HUGE Improv Theater

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HUGE Improv Theater
HUGE Theater logo.png
HUGE's logo
Founded2005[1]
FocusLong form improvisational theater[1]
Location
  • 3037 Lyndale Ave S.
    Minneapolis, MN 55408[2]
Coordinates44°56′50″N 93°17′17″W / 44.947091°N 93.287932°W / 44.947091; -93.287932[3]
Area served
Minneapolis – Saint Paul
Key people
Butch Roy
(Executive Director)[1]
Jill Bernard
(Education Director)
Rita Boersma
(Artistic Director)
Sean Dillon
(Managing Director)
Websitewww.hugetheater.com

HUGE Improv Theater is a Minneapolis theater founded in 2005 dedicated to long form improvisational theater. The non-profit theater acquired its own building in 2010, where it runs scheduled nightly improv performances and hosts several annual improv festivals. HUGE announced plans to move into a new space by 2020 following a controversy over its landlord's support of David Duke's 2016 campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana.

History[edit]

HUGE's building in 2013

In 2005, HUGE was founded as a non-profit arts organization dedicated to long form improvisational theater,[1] the only of its kind in Minneapolis.[4] Butch Roy, Nels Lennes, Jill Bernard, and later Molly Chase, were responsible for the theater's creation.[4] While performing at such local venues as Intermedia Arts,[5] it was not until half a decade after the theater's founding, in December 2010, that the organization got its own building,[1] located on Lyndale Avenue and designed in part by local architecture firm Shelter, featuring a wall with the word 'HUGE' emblazoned on it separating the lobby from the theater space.[6]

In August 2017, a story in City Pages reported that HUGE's landlord, Julius Jaeger De Roma, had donated $500 to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's 2016 campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana.[7] Upon this revelation, HUGE's board of directors denounced De Roma and began conversations about moving the theater to a new space.[7][8] In May 2019, HUGE announced a capital campaign to fund the eventual purchase of its own facility.[8]

As of 2019, HUGE was producing around 600 shows per year with an annual operating budget of $540,000.[8]

Shows and classes[edit]

A bearded person stands, holding an enormous fish on a small, all-black stage while seven people sit on chairs behind.
A show on HUGE's stage

HUGE runs improv shows six nights per week.[1] The theater also hosts classes for beginning improv students and workshops for more advanced improvisational storytellers.[4] HUGE is the site of the annual Twin Cities Improv Festival, a creation of the theater's staff designed to increase the presence of improvised theater in the Twin Cities.[4] It was one of the Minnesota Fringe Festival's stages for the late-summer performing arts festival from 2011 through 2017.[9][2][10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Rowe, Ashleigh V. (Series producer) (November 7, 2011). #245: HUGE Improv Theater, Davina + the Vagabonds + The Minnesota Historical Society’s 1968 Exhibit. Minnesota Original (Television production). Twin Cities Public Television. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "HUGE Theater". Minnesota Fringe Festival. 2012. Archived from the original on July 5, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Google (May 29, 2013). "HUGE Improv Theater, Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Oxborough, Allegra (July 21, 2012). "Twin Cities Improv Festival kicks off at Huge Theater". City Pages. Archived from the original on May 29, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Roberts, Chrs (April 22, 2010). "Overheard conversation becomes improv theater". MPR News. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Shelter Architecture + Design Lisa Antenucci, Allied Member ASID". Minneapolis–Saint Paul Magazine. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Boller, Jay (August 30, 2017). "Nazis, KKK 'can fuck straight off': Huge Improv Theater issues statement on controversial landlord". City Pages. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Hewitt, Chris (May 20, 2019). "Landlord's politics were 'catalyst' for huge move by Lyn-Lake's Huge Theater". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "Fringe venues announced". St. Paul Pioneer Press. March 10, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  10. ^ Erickson, Ann; Robin C. Gillette (March 19, 2013). "Fringe 2013 - Venue Line-up" (PDF). Minnesota Fringe Festival. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "Minnesota Fringe will have 20 Minneapolis venues". St. Paul Pioneer Press. March 26, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.

External links[edit]