Monday, 9 April 2018

Performing at Hoopla, list of opportunities


Blog by Steve Roe, co-founder of Hoopla Improv, courses, shows and improv club. Twitter: @HooplaImpro. Facebook Page: HooplaImpro. Facebook Group: Hoopla Impro People. Website: www.HooplaImpro.com. Email: hooplaimpro@gmail.com.

Our Regular Shows Day by Day

Mondays, 8pm - 10pm: Mix of things and end of course shows.
A mix of end of course shows from Hoopla courses and other regular nights from other groups which we're supporting.

Tuesdays, 8pm - 10pm: Mix of things and end of course shows.
A mix of end of course shows from Hoopla courses and other regular nights from other groups  which we're supporting.

Wednesdays, 7pm - 8pm: A weekly free open to all jam.
We've recently increased the length of this and are working with our jam captains and jammer to make it a great free place for everyone to come along and build up more performing experience. The jammers can also stay for the free shows from 8pm too. You don't have to sign up in advance, just turn up before 7pm.

Wednesdays 8pm - 10pm: Shows that help support and improve the diversity of the UK improv scene.

For instance Nu Z Land that celebratates black & asian comedians and improvisers, The Foreign Office that gets helps connect different nationalities together, Ladyprov and Word of Muff that puts on all female shows and The Committee that connect together the best of improv, sketch and stand up. We generally keep these shows free to help make improv available to everyone. Groups that develop at these nights we also invite into our main weekend shows as space opens up.

Wednesdays 10pm - 11pm: Late night experiments & jams.

We're experimenting with some late night shows at the moment with Project2 doing a weekly late night show this month. Later on we might also experiment with some late night jams on Wednesday nights if there is demand.

Thursdays, 7pm - 8pm: Launch Pad.
Starting later this summer. This is a free weekly spot for new groups, existing groups to try out new things, and for new groups to build up performing experience. It isn't marketed in the press so that it is more improvisers performing to improvisers in a safe supportive place.

Thursdays, 8pm - 10pm: Hoopla house shows.
This is where we're going to be putting on all the new shows we're producing as a weekly night, starting a bit from now and properly from later in the summer. There will be at least two groups performing each night, with a different line up each week. As these groups build up experience they will gradually move into our main slots on our weekend shows.

Fridays, 8pm - 10pm: The best improv possible.
At our main weekend shows 8pm - 10pm Friday and Saturday we're striving to put on the best improv possible for a mainstream crowd who want a great night out. We aim to put on a mix of different improv styles, short-form, long-form, narrative, musical and more are all welcome. Most of all shows should be entertaining and fun and suitable for our lovely weekend audience.

Saturdays, 6:15pm - 7:30pm: Pre-party. 

Similar to Launch Pad this is where we put on groups that are building up experience and developing their show. We're available to help groups and give feedback if requested, to help them develop shows. Shows that really take off here we gradually transfer over to our main nights as space arises.

Saturdays, 8pm - 10pm: The best improv possible.

At our main weekend shows 8pm - 10pm Friday and Saturday we're striving to put on the best improv possible for a mainstream crowd who want a great night out. We aim to put on a mix of different improv styles, short-form, long-form, narrative, musical and more are all welcome. Most of all shows should be entertaining and fun and suitable for our lovely weekend audience.

Sundays, all day: REST!
We don't currently do shows on Sundays as our venue is closed.

We do sometimes have to move weekly shows around a bit to make way for end of course shows when they come up. 

Progression for an improviser

Hoopla Courses

End of Course Shows

Jams (Wednesdays, 7pm)

Auditions for House Shows (at least once per season)

Performing House Shows (Thursdays, 8pm)

Performing at our Main Shows (Weekends)
 
Please note that performing at main shows depends on the suitability of the show and if space is available.

Progression for a new group

Launch Pad (Thursdays 7pm)

Pre-Party (Saturdays 6:15pm)

Performing at our Main Shows (Weekends 8pm)

We try to make space for everyone at our Launch Pads but if they are getting busy we have to give priority to people coming from Hoopla courses. Also we priority book groups over two-prov and solo improv so that more people can get involved.

