Thanks to Justin Howard, Dayton has its own improvisational theater. If you're not familiar with improvisational theater, it's a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed, with little or no pre-planning.
Thanks to Justin Howard, Dayton has its own improvisational theater. Justin opened The Black Box Improv Theater this past June in the Cannery at 518 East Third Street. If you're not familiar with improvisational theater, it's a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed, with little or no pre-planning. The Black Box features long form improv, defined on their website as "a completely improvised one act play, complete with multiple characters each with unique relationships often intertwining in ways that seem like they were written ahead of time."
While attending Wittenberg University, Justin earned a coveted spot in the improvisational theater class as a reward for becoming a resident advisor. After just one class he was hooked. When I asked Justin why he loves this art form, he was quick to point out the friendships built through shared experience. He also shared that while audiences laugh because it's spontaneous, even some of the funniest shows have deep meaning. The Troy native and his wife even moved to the birthplace of improv, Chicago, for a couple years where Justin taught and performed, further honing his craft. Fortunately, for us, a desire to be closer to family and return to their roots brought them back to the Dayton area.
After seeing a show, you'll probably be thinking, "there's no way they just made that up!" Let me assure you, they did. The reason it's hard to believe is because each of the actors practice their craft regularly. They participate in improv classes offered at the theater. Classes are led by Justin - specializing in long form improv, and/or Karen Jaffe , owner of Lofty Inspirations, specializing in short form improv training.
Interested in performing? The Black Box Theater doesn't conduct auditions. If you're interested in participating, you'll need the proper training. You are welcome attend the free improv workshop on Sunday January 6th from 1pm to 3pm. Please send an email (email@example.com) or message them on Facebook to reserve your space. A new training class will begin on Sunday January 13th and meets from 2p - 4p each Sunday for six weeks.
Shows start at 9:30pm Friday and Saturday evenings (doors open at 9pm). Admission is only $9, a real steal for a live show. They are working on getting a liquor license, but for now offer non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Visit their website, call, or text 937-369-0747 to purchase tickets. There is no service charge to purchase tickets or gift certificates online!
Win Gift Certificate to The Black Box Improv Theater!