Laughter and good deeds go hand in hand with Improv Charlotte, a locally based comedy troupe. According to founder Erin Fede: "This has been our vision from the very beginning. You pay to come laugh, we have fun, you have fun, and we all have fun. But, in the end, the money will seriously help those in need. Improv by nature is interactive. This just takes the interaction to a new level. It takes it out! And we're honored to be the conduit. Most recent donations have gone to International Justice Mission, Crisis Assistance and Seeds of Hope."
The troupe — which was formerly known as Sharazad Improv and performs the first Friday of each month at Wine Up at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) — fluctuates between long-form and short-form improvisation. "When we step onto the stage, we have no idea what characters will emerge, what conflicts will arise or where in the world it will take place. The level of trust, concentration and teamwork it takes to pull that off is just phenomenal," says Fede. "That is what we're after."
Fede, who moved to Charlotte in 2005, started the troupe with a friend after she began to miss the excitement of performance improv. She had previously trained and participated with a group in Wilmington, in addition to taking some improv workshops. Improv Charlotte, which formed in 2006, is currently comprised of five official members and they're in search for more talents to add to the team.
In regard to losing former members of the troupe, Fede admits it's always difficult to transition. "People move away, people become parents, unexpected twists of life and commitments start weighing in. The whole dynamic of the group shifts, and we just flat out miss the person," she says. "But at the same time, it's exciting to discover new talent and welcome new players. After all, each of us were once the prospective 'new player' looking for that fun, yet intellectually satisfying playtime that is improv."
That said, Improv Charlotte will hold auditions on Feb. 21. If you think you have what it takes, e-mail Erin at [email protected] for more information.