Q: Whats a SCIT?
A: Steel City Improv Theater (or The SCIT – pronounced “skit” – for short) is a group of theater professionals committed to creating a home for long form improvisational comedy in the Pittsburgh, PA. The SCIT produces long form improv shows 3 nights a week. We offer classes that provide our students the tools to become first-rate improvisers who create exceptional theater and comedy instantly on stage.
Q: What do you do?
A: Improvisation, or Improv, is a form of live theater in which the acting, dialog, and characters of scene are all made up in the moment. So what is long form improv? Most people are familiar with short form improv (like “Who’s Line Is It, Anyways?”). Typically short form improv features a host who challenges improvisers with a game that has rules for the players to follow. For each game, the host takes one or more suggestions from the audience.
In long form improv, a group of improvisers typically begins by asking the audience for a single suggestion of a word or phrase at the height of their intelligence for inspiration. The performers explore the suggestion with some sort of an “opening.” An opening can be a scene, a monologue or some sort of free association theatrical piece that isn’t quite a scene or a monologue. From there we see a series of scenes with two or more improvisers. At it’s very best, long form improv can look like a great sketch comedy show or a full length play except we all know it was created just now. We, often tell our audience, “what you are about to see is improvised. It has never been seen before and will never be seen again.” This is what makes every improv show a unique experience shared the performers and audience.
Q: What do you teach?
A: We offer multiple levels of improv in our Core Curriculum and supplemental Workshops to develop their skills in a fun, supportive environment.
Q: Are all of your shows strictly “long form” improv comedy?
A: Part of The SCIT’s mission is to offer a space for other forms of comedy as well. Occasionally we also co-produce other types of comedy-these are usually scripted pieces that are alternatives to the mainstream fair in regular comedy clubs such as one person shows, sketch comedy and variety shows.
Q: What kind of shows play at the SCIT?
A: The SCIT hosts lots of different comedy shows-improv, sketch, musical improv, variety, one man shows-but the theater primarily hosts long form improv comedy.
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement for your shows?
A: We only have an age suggestion. We suggest limiting our audience to 16 years of age and up. Due to the nature of long form improv, we do not censor our shows in any way.
Q: Will I be asked to participate?
A: Not usually. In longform improv, we may ask for a suggestion to get us started, like a word or a phrase, but most of the time that’s the end of any audience participation. We never make anyone do anything they don’t want to! Our goal is to create instant theater and create a fun, safe environment for you to enjoy it in.
Q: Will there ever be kid friendly shows?
A: Yes! We intend to begin family shows in the near future, but please note – these will be specially marked shows. We recommend our regular shows be attended by ages 16 and over.
Q: Are shows BYOB?
A: No. We offer a concession stand with different beverages, there is beer and wine available for a suggestion donation.
Q: Can I make reservations over the phone or online?
A: Yep! You can purchase tickets on our website or at the door with cash or credit. Door tickets go on sale 30 minutes prior to show time and the house general opens 15 minutes prior to show time. To be sure you get a seat, please arrive at least 15 min before the show time. If there is a group of fifteen or more people, we recommend that you arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime to buy your tickets.
Q: Can I pay with my credit card?
A: Absolutely – for advanced tickets online or at the door.
Q: Where do I park?
A: Street parking is readily available on Ellsworth, Center and S Highland Avenue. There is also Eastside Parking Garage about a block away.
Q: Can I photograph/videotape/audiotape the show?
A: We ask that you don’t use a flash – it’s very distracting to both the performers & the audience. If you do take a picture, tag us!
Q: Is there an age requirement for taking classes?
A: Yes, currently all of our classes are 18 years of age and up.
Q: Do you offer kids and teens classes?
A: At this time we do not, however we plan to offer kids and teens classes in the near future. Sign up for our mailing list and check steelcityimprov.com to be the first to know!
Q: Do you offer weekend classes?
A: We do! Check our classes page for what’s currently registering.
Q: I’d like to take classes at the SCIT, but I’m flat broke. Should I just wait until I have some scratch?
A: Of course not! We want people to learn improv, first and foremost, that’s why we have internship positions. For more info, email Kasey[at] steelcityimprov.com
Q: I have taken improv classes elsewhere, where do I begin?
A: We ask that the majority of students begin at Level One. The SCIT has a specific point of view, and our classes build off of each other. As a student, you’ll get more out of it if you start at the same place as everyone else. If you want to check us out without taking a class, check out our house team shows, as most of the performers are alumni of our classes, or come to one of our free jams. Those are great places to start, meet people and see if you want to learn more.
Q: I took a class at the SCIT, but I want to take it again because there’s another teacher/I’ve not yet mastered it/I love learning! Do I have to pay full price?
A: NOPE! If you’ve already taken a SCIT class, and want to retake that same Level Class, you can take it for 50% off of the current price. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get registered for it.
Q: Do you offer workshops for my company?
A: Steel City Improv Theater We have done corporate training for companies large and small. For more information, check out our Corporate Training page.
Q: Can I hire you to do a show for my corporate event/company function/community gathering?
A: You can! We’ve done shows with workshops, shows that incorporate the audience, smaller shows -you name it.
Q: My group would like to hire one of your teachers to teach a workshop at our college, do you do that?
A: Yes! We teach beginning improv workshops, musical improv workshops and more specific workshops for college improv groups. Contact the office and we can give you all of the details!
Q: My grade school/high school would like to hire you to teach an improv workshop, do you do that?
A: Yes! We teach children’s improv classes, and for grades 9 and up, we teach improv and musical improv classes. Contact the office for more details!
Q: Can I rent Steel City Improv Theater?
A: Generally, we do not rent the theater on most nights, but it’s perfect for larger meetings, parties, auditions and rehearsals. For more information, please contact our rental coordinator at 412-404-2695.
Q: How do I put up my show at the SCIT?
A: All shows are booked through our producers, and are booked about four months in advanced. If you’re interested in bringing your show to the SCIT, please email our Artistic Director, Kasey Daley at Kasey[at] steelcityimprov.com
Q: Can I perform improv at the SCIT?
A: Yes! If you’d like to get involved with a group, the best thing to do is come to a jam (times & dates all listed on the show calendar), and talk with people. If you have an improv group, you can email our AD, Kasey and she can direct you to producers.