Linn-Benton’s First Annual Improv Festival

Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) will play host to the first annual Improv Comedy Festival this Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in the Russel Tripp Performance Center. The event, organized by Michael Winder, will bring together improv troupes from the Corvallis and Albany areas for an evening of belly-laughs wrought from naught but audience suggestions and quick-witted performers. Groups performing will include Rebels Without Applause from South Albany High School, the Comedy Syndicate from LBCC, Open Source Improv from Corvallis, and the Long Con from Corvallis/Albany. Tickets to the event are $5 and can be purchased in advance from the LBCC website.

“I put this together because we have a ton of great improv troupes and education in the Corvallis/Albany area, and we should showcase it,” said Winder. “Also, it’s super easy – no big sets to build, no complicated technical requirements. I just turn on the lights and let the players make their magic.”

At least part of the magic this time will be the opportunity to see so many groups performing in one evening. Winder hopes to see the event grow in the future. “We have plans to turn this into a major regional festival of improv, taking place over two to three days, bringing troupes from all over Oregon and having several workshops.”

If you are still on the fence, get down from there, that looks uncomfortable. There’s more to the first annual Improv Comedy Festival than just some laughs.

“Of course anyone who loves comedy should come to the show,” said Winder, “but if you’re on the fence, you should check this show out because you will also undoubtedly experience not just the comedy, but the magic of improv. By that, I mean you’re seeing scenes both funny and poignant created out of thin air, with only a suggestion from the audience. You’ll have at least three ‘How did they just do that?’ moments. Maybe four.”

Tickets can be purchased at Doors open at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 9, at the Russell Tripp Performance Center at Ellingson Road SW in Albany.

By Kyle Bunnell