This weekend, Brainwaves Improv Comedy is hosting the first-ever PDX Improv Invitational, "The Long and the Short of It," bringing together six local comedy troupes for a night of short- and long-form improvisation. (Short-form improv is the Whose Line Is It, Anyway? style, while long form places more emphasis on developing characters and storylines.)
Tyler Hughes of Brainwaves explained the event via email: "Brainwaves started out 20 years ago, and for a long time was the only game in town in terms of improv comedy. In the last several years, a number of groups have achieved some permanence and an actual community of improvisers has developed. More and more we began working with the newer groups, now friends, and asked them to join us at the invitational. One of the qualities we discovered and really admired was the cooperative, mutually promotional, just-shy-of-incestuous attitude of the new groups. We decided to jump into that action and get our stink all over it. So the Portland Improv Invitational is our step in that direction."
Participating in the Invitational are Brainwaves, ComedySportz's Screaming Mee-Mees, the Brody Theater, Funny Business, The Liberators, and Kick the Squirrel.
Musical improv troupe the Screaming Mee-Mees was founded by members of ComedySportz Portland, and frequently participate in ComedySportz's more risqué After Hours segment.
The Liberators are five local comedy veterans fresh off a regular gig at Mississippi Studios, who specialize in long-form improv.
The Brody Theater has recently relocated to a new studio space in Southwest (after years spent in a basement theater in Northwest), but they're still hammering away at high-energy long-form improv—look for weekly events like Summer in Brodavia.
Kick the Squirrel is a prolific four-man group who has developed a number of original long-form improv formats, emphasizing narrative and dramatic aspects of storytelling, while Funny Business boasts an "all-star group of improvisers" with a combined total of over 60 years of experience. Don't miss this chance to see so much of Portland's improv talent under one roof.