Art of Improvisation

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Upright Citizens Brigade is back in Iowa City for a night full of “improvised hilarity.”

The troupe will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Englert, 221 E. Washington St. Admission is $15 for student and seniors, $18 for the general public.

The Brigade tours all over the country with its hand-picked comedians from New York and Los Angeles. It performs a type of long-form improvisation in which the performers create an entire show with interconnected scenes, characters, and ideas that are completely new each night.

Everything is created on the spot; there is no planning or writing involved.

The group first came to New York from Chicago in 1996, when Amy Poehler was one of its resident comedians. Her and three other comedians saw the lack of “Chicago-style” improv in New York and decided to create a training program in 1997.

From that moment on, the Upright Citizens Brigade became the place where edgy, fresh comedy took the stage. As the group became more well-known in the comedy world, the training program started to spread to students who wanted to learn the art of improvisation.

The Brigade still offers some of the best improv, sketch, and standup comedy New York City has to offer every night of the week.

The theater in LA opened in 2005, making the Brigade the only “bi-coastal sketch” improv and comedy troupe in the country.

Past cast members include Ed Helms, Aubrey Plaza, Horatio Sanz, Ellie Kemper, and Zach Woods.

— by Samantha Gentry

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