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LIP Performers

Frequently Asked Questions

Shows

What happens at an improv show?

Improv is a theatrical art form. It is made up entirely on the spot by the improvisers on stage. There is no script; there is no pre-discussed plot; it is not sketch comedy or a written play. Though, sometimes it can seem that way!

Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age requirements for shows.

Show content is likely to be a strong PG-13 on any given night or show unless it is promoted as a kids/family show. We do not strive to be offensive but you are likely to hear some language and some adult themes ranging from PG-13 to R rated. As far as bringing children – we leave that up to the discretion of the parent. We recommend 18+, but we will not turn anyone away.

Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Yes, we recommend you buy tickets in advance. Advance purchase guarantees you’ll have a seat if the show sells out. If there’s a line at the door, your advance purchase will get you through a bit faster.

Can I reserve tickets over the phone?
We do not offer phone reservations or ticket sales. All our tickets are available online or can be purchased in person during box office hours. Box office opens thirty minutes before showtime.

What time should I arrive?
We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early. This helps you can find seats with your party, as all seats are General Admission. The box office opens thirty minutes before showtime. Unless a different show is in progress, seating begins soon after the box office opens.

What about refunds?
Like most theaters, Lancaster Improv Players do not offer refunds for unused tickets or classes. In case bad weather prevents you from attending, email [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than the following day. We will do our best to make alternative arrangements, excluding a refund.

Do you sell group tickets? Also, since it is general admission, can my group be seated together?
We do not offer group ticket discounts on top of our already low ticket prices. Group seating can be arranged upon request. If you have a group of ten or more contact [email protected] to request group seating.

What’s the food and drink situation?
We do not offer food or drink on-premises. That said, you’re in luck: Levengoods Cidery is nearby, and there is a bodega immediately next door.

Where can I park?
Limited metered street parking is available nearby. Parking meters generally are in effect Monday through Saturday until 6 PM.

Besides metered street parking, there are two public parking garages are close by. Steinman garage is about a half of a block south on the opposite side of Prince Street from our theater. Lancaster Parking Authority’s Prince Street Garage is about 2 blocks north of our facility on Prince Street. Both are large garages and should have plenty of spaces.

If I come to a show, will I be picked on, forced to participate, or embarrassed?

NO! Absolutely not. We foster a fun, supportive, and low-stress environment for our audience. The only ones who should be worried about performing should be the performers! We do ask our audience for suggestions, which usually come in the form of single words or short phrases. Occasionally we do ask for a volunteer who is willing to be interviewed on stage. We’re always clear in what we’re looking for and no one is ever singled out!

Can you pull my friend, birthday-haver, or spouse-to-be on stage and embarrass them or put their name in the show?

Our shows are full-length productions that do not have a natural place to interject a private celebration.

Are you going to kick me out if I’m a jerk?
Long answer: Lancaster Improv Players (LIP) reserves the right to remove and subsequently refuse access or service to any person who: a) either cannot or will not follow instructions from staff, or b) causes significant disruption to the function of the business. Our definition of disruption to the business includes disrespectful or dangerous treatment of another person at LIP (including the audience, performers, and staff), actions that endanger or damage the physical property of LIP, and any illegal activity. Our definition of staff includes all volunteers and improv teachers, box office attendants, house managers, board members, management, and any other person employed or contracted by LIP. We can at any time refuse to enroll or to remove anyone from classes, jams, or other LIP events or programming for any reason.

Short answer: Don’t be a jerk.

I’m a performer, how can I get involved?
Most of our shows have a set cast and periodically we hold auditions for new members. We also offer classes and jams, which can help build skills or introduce you to our community. If you’re only in town for a short visit, fill out this contact form and we’ll try to fit you into a rotating cast show.

Classes

Do I need to have any stage/acting/improv experience to take a class?

No! Our Introduction to Improv classes (Improv 101 and Improv 102 on Zoom) are designed for people who have never done any type of stage work before. Further classes will build on one another – no outside or prior experience necessary.

