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A Monoscene is an improv form that takes place in a single location in a single span of time, with no external edits of any kind. It is frequently referred to as an improvised one act play.


The term monoscene was first used to describe a form used by the Swarm in the original version of Slow Waltz Around Rage Mountain at UCBT in NY. It was a single long scene in the same space and time, like an act of a play with no blackouts. Internally it worked more like a Harold, however. Instead of external edits, the scenes would be edited by a character entering or exiting. Like multiple beats of a Harold, characters would return multiple times. It had roots in several shows and forms, some in Chicago and some in NY such as Close Quarters, Naked, Möbius American Theatre, Tracers and Individually Wrapped, all of which featured extended scenes with entrances and exits rather than many smaller scenes which jumped from place to place. It's not meant to be one long group scene, although sometimes shows like that are termed monoscenes.


60 minutes, 2 improvisors, 1 scene. This show was performed at iO Theater in Chicago. It starred Stephnie Weir and Jimmy Carrane. It was directed by Rob Mello. Kevin Mullaney produced the show and was the assistant director.

Slow Waltz Around Rage Mountain

May be the first show that used the term monoscene. One of the first forms the Swarm worked on and performed for this show, directed by Kevin Mullaney. Their version was close to 20-30 minutes and involved the whole cast.

Death By Roo Roo

Death By Roo Roo started doing monoscene in Cagematch at UCBT and eventually incorporated it into their Friday night show.

The Scene

The Scene was a weekly Monoscene showcase hosted by Micah Sherman and Dan Hodapp at The Peoples Improv Theater. It ran from 2010-2013.

Tuscarora Fire Company Picnic

A 22-25 minute Monoscene performed regularly by Tuscarora Fire Company Picnic on Super Free Wednesdays at The Peoples Improv Theater. Includes The Tuscarora Fire Company Picnic Musical, performed on March 16th, 2011.