Performers Blog

On being there for each other…literally

Jill here. We recently received a note on our Anonymous Contact form about improvisors leaving early on Sundays and Wednesdays, copied below. It’s a really nice summary of how important it is to your fellow performers that you stick around to watch their sets, a best practice we endorse.

Here’s what I want to say about it. There are things that are outside of HUGE Theater’s control, and decisions people make for themselves. Of course we’d encourage everyone to stay and support their colleagues — but this is not a mandate we can make on people who are volunteering their time, and no one should feel shamed.

If you’re feeling the energy to modify others’ behavior, please speak to them yourself and lead the change. This particular issue is one I used to spend a lot of time being upset about. I would confront people as they headed to the exit and they always had good reasons: an early wake-up, family obligations, etc. Sometimes they just had a low tolerance for improv, which is valid. After years of misery I realized I can’t set other people’s priorities and professional ethics for them and the best strategy is to do an improv set so good that they will hear about it later and feel stupid for missing it.

Here is the text of the anonymous message we received: 

I have noticed during Improv A Go-Go and HUGE Wednesdays that when groups perform (1st,2nd,3rd) they will often leave instead of coming back into the theater to support the groups after them.

I completely understand that people must get home to kids, or have an early morning, and I am definitely guilty of leaving shows early myself simply because I felt like it- but my issue comes when it’s a habit and every member of a group leaves early, every show. I think of HUGE as a community, so we should support each other, and leaving as soon as your group is done doesn’t show a lot of that spirit-sometimes there’s almost a ‘diva vibe’ that happens when group “”A”” has been supported/watched by groups B,C, and D, but as soon as “”A”” is done performing they don’t return the courtesy to support the others.

Obviously, there is a little clear out of audience members during intermission (because the people they want to support have performed already) and there’s not much we can do about that except potentially having groups with large draws perform after intermission, but what we can control (or at least influence or heavily suggest) is that the performers stick around after intermission and after their own performance.

We can’t know what is happening for each individual in their life, but when a big group is consistently leaving early every show, it shows not just to the performers, but to the audience. Maybe there should be a post/discussion about this on a HUGE performer or community page? I was never outright suggested to stick around by HUGE as a performer, but maybe this can be pushed more (with a gentle understanding that sometimes people really can’t stick around)?

I know this feeling is shared by other performers. I love what we do here, I love the opportunities HUGE brings, and this feedback was written with the best intentions to continue supporting our community.

Improvathon 2018 Schedule!

Here you are, delightful weirdos and dedicated supporters!

– There may still be some additions made that require us to split some of the 30 minute times into 20 minute blocks – we will contact affected groups directly if that happens – please be aware of your set length as they are not all the same.

– The t-shirt order goes in November 2nd – if you send “oh hey, we need to add one more to the shirts” after November 1st  there won’t be much I can do for you.

– graphics for sharing/posting are coming soon – we have been holding off on some of them to avoid early donations, there will be a big rollout of info and images after Nov. 1st.

Thank you to everyone for being part of this massive day
It’s gonna be unreal.


