by Nicole Clayton
You may have heard the expression, “laughter knows no boundaries.” Florida Studio Theatre’s Improv Program proves it. From London to Latvia to Los Angeles, Florida Studio Theatre’s Improvisation programming reaches across many borders–geographic, linguistic, and cultural. Director of Improvisation Will Luera has traveled all around the globe teaching and performing the art of improv. His 2016 passport stamps included London, Saudi Arabia, Montreal, and San Francisco. In 2017 he traveled to Amsterdam, Latvia, Toronto, Paris, Boston, Los Angeles, South Carolina, and all over the state of Florida. With corporate and professional training seminars now a part of FST’s Improv program, Luera has had the opportunity to work with clients such as the US Sports Congress and the US State Department.
“What I love about improv is that instead of limiting itself to topical or regional subject matter, it brings out the common bonds that tie all peoples,” says Luera. “It encourages the creation of scenes about love, family, work, friends, etc. Ideas that are not limited to any country. I feel grateful to be able to laugh with my fellow humans thousands of miles away just as I would laugh with my fellow cast mates at FST. The improv community is worldwide, and the language is universal. The cultural lens of each community contributes enough of a difference to make you appreciate this art that combines people from all corners of the world.”
But there’s nothing quite like being at home for the holidays. Returning this holiday season is When X Meets Y. Inspired by a location and three random notes on the keyboard, the cast weaves a story of love during the holidays. Can Mom and Dad rekindle their love? How do Grandpa and Grandma stay strong after all of these years? Does everyone approve of Aunt Janice’s new boyfriend? Audiences will explore love during the holiday with FST Improv’s When X Meets Y at 7:30pm on December 15 and 22.
Then you can bring in the New Year before the pineapple drops! The FST Improv cast has put together a line-up of the audience’s favorite games of the year to provide you with a unique retrospective. Be ready to shout out your highlights of the last year and join us for a champagne toast to bring in the New Year with Resolution Rewind at 7:30pm on December 29, 30, and at 8:30pm on December 31.
This is also a reunion season for many of the improv groups that audiences have come to love over the last decade. That’s right, we’re not joking! Your favorite festival groups from years past will return to perform on the FST stages together for the annual Sarasota Improv Festival in July. And this one is going to be BIG. It’s the tenth anniversary of this massive improvised weekend. “FST Improv continues to be an artistic leader of improvisation in Florida but also throughout the country and world,” says Luera. “Our Improv Festival is world class and our education classes attract students from all over the Suncoast and even as far as Europe.” It will be unpredictable. It will be explosive. It’s an unforgettable weekend!
But wait, there’s still more! Luera adds, “The 2017/18 season will also bring the introduction of Free-form improv (a style of improvisation I started in Boston) as well as some sketch comedy shows.” Also for those wanting to try improvisation or just develop creative thinking skills, FST offers classes for every level of improviser, from beginner to expert. “We are now running classes four nights a week but are looking to expand to weekend classes in the New Year. In fact, starting in January you can look for drop-in Saturday classes,” says Luera.
Tis’ always the season for laughter and joy. Join FST Improv and celebrate all that’s fantastically funny in life. For more information on all shows please visit
http://www.floridastudiotheatre.org or call the Box Office at