This Halloween the musical improv comedy group Outside Joke is teaming up with the Dungeons and Dragons Improv Show to kick off their fourth season of comedy at the Gas Station Arts Centre.
Outside Joke is a troupe of seasoned improv veterans who have been entertaining audiences with their style of musical improv for over a decade now.
“We’re 13 years old this year,” said RobYn Slade, one of the six improv comedians that make up the group.
The group’s success and longevity is not only about each member’s talent but also the dedication they have for their craft and their desire to keep the show fresh and exciting for their audiences.
“We’ve grown and continued to grow by travelling to festivals and taking workshops both as a company and as individuals, and then we pour what we learn back into our shows,” said Slade.
The DnD Improv Show, on the other hand, has solidified its status as a theatrical hit over its nine-year run. From 2011 to 2015 the show has earned five-star reviews from the Winnipeg Free Press and has been performed at a variety of festivals including the Winnipeg Improv Festival, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
The decision to team up and launch the new season on Halloween is simple.
“We love a good party,” said Slade.
“It fits so well with the DnD Improv show’s aesthetic. Swords, cloaks, masks, fake blood. At the Fringe Festival, they offer a discount for audience members who come in costume, so it’s a perfect pairing for improv and Halloween lovers alike.”
Outside Joke will kick things off first and treat fans to what they are known for: musical improv.
“It’s been a while since Outside Joke got to bust out our signature musical improv show with all six members of our company, so we’ll be doing that for our half of the show,” said Slade.
Exciting moments are inevitable during improv because neither you nor the actors really know what’s coming next.
The second half belongs to the DnD Improv Show. If Dungeons and Dragons isn’t your bag, don’t worry.
“You don’t need to know the rules of DnD to enjoy the show,” explains Slade.
“The Dungeon Master does a great job of guiding the audience through the die-rolling, decision-making, and plot-twisting […] Expect it to be weird and fun and bloody, and you’ll have a great time.”
Those who are new to improv and have never attended one of these shows before should remember that, as an audience member, you are part of the show. That’s part of the fun.
When speaking with the Manitoban, Slade highlighted the importance of a great crowd.
“Not only is it important to us as producers, but there’s a kind of magic that happens when, as an audience member, you’re able to lose yourself in a crowd and laugh and cheer and maybe even cry a little without feeling self-conscious.”
Outside Joke and the DnD Improv Show will perform at the Gas Station Arts Centre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. Cover will be $15, and $12 for all students, art workers, and costumed audience members. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.ticketweb.ca.