Improv

Online Show Of The Week – INTERVIEW – The Global Improv Project : Close Distance

This weeks Show of the week is a very special one – it is celebrating a brand new international Improv show which starts this week on Sunday 15th November at 17:00 GMT on Facebook. It sounded like a really interesting and exciting concept that I caught up with Sarah Davies who runs Improv Gym and Loosely Woven Theatre and Cale Evans who runs the Global Improv Project.


Hello there tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m Sarah Davies, an improviser from UK, and a Drama Lecturer and Producer. I co-run improv school (currently virtually) Improv Gym, and Loosely Woven Theatre. In addition to Close Distance, I perform with Improbotics, Twinprov, City Impro, Plus Support, and virtually with Extreme Improv, The World of Improv and Improv After Party! 

I’m answering these questions with the help of Cale Evans, who is the Founder of Queen City Comedy which runs the Global Improv Project.

Tell us all about the project that you are bringing to the online world?

Our project is a brand-new international improv show, which is part of the Global Improv Project run by Queen City Comedy, based in North Carolina, USA! Our troupe is one of three newly formed groups, and we’ve named ourselves Close Distance, as we are made up of players from all around the world, coming together online to play and create! 

How did you get involved?

Queen City Comedy ran global auditions to create the new troupes! I was drawn to audition because I love the opportunity to play with people from all around the world, and QCC’s friendly and inclusive ethos really chimes with everything that I love about improv! 

Tell us about the other players in the show

We have a really awesome mix of players, coached by Cale Evans – Karla Dingle, who also co-runs Queen City Comedy, Aarti from Bangalore, India, Alex from Glasgow, Scotland, Andrew from Greenville, SC USA,  Brandon from Baltimore, MD USA Kylie – from Capetown, South Africa, Lauren from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Ofer from Tel Aviv, Israel, Simone from Malta, and myself – Sarah from the super exotic Kent, UK! 

What times does it run throughout the day?

We are looking at having monthly shows, and our next will be on Sunday 15th November at 17:00 GMT

How much does it cost , what platform etc?

You can catch us on facbook for zero pennies! https://www.facebook.com/events/2692018187731658

How was the project formed?

Queen City Comedy desperately wanted to keep the improv energy going during the pandemic.  Leveraging the positive side of improvising virtually, they ran global auditions to see who might be interested in an all-virtual international improv project.  They intended to create one team, but stated that they found so much talent and enthusiasm that three new improv teams were born! 

How has it been going so far?

It’s been brilliant! Admittedly we DO have to have a LOT of conversations about time zones, and the clocks going back this week was a major issue, but once we’ve accomplished that bit, we get to rehearse and connect, and are currently honing our form (The Armando) in delicious detail! 

How do you rehearse for an online show?

In many ways, if feels similar to rehearsing in the real word (remember that?!) – maybe with just a super focus on listening an communication, and making edits as clear as possible – the idea is to really make the most of, and have fun with the virtual format! 

With everything happening in the world now, why is it so important to have activities like yours available?

For me, it’s all about escapism, and being able to create something amazing amid what feels like Armageddon! One positive to come out of all of this is the links with improvisers across the world, which enriches everything and brings some much-needed diversity and different cultural experiences to improv – it’s amazing!

What are three things you have learnt about adapting to improv online?

Listen, listen and then listen some more! It’s all about communication!

The improv ethos of celebrating failure and mistakes is so important – because tech failures will happen, and you have to incorporate that!

At some point, there will be a cat.

Even when shows are back in theatres in the future will you personally be considering doing any more online content? 

I will – like I said, there’s a lot that’s really enriching, and I’m keen to keep fostering and expanding global connections. 

What can people expect over the next few weeks from your project?

The Global Improv project is ramping up with more shows by Close Distance and other teams, classes, workshops, jams, diversity and inclusion events, and more!

If people want to find out more about you on social media where shall they visit?

https://www.facebook.com/queencitycomedycharlotte

Visit Queen City Comedy on Facebook or email info@QueenCityComedy.com

Finally, why should people get involved?

To be part of a global community experimenting with improv in the most collaborative and exciting way! 

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