WEDS 11/14 7:00PM doors open
8:00 PM The Ops Team
8:20 PM Jorts!
8:40 PM Bearded Company
9:00 PM Shrieking Harpies
9:30 PM Drum Machine
10:00 PM Brotha Brotha
10:30 PM Fifth Wheel
11:00 PM Bollyprov
11:20 PM Last Action Movie
11:40 PM Two Children Left Behind
THURS 11/15 Give to the Max Day officially begins
MIDNIGHT Rumblepack
12:20 AM We don’t have to do that…
12:40 AM Crumplstiltskin
1:00 AM Cavalcade
1:30 AM Randomly Chosen
2:00 AM Fickle Me, Zelmo
2:30 AM Shelly & Ethel: Take the Stage!!
3:00 AM Squash Banana
3:30 AM Fever Dream
4:00 AM Cody Narrates the Audience in Song
4:30 AM Phil-osophy
5:00 AM Gifted & Talented
5:30 AM Sharpies
6:00 AM Reservoir Frogs
6:30 AM Trust Fall Improv
7:00 AM Student Jam 1
7:30 AM Bad Spiders
8:00 AM Morning Break
8:30 AM Snowball
9:00 AM Assigment: Danger!
9:30 AM Glasstones
10:00 AM Community Ed
10:30 AM Subatomic Duck
11:00 AM Adorable
11:30 AM Bad Bunnies
NOON Break
12:30 PM Benches with Pam
1:00 PM 1UP
1:30 PM Dance Break
2:00 PM Tarantino
2:30 PM Here We Are Now
3:00 PM Non Zero Chance
3:30 PM Snack Time
4:00 PM Student Jam 2
4:30 PM Rebel Grrls
5:00 PM Round Table
5:20 PM Ancient Future Division
5:40 PM Break
6:00 PM Break
6:20 PM It’s for you!
6:40 PM Postcards from the Edge
7:00 PM POC Ensemble
7:20 PM Dilly Dally
7:40 PM Interludes
8:00 PM The Whereases
9:00 PM Ladyfriend
9:30 PM The Mess
10:00 PM Guts & Teeth
10:30 PM Blackout
11:00 PM Other Jeanie Retelle
11:30 PM Super Good
MIDNIGHT Improvathon & Give to the Max Day ends – ALL FALL DOWN

please email butch at HUGEtheater dot com if you have any questions, concerns, needs, emergencies, crazy ideas that need approval….all of it.

Throwback 2019 Teams Announced

Thanks for everyone’s patience as it took a few days to have all the Directors review the audition videos, as needed, and then to make this incredibly tough decision. Throwback is such an exciting show because it mixes newer and experienced performers alike in order to come up with different and dynamic groups. As HUGE’s only “teaching show,” it gives more experienced improvisors the chance to use their skills to lead and bolster a team and newer performers a chance to dig in and build off the potential we saw in auditions. And then of course, the teams are directed by some of the best in the biz. And because this is such a complicated puzzle to solve, it makes casting so incredibly difficult. Especially with the overwhelmingly large turnout this year. We had nearly 140 people audition for only 30 spots. That’s. So. Awesome.

Thanks for everything everyone gave. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t you dare let this be your last audition. This community is bursting with talent.

Without further ado, here are your Throwback Teams this year:
  1. The Harold – Directed by Lauren Anderson and Lizzie Gardner
  2. Adam Iverson
  3. Anna Tobin
  4. Bethany McHugh
  5. Brooke Fanning
  6. Bryce Kalal
  7. Damian Johnson
  8. Mackenzie Brophy
  9. Mawrgyn Roper
  10. Richard Ralston
  11. Sandra Struthers


  1. Armando – Directed by Jill Bernard with Assistant Director Liz Council
  2. Anna Larranaga
  3. Breanna Cecile
  4. Chris Johnson
  5. Christopher Rodriguez
  6. Erica Solomon
  7. Gurayn Sylte
  8. Jenny Wahl
  9. Justin Betancourt
  10. Meghan Wolff
  11. Michael Rogers


  1. Close Quarters – Directed by Hannah Wydeven with Assistant Director Alexis Camille
  2. Andrea Ravich
  3. Bradley Machov
  4. Christian Unser
  5. Janay Henry
  6. Laura Hild
  7. Lynn Hu
  8. Nora Coyle
  9. Phil Petersen
  10. Shelby Schroeder
  11. Zoa Dru

Auditions for Off Book

Hey, everyone! Just a bump here. The Off Book auditions are live and you should. Get. On. It.

Here’s the lowdown from Directors Sean Dillon and Maggie Sotos:

Off Book is an improv show, based on the show Gravid Waters originally produced by the Upright Citizens Brigade. In Off Book, we ask experienced stage actors to memorize one character in a two character scene. The actors then perform those scenes with improviser scene partners who have no idea what scene they are performing. Chaos and hilarity ensues.

