It's definitely "Yes, and..." when it comes to creating, performing, and studying the art of Improvisation at Albright College. Thanks to the steadfast leadership of our award-winning resident Improv artist, Professor Matt Fotis, we nurture two groups that gather weekly to develop their skills and appreciation for this exciting art form. Less Than or Equal To is our open-access ensemble, while Soviet Purgatory is our audition-based company that travels and performs at festivals and tournaments. For more information about these groups, please visit their website – www.albrightimprov.com
Less Than Or Equal To
Soon after the Theatre Department was created in 2001, guest artist and Albright alum, Kristofer Updike (’99), began scoring major successes with theatre students and audiences alike each January with his innovative Improvisation and Sketch Comedy interim courses. In January of 2004, one of the “teams” involved in these courses decided to continue working together -- and, thus, Less Than or Equal To was born. LTOET began the tradition of spoofing Domino Players mainstage productions as part of their shows – the first of which was “Love’s Labour's Lost in Space…Space…Space!"
In February of 2013, LTOET's “Ordinary Dayz” performance (which spoofed a production of Adam Gwon’s chamber musical, Ordinary Days) featured its first venture into Long Form (improvised/developed scene) -- the success of which lead to the creation of Soviet Purgatory. Since then, SP has participated in performance events at: the Steel Stacks Improv Comedy Festival; the College Improv Tournament; the Figment Theatre in Philadelphia; the Albright Arts Night at the T.E.A. Factory; and, co-hosting the annual Albright Improv Festival.
Albright Improv Festival
Albright Improv -- the collective name for both of our Improv groups -- hosted the first Albright Improv Festival in February of 2013. This annual festival features some of the region's best college Improv teams, as well as some of the nation's best professional Improv groups -- including: the Minneapolis Improv-duo, Ferrari-McSpeedy; Chicago's Pudding-Thank-You; and The Amie and Kristen Show from Philadelphia. Albright Improv has also hosted other professional groups on campus, including Chicago’s Octavarius and Philadelphia's Matt Holmes.