Ocean State Improv Festival Comes to The Contemporary Theater Company

The event runs June 5-9.

By: May. 24, 2024
Ocean State Improv Festival Comes to The Contemporary Theater Company
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The Ocean State Improv Festival will take the stage at the Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield, Rhode Island June 5-9.


The Contemporary Theater Company invites theater lovers, comedy enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a unique and engaging entertainment experience to join them at the Ocean State Improv Festival. Whether you're a die-hard fan of improv or new to the art form, this event promises to leave you inspired, entertained and eager for more.


“Improv thrives on collaboration and the energy of live performance,” says Maggie Cady, the General Manager at the theater. “There’s an electric feeling at the festival, fueled by the fact that every performance is a one-time-only event and one that we will be talking about for years to come at future festivals.”


Now in its sixth year, the Ocean State Improv Festival is a beloved highlight of the summer calendar at the theater, showcasing a diverse range of styles and techniques in a dynamic lineup that will captivate audiences. With 35 troupes from 12 states, DC, and Finland performing over four days, attendees can expect an evening filled with laughter, surprises and memorable moments.


“We have more troupes and more shows than ever before!” says Cady. “The lineup includes everything from improvised Twilight Zone to dance-influenced improv to Star Trek improv to 5 musical troupes!”


The festival includes returning favorites like Juliet & Juliet who perform improvised Shakespeare and have attended every year of the fest, Brotha Brotha who perform genre-bending stories, and Magical Lying Hour, in which one actor has a script memorized and the other actor is improvising all of their lines. There are 21 troupes making their Ocean State Improv Festival debut!


In addition to nightly performances, the festival also offers a series of workshops from teachers like Joe Bill, Ruby Willmann, Sami Haeli & Meghan Wolff of Juliet & Juliet, John Gebretatose of Brotha Brotha and The Unpronounceables, Alsa & Morgan Bruno, Rhiannon & Chris Griswold-Jenkins, Stephanie Rae of the Black Improv Alliance, and Kaisa Kokko-Palmer of Crocodile Paws. These provide an opportunity for improvisers of all experience levels to enhance their skills, learn new techniques and gain insights from talented teachers on topics such as improvised Shakespeare, musical improv, and silent improv.


Performances kick off at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 7 and run through Saturday, including troupes from all over the country and mixer shows featuring performers from many different improv groups.


“Each show is full of incredibly talented groups, and a wide range of styles,” says Cady. “The mixer shows at 9:30 pm on Thursday through Saturday are some of my favorites because you get to see folks who have never performed together catch lightning in a bottle as creative sparks fly.”


From past years, the staff at the Contemporary Theater Company know that the Ocean State Improv Festival is a great introduction to the world of improvisational theater for one and all.


“Some of our guests are world-renowned improvisers, but many are just like us - artists from smaller communities who want to enrich the world in whatever way they can,” says Rebecca Magnotta, Director of Art and Design for the theater. “For one week a year, all of these artists from all over the world have the chance to come together, and all of a sudden, nothing about what we do seems small."


Tickets for the Ocean State Improv Festival are now available for purchase on The Contemporary Theater Company's website, with options for individual shows and festival passes so that you can enjoy all the performances for that day or the whole week.


For more information, including the festival schedule, workshop details, and ticketing, please visit www.contemporarytheatercompany.com/ocean-state-improv-festival.


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