This run at HUGE Theater will be directed by Sean Dillon and Maggie Sotos. Performances for this run will be Saturdays 8:00-9:30pm in Jan/Feb 2019, with a mandatory call time of 7:00pm sharp. There are no rehearsals for the show, and the commitment is only for a single performance. Actors are supplied with their scripts a minimum of two weeks before the performance.

For this run, we are seeking performers with a minimum of one year of performing experience. If this is you, please fill out the form below BY OCTOBER 21 to let us know you’re interested. Please note that there are no auditions for our scripted actors, and we will only be auditioning improvisers whose work we need to know better. If we need to schedule you for an audition, we will contact you. Actors, please note: as this is an improv show, it falls outside of Actors’ Equity Association’s jurisdiction, so both union and non-union actors are welcome to participate. There is no pay.

Casting occurs on a rolling basis, so if we cannot utilize your talents, we may not have the opportunity to confirm this until near the end of the run. Please do not hold space on your calendar, we will work with people’s changing schedules to the best or our abilities. Interest in this show is generally quite high, and regrettably, we are never able to cast all of the performers we would like. There are a number of factors that go into our casting decisions, of which talent is only one.

Questions and concerns can be directed to Sean at . Thank you for your interest!

If you don’t see the form below, click here.

Throwback Audition Schedule

Reminder of Audition schedule for Throwback as well as the information for each groups rehearsal schedule:

Throwback Night will run Fridays at 8pm in January and February at HUGE Theater
Please check to make sure you are able to make the scheduled rehearsal times for the show(s) you would like to audition for – rehearsals will run 8-10 weeks (approximately end October-early Jan with breaks for the holidays), cast are expected to miss no more than 2 rehearsals.
The Harold – Directed by Lauren Anderson & Lizzie Gardner
Rehearsals :: Sundays 10am-Noon (First 3 rehearsals at location other than HUGE), late Oct – early Jan
Armando – Directed by Jill Bernard; Assistant Director – Liz Council
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 2-4p, first week of November-early Jan
Close Quarters – Directed by Hannah Wydeven; Assistant Director – Alexis Camille
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 12-2p, late Oct-early Jan
Saturday 10/13
10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM 11:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM
Derek Landseidel Cherelle-Renee Childs Brooke Fanning Amee Nefzger Banks Mike McCarron Phil Petersen
Cullen Donohue Jacob Randall Gurayn Sylte Bradley Machov Michael Deneen Tommy Caravello
Monique Dargis Carolynn oaks Erica Solomon Wells Farnham Edd Jones Jon Reek
Nora Coyle Allison Winkler Jeff Kaisershot Mary Ruebel Andy Christian Chris Johnson
Alejandro Aguirre Andy Mattfield Tyler Martindale Phil Schramm Neil Carlinschauer Jenny Wahl
Cody Madison Mike Koscielny Joseph Schifsky Hannah Fiedler Eric Heiberg Courtney Miller
Jacob Walter Anna Larranaga Ben Wagner Ricardo Romero Douglas Cox Max Burton
Sandra Struthers Sarah Arnold Kip Hathaway Rachel Buhman Andy Katzung Jesse Burrows
Saturday 10/13
2:00 PM 2:30 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM
Bethany McHugh Julietta Benson Travis Galloway Bryce Kalal Siri Hellerman Lillian Walker
Julie Censullo Amelia Helm Jeff Boigenzahn II Lynn Hu Katie novak Craig Corsi
Hannah McNamee Cicely Robin Laing christopher rodriguez Vicky Nierengarten Henry Tubbs Craig Gemmill
Laura Hild Josh Thelen Anna Marie Schmidt Will Schroeder Mandi Bedbury Mara Emmons
Pamela Mazzone Casey Holmstrom Hope Slusar Jon Schuster Erik Hoversten Sarah Baker
Amy Zajack Joseph McGowan Nora Johnson Adam Dahlen Danielle Heinert Ariel Starzinski
Kristin Turnblom Robbie Darling Michael Rogers Janay Henry Kari Mellerup Bret Meyer
Jacob Fate Linda Bieza Gretchen Grunzke Anna Tobin Rich Mansfield Emily Townswick
Monday 10/15
4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM
Shelby Schroeder Mawrgyn Roper Ryan Klima Jack Kelly Robert Waters Lilly Rotter
Breanna Cecile Zoa Dru Peter Pierce Christian Unser Meghan Wolff Casey MacCallum
Erik Ostrom Carl Olson Eric Brown Brad Krieger Eric Geistfeld Laura Berger
Deon Haider Kelly Sheehy Chris Ragnacci Adam Boutz Chad Anderson Kelsey McGregor
Madhu Bangalore Mackenzi brophy Pam Franklin Jonathan Pulse Nick Aune Abe vanderBent
Marty Wessels Adam Iverson Justin Betancourt Richard Ralston Shea Roberts Frank Kohlasch
James Satter John W Bickford Vanessa Tu Brian Johnson Kyle CarlinSchauer Kristen Ragnacci
Andrea Ravich Emilie Hanson Damian Johnson Chris Harrington Nathan Kelly Tyler conway

