Writers meeting features improv

The art and science of improv will take center stage at the Thursday, April 7, 2016 meeting of the Knoxville Writers Guild. Noted improv performers James Newport, founder of the Gatlinburg Improv Festival, and Paul Simmons, a founder of Einstein Simplified improv troupe, will speak.

The meeting will be in the fellowship hall of Central United Methodist Church, 201 3rd Avenue in Knoxville, which is handicapped accessible The meeting is open to the public. A $2 donation is suggested.

Improv, according to the Einstein Simplified website, is comedy in which “one or more performers present unscripted material, such as games, scenes, monologues, musical montages, what-have-you, before an audience; usually basing this material on suggestions received from the audience. This is not sketch comedy (i.e. Mad TV, Saturday Night Live or The Carol Burnett Show). Nor is it stand-up comedy.”

Newport has nearly 30 years of improv performing, directing, and teaching experience. Before moving to the Knoxville area, Newport performed with SAK Theatre and Comedy Lab, in in Orlando, FL, where he was performer, teacher, and then SAK’s Artistic and Managing Director.

Simmons was a co-founder of Einstein Simplified and has taught many courses in comedy and improv over the years. Einstein Simplified has been entertaining Knoxville, TN and the surrounding area since 1994. The troupe has performed more than 1100 shows of comedy improv. It now performs at 8:15 p.m. every Tuesday at Scruffy City Hall on Market Square.