UNI Interpreters Theatre Presents Improv at the Interp: Theatre without a Net!



The UNI Interpreters Theatre show is located in Lang Hall 040. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and is free of charge.


On April 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. UNI Interpreters Theatre will be putting on a show titled “Improv in the Interp: Theatre Without a Net!” Directed by Doug Shaw, an all-new troupe of performers will be putting on a show that is interactive and completely unscripted. 

“This show will be totally unscripted theater. We will be performing a variety of unscripted vignettes with different rules to create some in-the-moment comedy,” says Shaw. Due to the spontaneous nature of the show, each performance is guaranteed to be different. 

The show will be located in Lang Hall 040 on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The admission is completely free, however, seating is very limited. Those wanting to attend can reserve seating ahead of time through Everbrite.com to ensure a spot at the show. 

“All theater is to some extent a relationship between the actors and the audience. But the actors have a safety net – they know what is going to happen ahead of time. So there is always an unequal power dynamic in that relationship. Improvisational theater is more dangerous – it can all blow up in our faces – but it is also more egalitarian,” says Shaw about the name of the show. 

Unlike scripted performances, improvisational performances leave not only the audience in the dark as to what will happen next, but the performers will not know either. “Students should see this show because they will have a chance to see a kind of comedy that they rarely get to see, and will be present for a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Shaw of the show.

People may be familiar with shows such as Whose Line is it Anyway? that share the same genre of theatre, but Shaw aims for a more refined form of improv that will focus more on the characters. The show is still labeled a comedy, but will take a slightly different shape than the typical college improv performance.

“It is hard not to laugh with people who are having such a good time,” Shaw says of the cast of the show, “There is so much chemistry when you see them onstage together. They love performing, they truly enjoy each other.” 

The world of improv is vast and full of many different possibilities and scenarios. During the show, the performers and audience members are placed in the same boat as the story unfolds and a new adventure takes place. Shaw has expressed much excitement for this show and the cast. 

If students find themselves enjoying the world of improvisational theatre, then they will be in luck. Some Assembly Acquired, a well-known improv troupe who has been running for over a decade in the Cedar Falls community and on campus have put on many shows over the years and continue to do so. Their shows can be found on the University of Northern Iowa calendar of events for anyone interested in attending. The Cedar Falls Community Theatre at the historic Oster Regent Theatre is also just starting to offer improv classes in an attempt to grow the improv community in Cedar Falls.