2014 Artistic Vision
= Complete = On Track = Open Item
Near-Term (6-12 month goals from 2013 Artistic Vision)
Improved Board of Directors relationship with community through open sessions, minutes, and follow-up coffee breaks, replacing old cast rep system.
Resident Cast Agreements - Rolled out Dec. 2013
Artist, sketch and standup forums created on Facebook by and for ImprovBoston for a more protected conversation within the family
Expand Family Friendly Resident Programming
New teen programming (Everybody Improv [placeholder title]) for 2015 in the Saturday 6pm slot. Auditions in January, rollout in April. Amalgam of TourCo, Family Show and Face Off formats. Family Show moves to age-appropriate matinee time.
Original Theatrical Productions
The return of GoreFest in a full, immersive Studio theater run and BLANK The Musical Off-Broadway. More to come.
Launch IB Archives
IB-productions of annual Holiday Spectacular and Comedy, America! kicked off IB archives
Director & Producer Development
Free director intensive for women yielded directing candidates alongside one-on-one director cultivation and Assistant Directorships. Handful of new producers added to weekly shows. More work here is needed, but a great start.
Video Camera Installation
HD cameras, archiving and streaming capabilities now live in both theaters
GoreFest resurrected, though not at an off-site venue as originally hoped. We’re pleased with the new immersive Studio solution.
Launched standup tournament (People’s Battle), Improv Invitational and summer seasonal Comedy America.
Expand applied improv programs in schools
Added Lessons of Improv (the 4 Cs), Your Totally Made Up Improv Show and “STEM + Art = STEAM: The Art and Science of Innovation” plus expanded Anti-Bullying programs
Add AllStars, Festival Teams and Outreach Opportunities
Created new approach to festival and cast selection, rehearsal and reimbursement.
Increase Outbound Sales
Precipitous growth in TourCo and Corporate opportunities under new Director of Sales. Continued growth expected in 2015.
iv. Comedy School
Improv Program Revamp
101-601 rewrite reviewed, finalized and implemented. Remaining: the launch of 701 free for resident cast members and promising graduates. Expected early 2015.
Music Program Expansion
Formalized 101-201 curriculum and created music workshops integrated into levels 501 and 601 Improv Program. Still to come: an 8-week Comedic Songwriting course and a 3rd level of the Music Improv Program.
Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy, Improvised Shakespeare Company, Myq Kaplan, Nikki Glaser, Zach Sherwin, Hari Kondabolu, Cambridge Footlights, Jonathan Katz, Jenny Z, UCB, Jet Eveleth, Laura Hall, Eric Drysdale, Josh Gondelman, Alingon Mitra, Jimmy Tingle
Reduce barriers for new artists
Launched weekly FREE Intro-to-Improv workshop, added two IBCS scholarships (outreach and disability).
Avenues for Extended Professional Development
Mid-Term (1-3 year goals from 2013 Artistic Vision)
Current website updated, homepage reconfigured, navigation improved. Planning hasn’t yet begun for a new website.
8-week Video Comedy curriculum debuted in 2014 with another in planning phase. HD handheld acquired as part of camera build-out.
IB-produced 2014 sketch revues feature backbone of social and political commentary. So That Happened, a topical late night talk show, added to monthly rotation. Satire written more substantially into the IBCS sketch curriculum. Increased standup opportunities will open up more channels for commentary-driven comedy.
Original goal to foster at least 5 full-time Boston comedy careers by end of 2015. By most benchmarks, we have already surpassed this goal. Through TourCo, teaching and corporate work, more of our artists are finding comedy viable as a significant and/or primary career
Boston Comedy Scene
We now have partnerships with Story Club Boston, WICF, Sextacular, Jonathan Katz, the National College Improv Tournament (based in Chicago) and others. We’ve offered material and/or experiential support to ComedySportz Boston and The Riot. The rising tide continues to rise.
See previous sections. Diversity in programming continues to increase with bilingual shows, all-female casts, LGBT performances, sex-positive events, and featured proposal shows such as FuFu & Oreos.
We are now the most requested program in the Young Audiences catalogue and offer more workshops than any other listed artists. The power of our work in schools is reflected in word-of-mouth, reputation and return visit requests.
iv. Comedy School
StandUp Program Revamp
The program now features Intro to StandUp and StandUp Workout supporting comics at every stage of their journey with a uniquely flexible class structure.
Afterschool troupes continue. Partnerships with schools for off-site programs beginning.
Long-Term (3-5+ year goals from 2013 Artistic Vision)
Alumni outreach efforts in 2014 included Alumni Weekend in Boston, an alumni showcase in Chicago, an alumni networking event in LA and one in NYC. BLANK! the Musical also galvanizing alumni support in NYC and bringing increased profile to IB there.
On track to foster up to a dozen careers in comedy either entirely or in large part through ImprovBoston within 5 years.
A New Home
We are actively searching for additional class and rehearsal spaces in the area. We are not searching for a new complex at this time.
Increased coverage in the Boston Globe including feature articles on our Comedy Camps, showcase shows and BLANK! the Musical alongside online press, national festival exposure, Touring Company performances and corporate facilitation across the country have raised the profile of ImprovBoston nationally.
IB’s work in the business world and in schools continues to grow. In 2014, IB began a partnership with Harvard University to study the applications of improvisation outside of performance. We’re still exploring affiliations with organizations and individuals to help build wellness programs for youth and adults with a variety of cognitive challenges.
iv. Comedy School
701 will be our first “mini-conservatory” with expected delivery in early 2015.
We are currently providing coaching and networking resources to teams affiliated with a handful of high schools and colleges. We are working to build these relationships towards curricular inclusion.