Performing is Hard. Improv is Harder

Improv at Towngate Theatre

By Mario Muscar

Time and time again, in polls and studies done by universities and media outlets here in the United States, the fear of public speaking and presenting in front of others is ranked as the number one fear of adults. As a whole, people don’t like to stand in front of others and perform.

So it’s somewhat surprising that we have theater. One of the most amazing things about theater is how groups of people choose to come together, stand on a stage in front of an audience of mostly strangers, and perform for these strangers’ entertainment. It takes a very unique and brave kind of person to do that.

Our community is fortunate to have a fantastic group of these unique and brave performers who choose to entertain us. And it’s not easy.

Theater is hard work.

Know this. Theater is hard. It’s a lot of work. You have to reach inside of yourself and pull out emotions and energy and drive and make it seem real to the audience. All while learning lines, reacting to other actors’ lines, moving how you’re supposed to on the stage, and any other stage business you may have.

And comedic theater? You want to talk about hard?

Making a group of strangers laugh with a performance by delivering a line with just the right timing without it seeming phony or forced is an art unto itself. What people find funny is incredibly subjective for each person. One thing may make one group of people laugh, and the same joke may offend another group of people. It’s a touchy thing, comedy.

And then there’s Improv!

Think comedic theater is hard? Now we’re going to take away your script. You can’t even rely upon the writing of playwrights who have spent countless hours working on a script, picking apart every line to make it the best line they can write. Not only do you now have to make things up, but also you have to make them up on the spot, in front of a theater full of strangers who are feeding you ideas.

That’s incredibly difficult. But for the brave performers who choose to do it, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

So, let’s support some of our great, local performers!

On Saturday, October 8 the Left of Centre Players take the stage at Towngate Theatre at 8 p.m. These brave performers hit the Towngate Theatre stage without a script, props or a safety net. Armed only with adrenaline and their imaginations, they make-up stories on the spot that entertain and amuse, which as we all know…isn’t an easy thing to do.


The Left of Centre Players will also be introducing some new games for the first time. Audience members participate as well by offering suggestions for scenes, conflicts, characters and theatrical styles and contribute directly to the action on stage.

Purchase tickets online or by calling 304-242-7700.