Improv jam

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An improv jam (or mixer) is a performance wherein any attendee is invited to participate. Akin to an open mic for poets or comics, a jam is often a free or low-cost event organized for amateurs and held for community-building or learning purposes. Most major improv theaters offer late-night jams, hosted by repertory performers, that give their students a chance to get extra stage time. Participants often write their name down on a piece of paper and are called up in groups to perform scenes together, possibly with total strangers. The People's Improv Theater in New York City has made jams an important part of their weekly schedule, offering them almost every evening after their regular regimen of shows.

Jam types

  • Standard - participants are called up in groups of roughly 5-9 and get roughly 5-10 minutes of stage time.
  • Bring your own team - an event where participants decide who they get to perform with. Occasionally these jams are competitive.
  • Musical jam - An improv jam where songs are improvised in scenes.
  • Two-person scenes - rather than place participants into groups for longer sets, some jams give improvisers the chance to do one scene with one partner.