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 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: At this time. we do not have a reservation system for shows. Currently all shows are cash only at the 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: Currently, we only accept cash for show tickets and concessions.
Q: Where do I park?
A: Street parking is readily available on Tripoli and Madison. There is also a UPMC parking lot on Madison and Spring Garden Avenue that may be used by SCIT patrons.
Q: Can I photograph/videotape/audiotape the show?
A: Absolutely NO video or audio recording is permitted without explicit permission from both the theatre and performers. Still photography is allowed without flash.
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: Currently, our classes are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 7pm – 10pm, but we plan to offer weekend classes in the near future. Sign up for our mailing list and check steelcityimprov.com to be the first to know!
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.
Q: I have taken improv classes elsewhere, where do I begin?
A: We require all of our students begin at Level One. If you want to be involved with the community without taking a class, you can participate in the SCIT Social, audition for our house teams, or just come an hang out on show nights (especially Monday, it’s free and we usually go drink afterwards)!
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 [email protected] to get registered for it.
Q: Do you offer workshops for my company?
A: Steel City Improv Theater can tailor our unique blend of improvisation techniques, exercises and role playing games to teach your staff a variety of valuable skills. We focus on teaching people to become better listeners, communicators and team players in a fun, nurturing environment.
Q: Can I hire you to do a show for my corporate event/company function/community gathering?
A: Yes! We’ve a large pool of performers and groups that can enhance your event with improvised comedy!
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: No, the SCIT is a unique performance venue as it is not a for rent theater with upfront fees and charges. All shows are co-produced with the SCIT, as to ensure the quality of the show. We are a long form improv theater, and every show reflects our artistic vision. While we occasionally present shows outside of the SCIT’s main focus of longform improv, such as one man shows or sketch, those shows are occasional and part of the SCIT’s mission to provide a venue for alternative comedy and small works of theater.
Q: How do I put up my show at the SCIT?
A: All shows are booked at the discretion of our Artistic Director, Kasey Daley. Most of the shows staged at Steel City Improv Theater are developed by alumni of our Training Center, however outside submissions are welcome. Completed show submissions may be sent to [email protected] Show submissions should include show title, script and/or DVD, cast list, director name and press (if applicable). Shows should be completed, rehearsed and ready to be seen by the Artistic Director. Submission materials will not be returned.
Q: Can I perform improv at the SCIT?
A: Yes! There are several paths to the stage at the Steel City Improv Theater. If you are on an independent improv team, send a submission to the Artistic Director. If you would like to meet people to form an independent team, take a class or participate in our weekly Social Jams! Audition for a “Totally Free Monday” house team!