Midvale Hosts the Best in Improv Comedy
Three nights, 30 teams from around the country, over 400 audience members and a countless amount of big laughs – all went into the inaugural Wasatch Improv Festival held at the Midvale Performing Arts Center.
Northern Utah was treated to a very unique opportunity as a variety of comedy acts descended into Midvale to perform, take classes, discuss issues around improv theater, and share in their passion. For the audience it was a true buffet of comedy as 30 different acts (over 70 individual performers) took the stage over the three-night festival.
Improv Comedy is best known to people who have seen shows like “Whose Line Is It Anyway”. Actors take suggestions from the audience and instantly create comedy sketches without any preparation or script. Many improvisers describe it as jumping out of a plane without really knowing if you have a parachute or not. But for those watching it is closer to a magic act as scenes develop out of thin air.
And some would say this festival was just like a good improv scene. Seemingly come out of nowhere.
“When we decided to host a festival our first thought was, would any act want to come to Utah in January,” Bob Bedore, founder of Quick Wits and one of the festival’s organizers said. “But instantly we were flooded with submissions. We actually had to turn great acts away. We were blown away.”
And it wasn’t just acts that had to be turned away. Sell out crowds meant that organizers second question of “would anyone want to come out and watch this?” was soon turned into “where can we find more chairs?”.
The Midvale Arts Council played the role of major sponsor for the festival and is looking forward to seeing this grow bigger each year. For a first year festival the Wasatch Improv Festival has already gained rave reviews from teams across the country and troupes are already lining up for next year.
“We’re going to get some sleep, much needed sleep,” said Jason Wild, a Midvale Arts Council Member and festival organizer. “But then we’re going to go through the festival and see what worked and what we can improve on. We already have a lot to live up to, but we are going to make sure that next year is even better.”
For those not wanting to wait for a whole year before checking out comedy improv, you can always catch Midvale’s own Quick Wits every Saturday night at 10:00 PM. For show information you can go to qwcomedy.com. And if you’d like to volunteer for the arts in Midvale, please go to midvalearts.com and sign up as a volunteer.