Throwback auditions open!

Use this form to request an audition for and/all of the following groups:
The Harold – Directed by Lauren Anderson & Lizzie Gardner
Rehearsals :: Sundays 10am-Noon (First 3 rehearsals at location other than HUGE)
Armando – Directed by Jill Bernard; Assistant Director – Liz Council
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 2-4p
Close Quarters – Directed by Hannah Wydeven; Assistant Director – Alexis Camille
Rehearsals :: Saturdays 12-2p

AUDITION TIMES will be scheduled:
Saturday 10/13 from 10am-5pm
Monday 10/15 from 4pm-7pm
Options will be removed as time slots fill
Throwback Night will run Fridays at 8pm in January and February at HUGE Theater
Please check to make sure you are able to make the scheduled rehearsal times for the show(s) you would like to audition for – rehearsals will run 8-10 weeks (approximately end October-early Jan with breaks for the holidays), cast are expected to miss no more than 2 rehearsals.
The Harold -Sundays 10am-Noon, late Oct – early Jan
Armando – Saturdays 2-4p, late Oct-early Jan
Close Quarters – Saturdays 12-2p, late Oct-early Jan
If you don’t see the form below please CLICK HERE

We want to see you all of you there. Yeah, even you. And you! And also you.


Improvathon Kickoff Meeting!

It’s official: the 2018 HUGE Theater Improvathon will begin at 8PM on Wednesday, November 14 and end at 11:59 PM on Thursday, November 15!

To get ready for these 28-hours, we’ll have an kickoff meeting on Sunday, October 7th, at 6PM. Come to this meeting to get all the info for HUGE’s annual Improvathon. We’ll give tips, tricks and answer any questions you or your team might have.

Improvathon is HUGE’s most important fundraiser of the year, as well as a chance for the larger community – students, performers and audience — to get together. In years past, the 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.

Systems new and old

Some Updates, some new News and some old News you may not have known!

One of the strange upsides to big internal changes – like bringing our new Artistic Director on board and up to speed – is having to explain our systems and what they’re meant to do.

It gives us a rare chance to stop and look at many of the systems we’ve put in place over the years, take a really good look at how we do things and ask ourselves if they still make sense or if there’s a better way to handle show proposals, communicating with artists, the flow of information to producers and more.

We also uncovered some areas where we’ve put systems and internal policies in place that aren’t flashy or newsworthy on their own, but artists (or other theater companies – some of whom ask to use our policies as a template) might like to know about!

One of the most immediate changes is whom to contact about things!

THEN:  Butch had been a frequent point of contact for artistic matters only because he is one of the only full time staff and is always online to field questions more quickly.

NOW:  Rita is the person to contact about all artistic matters –  show proposal questions, auditions, ideas you would like to discuss, changes to your show proposal or upcoming run of shows – Basically, if it appears on stage or is part of getting your idea ready for the stage : Rita.

Butch will still head up logistics questions and production support – things that require revisions to the website, about staffing or technical needs for your shows – Basically, the building, staff, website, ticketing system or all the invisible bits of production support would go to Butch.

