Bring Your Own Improv Celebrates 10th Anniversary

BYOIBring Your Own Improv (BYOI), an interactive comedy show for all ages, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a special event on Friday, August 3 at the Warwick Center for the Arts. The anniversary festivities will include appearances from previous BYOI cast members, special games, and cake. The night includes a family-friendly show, open to all ages, at 7:00pm and a late night show at 9:00pm.

Bring Your Own Improv first began in August of 2008, at a now-closed venue on Thayer Street in Providence. Improv Jones graciously hosted BYOI at their stage on Empire Street in Providence until the show found their home at the Warwick Center for the Arts in 2011.

“Warwick Center for the Arts has been the home of BYOI for the past 7 years. As an organization, we bring art and culture—in all its facets—to the public; and BYOI is one great way in which we’re able to engage the broader community at the Center,” said Taylor Terreri, Warwick Center for the Arts Director. “Our on-going partnership with BYOI allows us to be part of a much-loved community institution and we’re excited to see what’s next for BYOI.”

While most improv shows encourage audience participation when cast members solicit the crowd for suggestions, BYOI is unique in that audience members are also welcome on stage to play along with each game.

BYOI also runs a Youth Collective—a Friday evening program for teens (ages 13 to 18) that teaches improv comedy as well as self-confidence and social emotional skills. Each Youth Collective session includes one month of lessons and one month of performing on stage. Many youth involved in the Collective have taken multiple sessions because they have developed friendships with their peers and continue to improve their skills.

“I never would have found improv if it weren’t for BYOI, and improv is my passion,” said Youth Collective member Carolyn Morey. “It doesn’t matter how good at improv you are, it’s fun no matter what.”

Finally, BYOI regularly performs in the community for a variety of charities and non-profit organizations. Every month, the cast visits The Izzy Family Room—a family room on the pediatric oncology floor at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“Families, patients and staff look forward to the night when every can laugh, which reduces distressing emotions, helps families recharge and most importantly, draws people together, removing the isolation so many families feel when their children is battling a serious life threatening illness,” said Erin Scott, Executive Director of the Izzy Foundation. “We are so grateful to BYOI for helping The Izzy Foundation provide programs that help families live, love, laugh and play while in the hospital.

Bring Your Own Improv’s shows are held every Friday evening at 7:00pm (family-friendly show) and a late night show at 9:00pm. Tickets to each show are $8 for adults and $5 for Seniors, Students, Military, and Children Under 12. The cast is available for hire for corporate team building, birthday and holiday parties, school events, private events and fundraisers. In addition to the Youth Collective Program, BYOI also offers adult improv workshops throughout the year. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.bringyourownimprov.com 

THE COLLABORATIVE PRESENTS: WARREN ART ACADEMY

collaborative The Collaborative, an all-volunteer nonprofit arts organization, will be holding free art classes for middle and high school students during the month of March.  The classes will be held at the Mary V. Quirk School, 790 Main St., Warren in coordination with the Warren Parks & Recreation Department and funded by grants from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the TACO White Family Foundation.

The classes will be presented in two sections and students can pick one class from each section. Section One runs on consecutive Sundays: March 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th, from 1pm-4pm and offers a class in functional sculpture and one in nontraditional & experimental techniques.  Section Two will take place on Friday March 23rd from 3pm-6pm and then on Saturday and Sunday, the 24th – 25th, from 9am-1pm. These classes will be in printmaking and filmmaking.  Four talented Rhode Island Arts Educators will teach the classes including Juliette Casselman, Lauren Enjeti, Adam Tracy and Tommy Whalen.

Since its inception, The Collaborative has always envisioned being less a gallery and more of an educational organization, bringing together art and education for people of all ages.  That’s why Executive Director of The Collaborative, Uriah Donnelly, is very excited about this particular event. “This program really follows our philosophy of using the arts to educate,” said Donnelly.

The two main goals of this program are to develop each student’s appreciation of the arts and to encourage self-esteem and confidence.  Since The Collaborative started, we have had many young artists exhibit in our gallery. We’ve had the pleasure of watching them grow and evolve into budding professionals.

At the conclusion of the classes, there will be showcases of the students’ work throughout the month of April at The Collaborative space, 498 Main Street Warren, RI.

These classes are free but are capped at ten and students must register through The Collaborative website: https://thecollaborative02885.org/art-academy. For more information email: info@thecollaborative02885.org.