Splitsider: 12 Colleges with Great Improv Groups
August 27, 2012 Leave a comment
I wrote an article for Splitsider‘s “college week” about some of the great improv groups at colleges across the country.
“These days, it’s safe to say every college in the country has an improv group. Most of them perform “short-form” games, but several have also adopted the “long-form” style best known in cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. While many of these groups are located in those regions, or have Ivy League pedigrees, a good number have miraculously sprung up in the country’s unlikeliest of corners, from the swamps of Florida to a few miles from the Canadian border in Washington state.
Despite their regional differences, it’s interesting how similar many of these groups are. Most have around 9-12 members. All of them are extremely popular on their campuses and play to packed crowds on a regular basis. Most have apocryphal origins (Harvard’s group was allegedly founded to reenact episodes of Star Trek). Most importantly, they say, all are composed of people who are best friends – they live together, travel together, spend several hours a week rehearsing together, party together, and yes, date, sleep with, and in some cases marry each other.
College students – for whom focusing on a “real career” seems light years away – have the luxury of seeing their improv team as a sacred fraternity (unsurprisingly, most of them are not involved in Greek life), upon which it is worth spending countless hours each week and hundreds of dollars out of pocket.
Thanks to the Internet and a number of national improv festivals – the National College Improv Tournament, the Del Close Marathon, and festivals organized by the colleges themselves – the college improv network has exploded over the past few years. It’s time they received attention from someone other than student newspapers.”
Read the full post on Splitsider.com.