If you’re still not sure where to send your question, idea, concern, etc – please feel free to email both Rita and Butch and we can help!  
Always feel free to ask  – and / or –

Show Proposal changes

As Rita posted recently – the Show Proposal system has changed!
THEN:  The show proposal form stayed open at all times to capture the fully-formed pitches for productions looking for a stage, crazy new ideas that might need some help to bring to life and everything between – which created a constant backlog and left lots of people waiting and we sometimes ended up following up on ideas that people had moved on from, forgotten about or from groups that no longer existed.

NOW:  The form will open twice per year to cover the upcoming “season” with enough time to get shows booked and confirmed, schedule auditions (if needed) and make sure artists and HUGE have enough time to properly promote upcoming shows
Every proposal will get a confirmation email from Rita and the seasonal schedules will be posted when they are booked and confirmed – shows will need to re-submit each season they would like to be considered, which will give HUGE a clear idea of which shows are active and ready for the season ahead and give producers and artists a clear, timely answer so they aren’t left waiting on HUGE when they could be looking at other venues or opportunities.

:: One system that we’ve had in place for years is designed to manage conflicts of interest and avoid nepotism in our pipeline process, being an artist-led company we knew this would be an issue early on –  which is why no member of the HUGE management is allowed to book their own groups or shows for our stage. Those productions must be approved independently by another member of the management team.

This policy remains in place and extends to shows by/featuring any performer currently or previously in a relationship with HUGE staff – to make sure our process is serving our community with an even hand as well as protect artists by preventing anyone from being able to extend or withhold consideration inappropriately  ::

Info to/from producers and casts

This is an area that many people may not know about as well as something we’re working to expand – As part of our efforts to make sure we’re hearing from the artists we serve about their experiences at HUGE, we’ve had a policy of asking for feedback from shows.

:: we ALWAYS encourage everyone to reach out and contact us if there is a concern, question or something that just doesn’t feel right – please – at any time, using whichever channel you feel most comfortable using ::

THEN: After the close of a show, Breanna would send a Google Form to the director/producer/point of contact for the show and/or Facebook group about the run of the show – those answers would be collected and shared with the Artistic Director and Executive Director and show directors.

NOW:  We now ask for names and emails for all cast members so we can send the feedback form directly to cast and follow up directly if needed.
We’ve also added another round of feedback to HUGE productions (and are trying to find a good way to coordinate with outside productions as well) in an effort to hear concerns sooner so we can have conversations and make adjustments while the show is open rather than waiting until it is too late to hear about things that could’ve been addressed – that will be collected toward the end of the rehearsal process so we can hear about rehearsals and how the cast is feeling heading into opening of a run and then again at the close of the show.

All the feedback is seen by the Artistic Director and Executive Director – feedback that is meant for the Directors will be compiled and shared with them via email and/or in person to ask any follow up questions to help us all improve the process and experience of performing, producing, directing and being directed at HUGE.

Reporting from Directors: We’ve added language to make sure directors are letting HUGE know about issues within their casts, even if matters are discussed and handled to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
Every complaint from a cast member about another cast member, regardless of severity or outcome, must be documented with theater management.
We are looking for patterns of behavior across shows and over time.

Auditions and Casting

One of the most sensitive areas there is – also one we’ve quietly made some changes and put systems in place and continue to look at for ways to make the experience more welcoming, rewarding and transparent.
The biggest changes over the past years have been focused on inclusion. We have been making sure (as best we can based on scheduling needs) the auditioning groups are more diverse by making sure no one is ever “the only” in an audition group, i.e. the only female-identified performer in a group of men, or the only person of color with a group of white performers.

Likewise, the expansion of the audition panel to make sure we have a variety of eyes and ears and voices included in the process of casting – In addition to increasing representation among the decision-making in an audition process, we hope this increases the chances that an auditioner will see someone who looks like them “behind the table” in theater jargon.

We hope this representation means there will be someone in authority to help recognize and call out problematic situations that come up in audition scenes, in hopes of removing the burden from the auditioned.

