A new improv theater is coming to Lyn-Lake this fall, leasing the space formerly held by Lava Lounge clothing store at 3037 Lyndale Ave.
Huge Improve Theater, the nonprofit company that is leasing the space, plans to have a roughly 100-seat theater open in late October and is pursuing a beer and wine license from the city.
While Minneapolis already has improv theaters like Comedy Sportz and Brave New Workshop, HUGE Executive Director Butch Roy said the Lyn-Lake theater will be dedicated to a unique form of imrpov.
The HUGE theater will be the only theater in the Twin Cities dedicated to long-form improv.
Most know improv in its short form through the Whose Line Is It Anyway? TV show and Comedy Sportz theaters in many major cities.
But long-form improv is much less structured than the short scenes of Whose Line.
Audience members will give the players a suggestion, and the players will act out an entire production based on that suggestion, allowing a group of comedic minds to shape the narrative as they go.
Roy said long-form productions are inevitable funny, but can at times become surprisingly poignant.
“I think that’s the beauty if improv. Because it can be anything and because people expect it to be comedy, they’re really along for the ride with you,” Roy said. “So when you can take that turn and do something dramatic and honest and touching, the response is so immediate and so much more rewarding than if you go expecting to see a scripted drama and that is what they deliver.”
Currently, HUGE produces a long-form improv show called Improv-A-Go-Go at Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S.
Roy said there are long-form improv theaters in several cities, bigger and smaller than Minneapolis.
Roy said he’s attended Chicago Improv Festivals and discovered that after New York, Chicago and L.A., Minneapolis is the most represented city when it comes to the volume of improv performs at the events.
That further solidified his idea that Minneapolis is ready for its own long-form improv theater.
Roy is asking for donations to help fund the renovation of the theater. Donation, tax-deductible, can be made at hugetheater.com/fundraising.