An Interview With Utah’s First Female Improv Team

ImprovablesUtah’s first all-female improv group is hitting the stage Friday in Centerville, and I was lucky to have a conversation with two of the group members, Cassie and Erica. When I asked Erica how long she’s been doing comedy she said, “pretty much from zygote to present.” I think that answer alone tells us it’s going to be a good show.

It’s abundantly clear that an all-ladies improv night is vital in a culture that continual tells us women aren’t funny. Erica’s response to those people?

Uh… Have you been on YouTube? Sorry, but YouTube is my jam, and there are many empowered women on YouTube. A lot of innovative female comedy is currently coming from YouTube and I don’t want to namedrop, but you’ve got Grace Helbig, Jenna Marbles, Candace and Shannon from the Hey Hey Show…I mean, if people use the internet they’re going to run into funny ladies. If they haven’t already.

Basically, unless you live under a rock, there are funny ladies everywhere. Cassie says she usually just feels pity for folks who believe women are the less funny of the sexes, because “Anyone with that kind of attitude is closing themselves off from a lot of brilliant comedians.”

So what caused the ladies to start the improv group? Erica recalls:

I was dating this guy last year and I took him to one of our shows, and when the players came out on stage he said ‘They’re all dudes.’ And for a while they were. When I joined the troupe there were only like two female performers, though several girls joined at the same time I did. Since then we’ve slowly added more and more female performers to the troupe, and now—just out of Improvables alone—we have enough women to do an all-girl show. So we figured why not?

I asked the ladies who their feminist role models are, and the list of funny, smart ladies included Lucille Ball and Amy Poehler. Their dream improv team?

Cassie: Obviously Amy and Tina. They’re the best. Kate McKinnon is brilliant as well. Ellen Degeneres. Probably Maria Bamford – I don’t know if she does improv, but she’s pretty funny. Bill Hader, we’ll round it out with Mindy Kaling.

Erica: I’ll just join your dream team. Can I join your dream team? I’m bringing Winona Ryder with me. I don’t know if she’s funny. I just want to be her friend.

Again, with banter like this, the show is bound to be funny, and we definitely need to support the ladies in their comedic endeavor on Friday night! Tickets are only $6 at the door, and all proceeds go to the YWCA Women in Jeopardy Program. As if you needed another reason to attend?

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