Good evening. Welcome! The show you are about to witness, on this small stage, is completely improvised. We have no script, no pre-memorized lines, and no idea what will happen. We don’t use props or costumes. We don’t take suggestions. We don’t accept advice, support, or money. This show is completely unprepared, and we don’t know whether it will be good, or bad, or emotionally satisfying for anyone.
Tonight, you will witness The Law of Quantum Indeterminacy performed in a black-box theater. This means that our show literally does not exist until the moment you see it happen — for in True Improv, what is the future but a cloak of whirling shadows?
Tonight could be a lot of fun. Or, maybe not. We just don’t know.
If you see something this evening that makes you laugh, or cringe, or wonder, “Why would a talking shark ask questions in Spanish and not understand Spanish answers?” — rest assured we didn’t write it. It popped into existence spontaneously from the group mind of our Improv team, Einstein’s Dice. Did I know I would tell you this? Absolutely not.
So saddle up, amigos, because tonight, we will create characters, relationships, and entire scenes, ex nihilo. Anything can happen. We might play dentists discussing their failed marriages inside an Arby’s. Or we might play the crew of an airline that for some reason only flies with leprechauns. This entire show might take place in an undersea mermaid palace, or a place called “Canadian Heaven,” or it could be set in a public bathroom with unreasonably-spaced sinks. But now that I have spoken them out loud, these possibilities are dead to us. We have literally no idea what will happen tonight and neither does God.
By a show of hands, who has never seen improv before? Alright, four people. The four of you are probably asking, “Good lord, surely you have a few go-to Batman references, stock hunchbacked lab assistants, and jokey Irish accents? I assume your comedy troupe prepared something, to ensure my evening won’t be wasted?”
The answer is no. We prepared nothing. Reality is spoken into existence like a child’s first promise, and our minds, like our fake accents, are a fathomless infinitude where a writer’s screams fall on deaf ears.
In Einstein’s Dice, foreknowledge is impossible! We don’t even know which theater this is. We arrived in your city blindfolded, brought by a kidnapper who was instructed to follow an improvised route that would shake us up a bit.
This evening, we guarantee but one thing: that nothing is guaranteed!
Just minutes ago, all of us on stage — Greg, Zoey, other Greg, and me, Mike — emptied our minds by standing in a circle and chanting random phrases like “You’re my babushka.” Then we crawled on the ground like worms. This happened in the back parking lot, and I definitely got cut on some broken glass back there. We have no bandages for my unplanned wounds. If I need a doctor, we will improvise one.
Understand this: Should tonight’s improv take one of our lives, do not intervene.
You should also know that right before we warmed up, we kicked both Gregs out of the troupe, recruited two random people off the street to join us, and named them both “Greg.” That’s right — in this troupe, our Gregs are improvised and will be performing for the first time.
Tonight, we ask but one favor of you, kind audience members: If at any point during this show one of our choices feels — to any of you — like it was predictable or clichéd, please raise your hand and shout, “Skit comedy!” Then, each of us will bite an ampoule of shellfish neurotoxin, securely lodged in our gums, our dead bodies will collapse on this stage, and our spirits will rejoin a celestial dance with the ancient masters, Werner Heisenberg and Del Close.
So prepare yourselves. Strap in. Gird your loins. Silence your cell phones. Stow your expectations. Shit’s about to get real up on this 12’ x 10’ with three Bentwood chairs and a wooden box that we might pretend is Plymouth Rock or a table at a sushi restaurant that only serves enchiladas. Are you ready? The improv is about to begin. Keep in mind tonight’s show could last as little as 13 seconds, or as long as indefinitely. When the lights come up, God will be surprised.