Improvisers at HUGE Improv Theater are taking the stage — and not giving it back for 28 hours — to raise money for this non-profit, artist-led improvisational theater. It’s a one-of-a-kind fundraising barnstorm that coincides with Give to the Max Day, November 18, an annual event when Minnesotans display their generosity by celebrating and donating to local nonprofits through GiveMN.org.
This year, as HUGE builds back after 15 months of COVID closure, this event is more important than ever. And we’re so excited to be back in the building for this one.
Are you a performer or community member wanting to know more?
Check out this video of our Sept 23 kick-off meeting!
Improv Performance Request: https://hugetheater.formstack.com/forms/iat2021reg
Due by Oct 24.
Improvathon will follow all of HUGE Theater’s standard COVID-related policies. These include:
- All individuals entering the building must show proof of full vaccination – this includes staff, volunteers, audience, and performers.
- Anyone in the building must be properly masked at all times, with the exception of performers backstage and on-stage.
- Our seating capacity will be capped at 75%.
Every year there has been an in-person Improvathon, we have had an “Iron Audience” that commits to staying at the Theater for the entire duration of the event to watch shows. These intrepid souls are a treasured part of the Improvathon experience. For the sake of COVID safety, we are delaying until mid-October the decision on whether to have an Iron Audience on-site, have an online-only Iron Audience, or a mix of both. Stay tuned for more details!
What is the schedule?
Starts: Wednesday, November 17 at 8:00PM
Ends: Thursday, November 18 at 11:59PM
Performances will take the stage in 20-30 minute blocks, throughout.
So that’s it? 28-hours of improv and fundraising?
Basically! But it ends up being much more. It is a chance for the larger community – students, performers and audience — to get together. In years past, Improvathon has been the impetus for brand new groups to form. It is also an important opportunity for many students and performers to get on stage and show their friends and family – inside and outside the Twin Cities — why improv and HUGE are important to them.
Why does HUGE schedule this to coincide with GiveMN.org’s Give to the Max Day?
Give to the Max Day (GTMD) is an important arts and nonprofit awareness tool that makes a big impact statewide. By participating in GTMD, we are part of a much larger event, and are supporting fellow Minnesota nonprofits.
In addition, HUGE will be eligible to win an extra $500 – $10,000 based on incentives from GiveMN.
2021 Prizes include:
- $500 Golden Tickets every 15 minutes
- Hourly $1000 Golden Tickets
- Two “Power Hour” challenges – each worth $6,000
- $500 Early Giving Tickets, daily starting Nov 1
- The final $10,000 Super-size Golden Ticket!
Every donation of $5+ through GiveMN on GTMD is an entry to win those prizes.
What are some easy ways I can participate?
Come watch some shows – Bonus points if you make a donation to HUGE via GiveMN.org at home and then bring a printout to HUGE. $10 suggested donation, stay for as long as you’d like!
Volunteer – We’ll need 30 hours of box officers, tech booth operators, help with food, general tidying, massage therapists (?), you name it! A volunteer sign-up sheet will be posted soon.
Encourage people to contribute before they come to the theater – Our goal is to get donors to donate online and bring a printout w/ them to HUGE. It’s faster/easier for them and for the box office.
Offer or find a Matching Grant – GiveMN has piles of research that says projects with Matching Grants receive more donations. A Matching Grant can be as small as $100 to be effective. Contact butch at hugetheater dot com if you’re interested.
Donate! – Back one or more teams of your choosing, don’t be shy.
Spread the word– Word of mouth is incredibly important to HUGE, not only for Improvathon, but for all our shows. If you haven’t reviewed HUGE on Google, consider doing that. Sincere, great reviews are among the most valuable gifts you can give.
FAQ FOR IMPROV PERFORMERS
How many performance slots are there, and how do I sign up?
There are approximately 42 timeslots available. The link to the form to request a performance time is:https://hugetheater.formstack.com/forms/iat2021reg.
**registration does not guarantee a spot in the schedule as a performer – though we will do our best to accommodate all requests**
Can I be in more than one group that performs?
Absolutely! We just ask that you consider how thin you are spreading yourself in terms of time and energy, but also your ability to contribute to each groups’ fundraising goals. We set a minimum goal of $500 for each performance timeslot, which is very achievable, but it doesn’t pay to spread yourself TOO thin.
I’m uncomfortable doing an in-person person performance… can I do something online, like last year’s Improvathon?
While we’d love to have as many in-house performances as possible, we understand that not everyone is comfortable returning to in-person gatherings just yet, and we respect that. There is a place on the registration form to indicate if you’d prefer to do an online performance. We haven’t yet determined the logistics of how that will work, but we will assure that your online performance can be a part of Improvathon in some way.
Is there a prize?
Yes. The 3 performers/groups that raise the most funds will receive a workshop from a special guest during Twin Cities Improv Festival in June. In addition, the group will receive their name on the wall, bragging rights, and a to-be-determined piece of new HUGE swag.
Pro Tip: Finding matching grants for your group are a great strategy if you want to win the top fundraising prize, but also is a great thing for people that want to give before Give to the Max Day. It is a great way to get the word out and start fundraising right away. At present, we don’t have a matching donor set up. You could get one for your own group. Or ask your work if they donate to 501(c)3 nonprofits like HUGE.
I’m uncomfortable with fundraising, but I want to perform. Can I just sign up for a performance time?
Not really. Improvathon is HUGE’s biggest annual fundraiser. We are asking each performance time to try to raise at least $500. Part of our goal is that Improvathon will beat lasts year’s fundraising total of $50,007. We truly believe we can get there and then some! But it does need to be an all-hands on deck situation.
We will do our best to make fundraising easy for you – and there are a lot of tools to do that, through GiveMN.org’s online donation site and through tips and samples we will provide. Keep in mind, this isn’t about cold calling strangers. You’ll be giving family and friends an opportunity to support something you love!
If you are truly uncomfortable asking friends and family to donate, this is not the right HUGE performance opportunity for you. Everyone is welcome to enter the Improv-A-Go-Go lottery, or take a class and perform in the showcase, or submit a show idea, or all of the above. And those are just the opportunities at HUGE, there are many more in the Twin Cities. All to say, this is not just a performance slot, it is a chance to financially support a nonprofit theater with a mission to support the improv community.
Can I renew my Membership that day for part of my fundraising goal?
Members and Memberships are ALWAYS very much appreciated but we’ve enacted a rule that memberships will not count toward Improvathon team goals nor will it count toward the final tally of what is raised during Improvathon. Our membership system is totally separate from GiveMN.org, which makes it logistically impractical.
When should I start seeking donations?
The IDEAL day to receive donations is on Give to the Max Day itself — November 18, because that’s when most of the Golden Ticket prizes are given out. But donations November 1-17 are also eligible for early Golden Ticket. So we encourage you to start making those donation asks any time in November, but encourage people to give on the day, if they can.
I don’t see the answer to my question here – who can I contact?
Feel free to send questions to Sean at hugetheater dot com.
What was that registration link again?
Improv Performance Request: https://hugetheater.formstack.com/forms/iat2