FAQ for Submissions
Deadline to submit to Improvapalooza:
Wednesday, July 6 at 11:59 p.m. Submissions made after the deadline will not be accepted. The submission form can be found HERE.
What is Improvapalooza?
Glad you asked. Improvapalooza is Washington Improv Theater’s annual August festival where improvisers perform new and exciting formats. Palooza, as its friends call it, is a great chance to play with new people and try out new and fun ideas!
When is Improvapalooza?
Palooza will take place Wednesday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 21 — condensing all the wild new formats, late night craziness, Palooza traditions, blind casting shows, and more into one week of awesomeness!
Where is Improvapalooza?
Palooza will be taking place at Source Theater (1835 14th St. NW).
What are you looking for in submissions?
Something we don’t see every day. Palooza is about experimentation! As a result, we are explicitly looking for new ideas, formats, and/or gimmicks. If your troupe submits a show it performs regularly, that show will probably not be accepted. Take a risk! Get outside your comfort zone! The Palooza audience wants to see things they know they could not possibly have seen before — and may never be able to see again.
What does “blind casting” mean?
If you have a fun concept idea and are open to having the Palooza Planning Committee cast it for you, blind casting is for you. Basically, you describe your show idea, and then there’s a place on the form to detail the general cast you’re looking for (number of people, gender breakdown, or anything else you may need, like physicality or musicality). We will reach out to the community and cast your show. If you think your blind casting show may need an advance rehearsal, there’s a place to indicate that on the submission form. Calls for blind casting will go out shortly after the schedule is released.
What’s the deal with the late night shows?
Late night shows are best for fast-and-loose shows with simple, fun premises. Think Waterbucket Monoscene (a single scene with any player’s head submerged in a water bucket throughout the scene). These acts will be shorter time slots. We’re considering the possibility of one or two late nights on Friday, Aug. 19 and/or Saturday, Aug. 20. Traditionally, these late nights have gone until about 2 a.m.
I have so many ideas! How many forms should I submit?
You should submit one form per idea. However, we have a place for both troupes and individuals to let us know which submission is their top priority. This is you begging us to pick this idea, so choose wisely. (Note: if you as an individual are spearheading your troupe’s submission, your troupe’s submission does not count against your individual priority).
There is also a place for individuals submitting multiple shows to let us know where each show idea ranks among their submissions. The Palooza Planning Committee intends to look at the priority box and rankings as an added piece of information to guide our selections. It is not a guarantee of anything.
I want to play in as many shows as possible. Doesn’t it make sense to play the odds? Don’t I have a better shot of getting in if I submit a ton of shows?
In a word, no. This is the process we use to select the shows: First, we read all of the submissions. Then, we make the easy cuts: duplicate shows, shows that barely have a description, incomplete submissions, etc. After that, we begin the tough work — ranking the shows on which ones we find most exciting. And then, we figure out what works with the scheduling. There’s a lot going on.
Basically, a submission that has a vague description and/or unset cast list isn’t as likely to get selected as a submission that appears to be more inspired (fully developed premise, clear creativity/innovation, confirmed players). So, in short: 20 roughly sketched out shows < two well thought-out, fully realized ones.
The Improvapalooza committee is committed to creating the best show possible while making sure that improvisers from every corner of the DC community are represented.
Is there an application fee?
Nope! That said, two things: First, even though submissions are unlimited, please put thought into each one. The selection committee gives consideration to each submission, so please make sure your ideas are “fully baked.” Second, if your submission is accepted, we would love for you to help us out by volunteering — that means everything from ushering to stage managing to running booth. We’ll be in touch on how to do that.
What is the optimal number of cast members for a show?
However many players you think it will take to masterfully execute the vision you have for your show is the optimal number. Shows in the past have featured anywhere from one person to 30 people. You should only list CONFIRMED cast members. Listing players without confirming them may result in your submission being disqualified.
How do I decide who to include as a cast member in my show?
You should include people you know, or strongly suspect, you will have fun with. However, we also sincerely encourage you to use Palooza as a chance to peek outside your normal group of improvisers and include others who you don’t normally have the opportunity to play with.
The Palooza committee would love to see shows that have players with a mix of experience levels. Know a student who should get involved in a show? Invite him! Have a improv crush? Invite her! Never played with someone before? Now’s your chance!
Is anyone guaranteed a show?
There are a few shows that are annual traditions, so those will get preference. Also, winning FIST teams (with complete original casts!) are guaranteed a show. Aside from Amy Poehler personally requesting a show, that’s really it. (That being said, if you know Amy Poehler, please invite her).
Can I submit late?
Sorry, for our own sanity we’re going to be sticklers about the deadline. The deadline is Wednesday, July 6 at 11:59 p.m.
If my show doesn’t get picked, can I appeal? Is that a thing?
Please don’t. The committee tries to make the best programming possible based on the information we have available. That’s why the submission form gives you an opportunity to provide as much pertinent information as possible (without being overly verbose!).
When are you going to put out the call for hosts?
We’re aiming to go hostless again this year to pack in even more improv acts.
What do I do about the terrible metro situation this summer?
Good question! We feel ya! Sadly, the metro will be closing at midnight for all nights during Palooza. That means if you have a late night show, you will need to find another way home.
I don’t live in DC. Can I still submit?
Of course! We welcome out-of-town improvisers and WIT alums! There’s a place on the form to submit a link to a video of your troupe so we can get to know you.
What did past Paloozas look like?
Really fun is the short answer! But a (moving) picture is worth 1,000 words. Check out past Palooza performances at WIT’s YouTube channel (Palooza playlist) here.
Still have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.