Breaking Down RAWR
This weekend ten improv comedy groups are coming together for RAWR – Penn State’s first improv festival. All performances are at the Pavilion Theatre.
When most people think of improv, they conjure images of Whose Line It Anyway? or Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out. But the reality is that there are a wide variety of styles, with each group performing their own variant. Of course, the one thing they all have in common is that everything is completely unscripted and unrehearsed. We’ve got the festival’s schedule laid out just so you know what to expect.
Friday January 15th
Your Ex-Boyfriends is Penn State’s “tag-out” style improv group. The four members take a suggestion from the audience, discuss what the term means to them, and performs a set of completely on-the-spot scenes inspired by their discussion.
8:20pm Subject to Change
Subject to Change is the University of Richmond’s improvisational comedy group. They perform both long-form (a group of scenes that is similar to an improvised play) and short form (Whose Line Is It Anyway-style games where performers make jokes within a specific set of rules) improv.
Quipfire, Princeton University’s, student improv group, has taken their comedy on the road to a variety of locales, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.
The Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB) Theatre has become one of the foremost names in improvisational comedy. The theatre has featured performers such as SNL’s Amy Poehler, The Hangover‘s Ed Helms, Funny People’s Aziz Ansari, and many, many more. Their touring company will headline the first night of the festival with their signature brand of comedy.
Saturday, January 16th
Full Ammo Improv performs the “Armando” variant of long-form improv comedy at Penn State twice a month. After asking for a word from the audience, a member of the group will share a story from their life. Elements from this anecdote are incorporated into a series completely made-up scenes.
8:20pm Maybe Sherman
Maybe Sherman describes itself as “the additional improv comedy group New York City so sorely needs. Or maybe not.” The group has performed at Comix, Under St. Mark’s, Gotham City Improv, The PIT, Magnet Theater and Broadway Comedy Club.
8:40pm Rubber Chickens (University of Delaware)
The Rubber Chickens are the University of Delaware’s premiere improvisational comedy group. They host their own festival, DISCO (the Delaware Improv and Sketch Comedy O’Festival) annually.
9:00pm [email protected]&
[email protected]& (pronounced) “Matt and” is a show where improv comedian Matt Holmes performs with a member of the audience who has never tried improv before. With no pre-planning, costumes, or sets, the two do a show based on a suggestion from the audience.
9:30pm Rare Bird Show
Rare Bird Show is a staple of the Philadelphia longform improv comedy scene. The three-person troupe has been a feature of the Philadelphia Improv Festival, Toronto International Improv Festival, the Chicago Improv Festival at Second City, and the Del Close Marathon at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Baby Wants Candy takes a suggestion from the audience and puts on an entire musical, complete with singing, dancing,and a pit band. The group has featured the talents of SNL‘s Seth Meyers, 30Rock‘s Jack McBrayer, and Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band‘s Garry Talllent.