:: Our conflict of interest policy explicitly covers auditions as well – not only are HUGE staff  prohibited from making casting decisions about someone that is a conflict of interest (anyone in a current or previous romantic or business relationship), they will not be present for those auditions – this has been the case for some time and has worked invisibly and silently as audition rosters list conflicts and staff members remove themselves from the audition space for the duration without any action required from the person auditioning ::

Producer Info Packets

Some smaller things that we hope will get info to the right eyeballs is the revision of show info and creation of a central place to find it – from our Show Guidelines to HUGE’s current payment model for shows to image specs for both HUGE and social media – this is where the information will live and will be updated.
If you visit the HUGE Performer Pages – the top button on the right will direct you to this information – as does the newly-revised “Your Show Is Booked” packet that is emailed to every show when they are booked and confirmed.

Thanks for reading
– Butch

New Show Proposal Process

Ok! So to keep a fresh and current cycle of show proposals going, we’re going to try to open the form only twice a year for a limited amount of time.

We schedule most shows 3-8 months out, (though we hold a few programming slots open to have greater flexibility to schedule 1-3 months out).
To start this experiment, we are going to:
– open the Show Proposal Form now and keep it open for two months.
– open it again March 1st for one month.
– Moving forward we will open the form on September 1st and March 1st, to accommodate for each half of the year.
We’re leaving it open a little longer this first time to get adjusted.

We want to encourage performers to re-submit each cycle if it is still a current group or if it is still an idea you are passionate about.
You will receive notification once your Proposal is reviewed and you will be notified, one way or another, if your show will be included in the next scheduling cycle. If it is not, try again!
We’re excited about your ideas and want to make sure you stay excited about them too.
Let us have it!

Family Dinner Audition Schedule

If you cannot make your scheduled time, please email AND to let us know right away – we have a LARGE wait list for this round of auditions and want to fill your spot if you cannot make it or decide not to come.
Please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your audition to check in and warm up with your group.

If you are not currently scheduled for an audition, you can join the wait list HERE

Saturday Sept 22nd – Morning Schedule

10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM 11:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM
Mawrgyn Roper Philip Simondet Alicia Wheelock Cicely Robin Laing Bethany McHugh Jonathan Reek
Monique Dargis Amy Derwinski Jacob Randall Mary Ruebel Matthew McCloud Mackenzi Brophy
Ellie Hino Carl Olson Erica Solomon Lizzie Gardner Martin Wessels Liz Council
Mara Emmons Seniz Lennes Mike Koscielny Wells Farnham Maureen Tubbs Justin Betancourt
Derek Landseidel Jeff Kaisershot Mike Fotis Michael Deneen John Bickford Pam Franklin
Chris Harrington Casey Holmstrom Gurayn Sylte Tom Winner Kya Fischer Janay D Henry

Saturday Sept 22nd – Afternoon Schedule

4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM
Adam Iverson Alejandro Aguirre Christian Unser Abe vanderBent Sean Dillon Anna Tobin
Lauren Chesnut Rachel Nielsen Michael Rogers Emily Townswick Kelsey McGregor Bryce Kalal
Vicky Nierengarten Ariel Starzinski Tommy Caravello Hannah Wydeven Katy Kessler Ryan Klima
Eric Geistfeld Neil CarlinSchauer Robbie Darling Edd Jones Cherelle-Renee Childs Zoa Dru
Julietta Benson Molly Chase Jeffrey Ross Kyle CarlinSchauer Craig Corsi Jennifer Adriene Burks
Danielle Heinert Amee Nefzger Banks Erik Ostrom Susannah Eckberg Will Schroeder Siri Hellerman

Monday Sept 24th – Evening Schedule

5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM
Amy Zajack Vann Daley Eric Brown Katie novak
Erik Hoversten Breanna Cecile Michael DallaValle Erik Nielsen
Peter Pierce MJ Marsh Michael Renner Katie Moen
Andy Christian Anna Marie Schmidt Sam Baker Harris Bradley Machov
Chris Barth Jen Scott Madhu Bangalore Liv Augusta
Valerie Hurst Alexis Camille AlysshaRose Jordan Brid Henrey