What is Improv? and Why Should I See it?

You’re looking for something to do in Providence this weekend- to get out of the house, go on a date night, or meet up with some friends. You come across Kismet Improv, but you’re not really sure what goes on at an improv show. Here’s a helpful explainer.

1. Improv is Comedy

When we present a show at Kismet, our first goal is to make you laugh, just like at a stand-up or sketch show, such as Saturday Night Live. You’ll have a nice seat, a cold drink, and a chance to enjoy funny material with other people in a good mood.

2. Improv is Made-up on the Spot

Everything that happens in our improv shows is being created right in front of you. This is where improv differs from a stand-up or sketch show - while those are written ahead of time and rehearsed, the improvisers on stage in front of you making it up as they go. They use anything for inspiration- a phrase, a song title, a movie genre- and go!

3. Improv is like Comedy as a Sport

You might think it’s impossible for a group of people to be funny on the spot, but it can actually be just as hilarious as something prepared. How? Improvisers practice a lot, the way that basketball players practice taking layups, shooting three-pointers and running plays. And the same way that no two basketball games are the same, no two improv shows are the same. It’s a lot of fun to watch talented players working together to wow the audience.

4. Improv is for Everyone

We’ve designed our Friday and Saturday night shows to be a good time for anyone, whether you’ve seen improv before or not. Every week we present:

  • Fridays, 7:30pm: Friday Night Frenzy! This show is ideal for people who are seeing improv for the first time. Our host will ask the performers to play fun improv games to show off their ability to think on their feet and make you laugh. It’s a little like ‘Whose Line Is it Anyway?’

  • Saturdays, 7:30pm: Kismet & Friends. This show is great if you’d love to see how improv can illuminate a funny story right before your eyes. We present a few different groups each night, including teams from RI, Boston, New York and beyond.

5. You don’t have to get on stage!

While the improvisers will ask for help from the audience, this is very much on a volunteer basis. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of people in the audience who want to help out, you can sit back, enjoy a beer, wine or soda from our bar and watch!

Hope to see you at Kismet soon!

Four improvisers perform a song made up on the spot
The cast of Friday Night Frenzy performing an improvised song. Fridays feature improvised music and games, Saturdays feature storytellers and performers from Rhode Island, Boston, NYC and beyond.

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