Phoenix Improv Community Scores a New Home in Central Phoenix

Homeless no more.

Starting May 1, the downtown Phoenix-area improv community, which has really blossomed over the past few years, will have its own digs.

The venue, which will most likely be called The Torch Theatre, is an approximately 1,400-square-foot space located at Central Avenue and Highland. Once they get the keys to the joint in May, they'll take about a month to get up-and-running - there's some painting, designing, and decorating to be done - before offering a full schedule of original improv skits starting sometime in June.

"What the new space does is give us a home base for our classes and shows, many of which have performed all over the country. It gives Phoenix a physical home for long-form improv theatre, comedy, and performance. Plus, people know where they can show up for some of the best improv in town," says longtime Valley improviser Jose Gonzalez (full disclosure: Gonzalez is also a frequent New Times contributor).

Some of the improv troupes that will perform at the new venue include Improvised Bookclub, where actors and actresses break-down a book through a series of improvised skits; Cagematch, which features two teams of improvisers competing against each other, with the winner reveled via secret audience balloting; and a number of local favorites, such as Apollo 12, Galapagos, and the Phoenix Neutrino Project.

Says Gonzalez, "As far as the improv community at large, the new space will give those looking for improv training another great place to go. Having an actual space of our own will be a boon to the Valley and show that we can help contribute to the kind of art and cultural scene that so many people over the past couple of decades have worked toward creating. On top of everything, we're just really excited about being able to do this!"

We are, too.

For more information on The Torch Theatre, go to www.thetorchtheatre.com.

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