Improv Comedy Show or Improv 101 Course at ComedySportz NYC (Up to 70% Off)

Midtown West

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In a Nutshell

Saturday-evening showcases of clean improv comedy; learn improv fundamentals through games and teamwork, culminating in a group show

The Fine Print

Expires 90 days after purchase. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Limit 1 per visit. Reservation required. Improv course is non-transferable. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Laughter is the best medicine, narrowly edging out prescription drugs from a board-certified physician. Hilarity heals with this Groupon.

Laughter is the best medicine, narrowly edging out prescription drugs from a board-certified physician. Hilarity heals with this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $9 for two general-admission tickets to any [ComedySportz NYC](http://www.comedysportznewyork.com/info-and-tickets/show-info/), held every Saturday at 6 p.m. ($30 value)
  •  $100 for a six-week [Improv 101 course](http://www.comedysportznewyork.com/improv-classes/), meeting Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($250 value)

Improv Comedy: Making it Up as They Go Along

You never know what you're going to see at an improv comedy show—and that's the beauty of it. Read on to learn just how it is that actors can put their scenes together so fast.

Even when their characters are arguing, improv comics are working from a philosophy of trust and agreement—necessary ingredients for acting together with no script. Improv comedy encompasses a broad array of styles, with the major division between short form—quick, self-contained games—and long form—a series of multiple, interconnected scenes featuring distinct beats. Accordingly, a given performance might resemble a one-act play, a Saturday Night Live–style sketch scene, or a high-energy game show. Most rely on audience suggestions to spark the flow of fresh ideas, however, and some even weave brave audience members into the action.

Perhaps the most famous long-form style is the Harold, in which performers build continuous scenes that develop and intermingle in surprising ways. The unusual name arises from a joke, according to developer Del Close's biography, The Funniest One in the Room. As Close asked his collaborators what to call the new form, someone sarcastically yelled, "Well, Harold's a nice name." Appropriately for a form devoted to spontaneous absurdity, the name stuck.

This comic form also has roots in one of America's darkest eras: the Great Depression. While working for the Works Progress Administration, Viola Spolin needed a way to teach basic theater precepts to unschooled actors of various ages and backgrounds, so she created a series of theater games that focused on the playfulness at the heart of acting. In the 1950s, her son, Paul Sills, applied her principles at the short-lived but influential Compass Players on Chicago's South Side, and, later, at The Second City—one of the most prominent comedy companies of the 20th century, with alumni including John Belushi, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell.


Tips

  • “Fun. Took young kids and they loved it too!”

  • “I was looking forward to this class but, I didn't know what to expect. I am happy to say there are lots and lots of "exercises" and "scenes" work in an environment...”

    “I was looking forward to this class but, I didn't know what to expect. I am happy to say there are lots and lots of "exercises" and "scenes" work in an environment which is, both, challenging and fun with many many opportunities for learning and growth.”

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    Midtown West

    318 W 53rd St

    New York, New York 10019

    646-580-0291

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