Improv FAQ

What are the most common problems students have in the Improv! competition?

The biggest problem is not accounting for the very short amount of time that they have to perform their scene. Because of the number of teams we have to get through, each team has a very limited amount of time to jump right into the game. As a result, if teams spend too much time on creating an environment, character relationship, and getting right into the “gimmick” of the game, then 1) they won’t have enough scene to fully show their ability, and 2) they run the risk of some team members not being fully included (such as in Evil Twin, in which only a few players start the scene). Improvisers need to be efficient with their scenework.

The other common problem, as high school improvisers are prone to do, is to “go for the funny.” This usually translates into ridiculous suggestions that their fellow teammates might have more trouble justifying. Remember – they look good when they make everybody look good, so team members should make offerings that support what everybody else is doing.


Can we make substitutions to our Improv! team?

Yes. If at all possible, let us know ahead of time (send an email to improv@gathespians.org), but if absolutely necessary, we can sub out students at time of registration. If at all possible, however, please don’t just drop someone without a replacement – because your team of five is actually distributed into five different teams, not having a team member hurts somebody else’s team.


Will the teams get any feedback on their performance?

For 2019, we’re changing the scoring sheets a little bit, and included with that is the possibility of adding comments for performance feedback. Because there’s not a huge amount of time for each team, feedback won’t be voluminous, but we hope to give some.

Teams will be able to see their score sheets at the end of the evening. Because each team is composed of students from different schools, it won’t really work for them to take the sheets with them, but students are welcome to take photos of them with their phones for later review.