This September comedy connoisseur Dave Thurston is paying tribute to a lesser-known style of improv: the long form. And he's doing so with the help of professional funnymen Dan Bakkedahl (The Heat, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Office, 30 Rock, Veep) and Rob Janas of Second City.
Unlike the short form improv that most audiences are accustomed to seeing on stage, long form take the same core group of characters and follows them throughout difference scenes and scenarios.
In recent press release issued by Outliars, Thurston says that while long form improv is one of the more entertaining and open-ended styles of comedy, most audiences have never heard of it. "Anything can happen, " he says. "But people don't know what it is." Hence his putting together a three-day event dedicated solely to one style of comedy.
Shows for the Arizona Long Form Improv Festival are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m. at the Dobson Ranch Inn & Suites in Mesa, and at 8 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Chandler on Friday, September 5. Two more shows will happen at 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, inside Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. Admission is $20 per performance.
The festival will also feature a show that brings together Outliars performers and other local improv troupes at 8 p.m.on Saturday, September 6, at the Radisson Hotel in Chandler. Tickets for this particular show are $10. Any troupes that would like to participate in the local showcase can do so by contacting 480-784-7258. Performance fee is $100.
For those whose improv needs improvement, Outliars Comedy Club will be offering special long form workshops led by Janas from noon to 2:15 p.m. and another led by Bakkedahl from 3 to 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. An additional "Intro to Improv" workshop will be led by Thurston from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, at the Dobson Ranch Inn & Suites in Mesa. Workshops are $35 each and include a $50 voucher for future Outliars Comedy Club classes, as well as two free tickets to a show.
For more information and future updates on the festival, visit outliarscomedy.squarespace.com.