Is there an age limit for taking a class with Lancaster Improv Players?

Unless otherwise specified, all students in our classes must be 18 years of age or older. We occasionally offer improv classes for children and teens, which will specify their age requirements. Exceptions are rarely granted.

Will I be embarrassed or made to look like a fool?

Absolutely not! Our improv classes are supportive, fun, and engaging. We want to ensure everyone is having a productive and enjoyable time.

Do I need to be funny to take an improv class?

We hear a lot of “oh, I could never do that” or “I’m not that quick on my feet.” These are myths about improv – that you need to be naturally funny or quick to do it. Improv needs all playing styles and senses of humor. More importantly, improv is more than a performance art. The principles you learn will help you with your job and in your everyday life. So the short answer is – no!

What can I expect to learn?

The specific descriptions for each class are on our Core Curriculum and Electivesand Currently Enrollingpages. They give a good idea of what each class covers. Aside from the practical skills of improv and stagecraft, we believe you will learn real-life skills. These skills include being more open and receptive to others, communicating more confidently and constructively, and greater comfort dealing with uncertainty.

What should I bring to class with me?
Wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to move around. You may want to dress in layers in case you get hot or cold. Many classes take a break in the middle so you may want a snack or a drink for that. A small notebook to jot down notes isn’t a bad idea, but no other materials are necessary for the first class. Teachers will contact their classes should students need to bring any materials.

What’s this about a showcase?
Most classes present a culminating showcase at the end of the course. It’s a chance to invite your friends and family to see what you’ve been doing for the past eight weeks. These audiences of friends are often the most generous and supportive audience you’ll ever have.  It’s a great low-stakes experience for everyone to get a chance on stage.

That said, you are not required to participate in the showcase, and missing it has no impact on your ability to take future classes. Showcases are a ton of fun and most students adjust their schedules to be able to perform.

How big are LIP’s classes, typically?
LIP classes are typically 12 students but are occasionally smaller. Some may have more students but are no bigger than 16. Any given class needs at least 8 students registered to run – any less and that class may be delayed or canceled. Any students will be notified so they may make plans to move to a different course. There is no transfer fee applied should students have to move classes due to low enrollment.

Our LIP workshops vary in size depending on the instructor’s preference. Our Drop-In  Improv classes require a minimum of 4 people to run but may have up to 20.

I’ve done improv before, which class should I start with?
If you have completed the curriculum at another improv theater, please email [email protected] to discuss which prerequisites you meet. We use long-form class hours and familiarity with a curriculum to assess placement. LIP core-curriculum classes are 16 to 24 hours per level, for 60 total hours of instruction. Every training program is different, teaching their own set of values, vocabulary, and approaches to improv. LIP is dedicated to making sure that you enter into our program where it is right for you and your potential classmates! Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Where did you previously study improv (university, another improv school)?
  • Who were your instructors?
  • When did you complete the curriculum?
  • Any additional classes or relevant experience we should know about?

If you have not completed a curriculum at another improv theater the most likely level you will be placed in is Level 201. If it has been more than two years since you’ve taken classes, or your prior class experience is less than 16 hours of instruction, you will be asked to start our curriculum at Level 101.

One more note, retaking classes is generally not required for experienced improvisers. You are eligible to try out for our theater’s house teams. If the audition demonstrates comparable skills and a good cultural fit, you may be cast directly. If not, we may recommend classes to help improve your chances of being cast.

Do you prorate classes? Will you give me a discount if I am only able to make it to some of the days?
We do not prorate our classes. There are no discounts for missing days of class.

General

Do you accept credit or debit cards?

We accept all major credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. This is true at our box office and through our online ticket partner Eventbrite.

I would like to work or volunteer at LIP, who do I contact?
Great question! It depends on the role.

I have a question that isn’t answered here, what I should I do?
Send an email to [email protected] – you will get a lovely response, we promise!