast of Meg Favreau


Monday night during CHIP CHANTRY’S ONE MAN SHOW, the night was dedicated to roasting one of Philadelphia’s dearest darlings… MEG FAVREAU, who soon departs for Los Angeles.

For those who are kicking themselves for missing it, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER was kind enough to get the whole thing on video for posterity.

Below is the start of the roast. You can check out the rest in 14 parts on PHIT’s YouTube channel

Video Sneak Peek: The Gross Show


Many of you might already be familiar with THE GROSS SHOW… one the newest and more lively additions to the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER‘s roster of recurring shows. For those still unacquainted, the live show takes aim at the most odd, extreme or unbelievable among our species with a Jerry Springer-esque slant. Host ALEX GROSS brings audiences into a world where taboo is typical and relationships have a bit of an edge to them. The show garnered so much attention in it’s first few runnings – the antics raised to such levels – that it had to be given a new night.  I think those that have seen it would agree that words somehow fail in adequately trying to explain this show to you. So instead, enjoy this little reel of moments past:


You can catch THE GROSS SHOW Tuesday, March 29th at 8:30PM. More info

Click This: IE Mission – King Philip IV


In ImprovEverywhere’s latest mission, coincidences come together to resurrect 400 year old King Philip IV for a few celebratory autographs

[photo credit: Katie Sokoler]

Ted Talk on improvisation and the brain


Below is a TED TALK by DR CHARLES LIMB, researcher and musician, discussing the effects of improvisation on the brain.

Limb’s general thesis for the talk as well as his research is that artistic creativity is a neurologic product that can be examined using rigorous scientific methods.

For his experiments, he uses fMRI to map Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) Imaging, giving him a look at changes in brain activity. Although Limb locks his sights on more music-specific subjects – testing both improvisation jazz and hip hop freestyle… we improvisers can quickly see how many of the theories can be applied to theatrical improvisation as well.

Using pre-established memorized pieces as a control, during the improvisations Limb and his colleagues saw a deactivation of the lateral prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain associated with self-monitoring. He also found large stimulation in the medial prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with self-expression. Limb’s general hypothesis is that to fully engage creativity, your brain needs to disassociate with identity and consciousness, thereby stripping away inhibition, opening up the gates for unhindered expression.

“Don’t Think” indeed. These findings and initial theories sound eerily similar to countless late night conversations I’ve had with JOE BILL.

During exchanges between multiple musicians (‘trading fours’ in jazz), Limb also found a marked activation of the Broca’s area in the left inferior frontal gyrus, the language center of the brain. He postulates with further research, the adage of music being a language itself could very much hold true.

It makes me wonder about the brain activity going on in improvised musicals or during shows like The Beatbox. Shows where his research and our little hobby intersect. Watching those folks perform on stage, I am consistently in awe of what I’m witnessing, and soon science may be putting similar fascinations in the spotlight.

Limb goes on to ask some big questions on science’s ability, place and future in mapping creativity. I’m interested to see where this research is at several years down the road. Until then, enjoy the video.