Please note that performing at main shows depends on the suitability of the show and if space is available.

What we look for when booking our main shows, or progressing a group from Launch Pads/Pre-Party Shows to main shows

  1.     Puts on a fun & exciting show that is suitable for a mainstream weekend audience.
  2.     Puts on a show that is suitable for everyone, not just other improvisers (although it should be suitable for them too).
  3.     Brings in an audience (although we also will support great shows that don't have their own audience yet if they are a high standard). 
  4.     Able to help out with promoting of their show and Hoopla shows in general. 
  5.     Able to work as part of a team with our front of house staff, hosts, other groups and volunteers. 
  6.     Groups that are open to feedback from us, so we can help shape the show to make it suitable for bigger audiences.
  7.     Groups that are regularly rehearsing together and improving things step by step.
  8.     Groups that do the show they are booked in to do.
  9.     We're supportive of all improv styles, short-form, long-form, narrative, musical etc are all welcome. However styles that don't work so well in our venue are solo improv and slower or quieter two-prov. 
  10.     Other adhoc values we look out for include movement, playfulness, fun, colour, physical, story, adventure, character, action and spontaneity.
How our House Shows Work 
 


We're going to be putting on all styles of improv. If you don't make one audition don't worry we encourage you to try again and we have lots of other opportunities in the meantime.


New Auditions announced at least once per season.Over our twitter (@hooplaimpro) and facebook page (@hooplaimpro) and facebook group Hoopla Impro People.

Application over email.

Successful application.

Audition.
Audition format depends on show but will usually involve lots of scenes. You can also request feedback.

Successful audition.

Rehearsals

Currently every other week on Saturday afternoons, but this may change with new shows.

Series of Thursday Night Shows and additional Mini-Shows
 ↓
Ongoing Rehearsals

Performing at our Main Nights
Depending on the suitability of the show and availability at our main nights.

Festivals (TBC)


Some of the House Shows we put on will be for a limited run, and some we put together we'll aim to make an ongoing thing.  



Directors for our House Shows come from our teaching team, but we may expand this to include other Directors next year. 

Things we're trying to improve

Making improv available to everyone: By having a nice mix of free and paid shows, nights that improve diversity in the improv scene, and having jams and places that support new groups in addition to our main nights.

Putting on the best improv possible: For this we need groups that are open to feedback from us and are constantly trying to develop and rehearse shows to make improv awesome.

Putting on the right show to the right people: 
We aim to support all groups, but do that by putting them in the right place at the right time to the right audience.

Not cancelling or moving things: Before Angela joined our team I was really behind on things so ended up having to cancel or move things around a lot after booking. We're now planning ahead much better thanks to Angela, so we aim to not cancel or move things once booked. The only exceptions to this is if we have to make way for end of course shows or international guests, or if a group is no longer suitable for a certain night.

Front of house:
We now have a paid Front of House Manager (Helice Stratton) so that front of house and tech things are looked after each show.

How to apply to perform


Jams you don't have to apply you just turn up.
House Shows are a different process per show, see above.


For other shows please email hooplashows@gmail.com with the following:


  1.     What type of night your show would be suitable for.
  2.     Name of group.
  3.     Description of group (written from point of view of audience so it sells the show).
  4.     Cast list of who is in the group. 
  5.     How long the show is and alternative times it could do (we generally book in 10-15, 30 and 40 minute spots).
  6.     Any reviews or press you have about the show.
  7.     Any images you have for the show.
  8.     Any social media or web links you have for the show.

We do try really hard to fit everyone in but due to limited space and a large number of groups we can't guarantee a spot for everyone, and there may be a waiting list until we have a space.



Blog by Steve Roe, co-founder of Hoopla Improv, courses, shows and improv club. Twitter: @HooplaImpro. Facebook Page: HooplaImpro. Facebook Group: Hoopla Impro People. Website: www.HooplaImpro.com. Email: hooplaimpro@gmail.com. 

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