Bill Chott's the Improv Trick (2715 Cherokee Street; 314-922-1998 or www.theimprovtrick.com
) is both a school and a performing-arts organization. Students attend to learn the mechanics and theory of improv comedy and acting, with the goal being public performance of what they've learned. On Tuesday nights, the group Ugly Coyote
takes the stage to play with Harold. Improv legend/pioneer Del Close developed Harold as a way to hone students' skills and also to provide a modicum of structure; it's a long-form game with a bare-bones set of rules (the first rule is "there are no rules") that can and should be ignored in the interest of developing a unique and funny group performance. In the case of Ugly Coyote's performance, the group will solicit suggestions from the audience, and then take the best or most interesting idea and turn it into a play. The audience is the springboard, Ugly Coyote the diver and Harold is the Russian judge who scores arbitrarily and should be discounted, except when he scores high — or some metaphor less aquatic. See what it's all about at 8 p.m.; admission is free.
Tuesdays. Starts: Aug. 11. Continues through Sept. 15, 2009