Why should I pursue improv comedy at Yale?

In short: good people, good times. You'll learn a lot, and you'll have fun. I mean, come on. Have you ever heard anyone say, "Oh man, I hate being funny. Life certainly got worse when I started performing alongside my friends before crowds of awe-stricken admirers?" You'll also travel the world (or at least to other parts of the country). For free. Plus, it's way more dignified than being in an a cappella group. Even if it is less sing-nified.

Why should I join the Purple Crayon?

There are several improv groups at Yale, and each troupe does something a little different. There’s no way to really get a sense of what we do except to see us in action, so come to our Exhibition Show on September 6! You can also read our propaganda to find out more about what makes the Crayon unique.

So, since this is improv, you guys never need to practice, right?

Even though we have no idea what will happen in a show, and we certainly don’t plan anything out, the Purple Crayon hones their skills at two rehearsals every week (three during the very beginning of the year). Think of it like football: no team knows how a game will play out, but they still need to learn how to pass and catch.

But I can’t make things up.

Have you ever talked? Did you use a script? Don’t waste our time. 

What kind of experience do I need in order to audition?

Absolutely none at all. Most of us started doing improv for the first time when we showed up for auditions. All you need is a good attitude and a willingness to try something new. That being said, if you do have experience, you are encouraged to bring it along with you to auditions. The same goes for money.  The audition process is simple and low-stress. Auditions start in the beginning of the fall semester. Add yourself to our mailing list and we'll send you notifications next fall. The auditions will consist of warm-up games, various exercises designed to introduce the basic techniques of improv, and simple scene work--nothing complicated or scary!

But isn’t long form a lot tougher than short form?

You flatter us, web page we wrote ourselves! But the answer is no. While long form and short form may sometimes sound or look like completely different styles of improv, the basic skills and techniques are very similar. Each kind of improv has its own challenges: every group helps its new members build their improv skills to prepare for shows of any style, and the Crayon is no exception. As we mentioned above, most of our members had never done improv before, and it’s only once in a blue moon that a new member has experience with long form (short form is pretty much the standard in high school). Since our group is so dependent on the ensemble, we have a lot of experience teaching improv skills quickly and effectively early in the year and ensuring that everyone (no matter how long they’ve been with the group) feels comfortable even as they continue to learn and grow. Check out our propaganda for more info.

Does improv take up all of my time?

Nah. Since we only rehearse twice a week for the most part, you’ll still have plenty of hours/entire days to live your life. Our members stay very active in a variety of other activities, including club sports, intramurals, theater, research, publications, music, and some are pre-med. That being said, it’s not a casual commitment. We’re one of the most active groups on campus, frequently traveling for shows or festivals and doing a whole bunch of on-campus performances. Since all of us are good friends who want to hang out all the time anyway, it never feels like a chore or anything (aw, man, I gotta make people laugh with my buddies this weekend??!?!), but it’s definitely something to be aware of. Feel free to email us if you have any specific questions. Or vague questions, or funny GIF images.

What are the relevant dates and times?

There are FIVE audition slots that you can come to!

Sunday September 8, Noon and 2 p.m

Monday September 9, 5 p.m., 7 p.m. & 9 p.m.

Meet outside of WLH!

Come to just one, but pick whichever you want!

Callbacks will be Wednesday September 11th at 7 p.m. & 9 p.m.

Before all of that, come see us in action at our Exhibition Show September 6th at 10:15 PM in Sudler Hall!

If you have any questions or would like to get some e-mails from us reminding you about auditions in the fall, e-mail Ruby Spiegel and Jesse Schreck, our tap coordinators. They’re very friendly. And don’t forget to check out our propaganda!