Students of Liz Moore’s “Introduction to Theatre Arts “class and members of ConVal’s improvisation troupe “Funny on Occasion” got a rare treat last Friday. They got to participate in a workshop guided by members of “The Viola Question,” Yale University’s improvisational theatre group.
The challenge of improvisational comedy performances comes from the fact that they are guided by audience suggestions and participation. They follow a simple set of rules, called the “game.” The Viola Question specializes in both long- and short-form improv. Their shows offer a variety of styles: quicker games, which focus on wit and audience interaction, as well as longer scenes, which revolve around character development, storytelling, and situational humor.
Since its founding, “The Viola Question” has performed at many notable venues, including The Second City Chicago, Atlantic City, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre of New York, Caroline’s of NewYork, Standup NY, the Comic Strip, ComedySportz, Level 3 Communications (A Fortune 500 Company), ImprovOlympics, Providence’s Perishable Theater, and Branford College at Yale University.
Members of the Viola Question have recently performed with Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live), Stephen Colbert (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report), Gilbert Gottfried (The Aristocrats), Julia Roberts (Mona Lisa Smile), and Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live, Weeds).