Acting Out

Sure, improv can be funny, but if you ask Denise Maes of the improv school and performance venue Bovine Metropolis Theater, it’s also redemptive for the people who practice it, and a useful tool in navigating life. “It allows people to learn how to be more collaborative, how to listen more effectively, and how to create something out of nothing, as a group,” she explains. “A lot of people take improv classes to learn how to be better at work, socially, and just to challenge themselves. And we even have a lot of scientists who come — programmers and physicists who want to work the other side of their brains. Being able to do something unknown, and accepting and creating something new from it — that’s very powerful.” And that’s why Bovine keeps so busy, Maes adds: “Our community is so big right now. We’ve had almost 600 students graduate over the past sixteen years, and close to 100 students are walking in and out of our doors right now.”

But sometimes the people who could benefit most from learning to improvise are the least able to afford it, and to that end, Bovine is hosting its second annual 12-Hour Improv-a-thon to benefit the improv school’s scholarship fund. A mixed cast of experienced Bovine instructors and past graduates will improvise continuously in what Maes calls a “celebration of the art form” today from noon until midnight.

Check in at Bovine Metropolis, 1527 Champa Street, whenever you like and for as long as you like during the twelve-hour stretch, and pay what you can to watch the improvisors at work; all proceeds benefit the assistance fund. Bovine earned nearly $8,000 for the fund last year and hopes to hit a $10,000 goal this time around. For details, go to
Fri., Jan. 3, noon-midnight, 2014


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