Normally short-and-snappy improv comedy will take a meandering detour Friday, March 9, at the Backstage Bistro.
“Go Long,” featuring a long-form version of the typical ad-lib sketch show, will be in the bistro inside Shadowbox Live, 503 S. Front St. in Columbus’ Brewery District.
Admission is $5. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available at hashtagcomedy.com/tickets.
Clay Vansickle, an actor with local troupe Hashtag Comedy, said performers from Dude Party, Puntagious, Donut Sundae, Spacecat and the Meowhatten Project will take the stage throughout the evening.
“It’s kind of the purest form of improv,” Vansickle said of long-form shows. “We do the line just like in short form, but instead of seeing several broken-up, individual scenes, it’s a series of scenes that connect in some way to create a larger story. The only rule in improv is to agree with whatever is given to you and add something to it.”
Vansickle said long-form improv is unpredictable. Short-form improv relies on games – or pre-determined settings – with actors riffing on words or phrases thrown out by the audience.
Long-form is more like a play but still made up on the spot, he said.
“We have a worked together in different facets, so several of us in the group, in its (“Go Long”) iteration, are friends in real life,” Vansickle said. “We all work very well together.
“It’s very important to be connected some way with your partners so that you’re all on the same page. It makes for a much more cohesive story line. You never know what direction you’re going to go in.”
He said two to seven people could take stage at a time for “Go Long.”
“People can expect to see a range of totally improvised scenes from a group of players who have a blast performing together,” Vansickle said. “The fun we have together on stage, our different backgrounds, senses of humor and personalities translate into a truly unique and enjoyable experience for the audience. Every show we do is the first and last show of its kind, guaranteed.”
Lucy Groeber, an independent performer who will join the “Go Long” cast, said “short-form is like instant gratification and long-form is like a slow burn.”
“I think if audiences aren’t used to watching it, it can be a little bit scary,” she said. “I think that’s because there are a lot of unknowns.”