Fall 2019

We are stoked to head into Fall 2019 at The Box. We can hardly believe it has been 10 years since we started doing improv in Tampa Bay. We have some exciting things coming up.

Your Monthly IG This summer, “Lady Jam,” was such a hit that we decided to do it again with a brand new name. Check out “Your Monthly-An All Women Improv Jam” the second Thursday of each month. Get more info by clicking on the icon. FREE

Last Fri squareEvery “Last Fri,” of the month, catch resident ensemble team – Dear Aunt Gertrude at The Box with special guests from the Tampa Bay Area. $5

Copy of Storytelling Student Showcase (2)The Box hosts a Storytelling Elective offsite at The Bryan Glazer Family JCC with Jessica Meszaros starting Sept 26, 2019 6-9pm 6 weeks.



Improv Auditions (5)The Box holds annual open auditions in the fall for the performance teams at The Box. Sept 28 11-1pm Short-form Auditions, Oct 5, 11-1pm Long-form Auditions.

Hello Summer!

Copy of Copy of Copy of Hello SummerTickets

The Box is excited to be back with an all-new summer season of improv, where our resident improv teams offer a variety of styles and themes. Get glad and grab a ticket. Saturdays* this summer, 7:30pm $10

June 15 Improvaholics, Your Middle Child and The Lightbulb Society
June 22 Alpaca Suitcase, Dear Aunt Gertrude, and The Lightbulb Society
June 29 Improvaholics, Your Middle Child, and Dear Aunt Gertrude
July 6 Dear Aunt Gertrude and Alpaca Suitcase
July 13 No show at The Box but come see us at The Sarasota Improv Festival!
July 20 Your Middle Child and Alpaca Suitcase
July 27 Improvaholics and The Lightbulb Society



The Love Show, an Improv Show 2019

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This heart-throbbing season, Dear Aunt Gertrude is excited to bring back “The Love Show,” an improv show for everyone — no matter your relationship status. This show explores the truth and comedy of singleness, finding and losing love, and countless audience inspired scenarios of how love can show up in the most unlikely places. Grab your bestie for a ladies night out or woo your boo with laughter, as the Dear Aunt Gertrude ensemble brings you a unique evening chock full of laughs all about love — never to be seen again.

February 14,15,16
$10 Seating is Limited  https://boximprov.ticketspice.com/the-love-show-an-improv-show

Opening Improv Teams Include

IMG_1378 2Daytime DelusionsRegional Champions of The College Improv Tournament from  Improv @USF-set to compete at Nationals in Chicago later this year. Feb 14


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Alpaca Suitcase-A resident Box Team since 2011. Alpaca suitcase will feature guest players from additional Box teams including Your Middle Child and Improvaholics. Feb 15



51398888_250990922502188_3730216076244418560_n (1)CJ and Becca-CJ and Becca are local celebs, known throughout Tampa Bay for bringing laughs to the stage in their solo acts on many standup stages, together, they will hit The Box stage as an Improv dynamic duo. Feb 16

The Box Improv Studio
2240 University Square Mall Unit 374, Tampa, FL 33612

Parking: From Fowler Avenue, Park between Dillards and Sears. Enter the Main Mall Entrance at Famous Footwear and walk straight back. The Box is on the left right before Burlington Coat Factory.

Check out this video for a better view.

Coming Soon.

Copy of Boo-Ya! (1)Has the season got you spooked? Well- come laugh your cares away as the improv ensembles of The Box Theater hit the stage once again to bring an evening of hilarity. $10 for 10 years!

The house opens at 7pm. Show starts at 7:30pm.

Want to know when your favorite improv ensemble is performing?
October 5-Trademark Pending Improv, Your Middle Child, and Improvaholics
October 12-Dear Aunt Gertrude, Alpaca Suitcase, The Lightbulb Society
October 19-The Lightbulb Society, Your Middle Child, and Improvaholics
October 26-Dear Aunt Gertrude and Alpaca Suitcase

The Box Improv Studio is located at 2240 University Square Mall Unit 374, Tampa, FL 33612
(Inside The University Mall)

Parking: From Fowler Avenue, Park between Dillards and Sears. Enter the Main Mall Entrance at Famous Footwear and walk straight back. The Box is on the left right before Burlington Coat Factory.
Check out this video for a better view.

“The Box, Tampa, and Me”

By David Wheeler

Can I be real with you for a second?
Like, really real?
Okay, good.

About three years ago, I moved here from Kentucky to be a professor at the University of Tampa. And I love the job. I also love the sunshine, the palm trees, the Spanish moss that grows on southern live oaks, and the manager’s special at Jason’s Deli on Fowler. I’m a man of simple pleasures.

But something was missing.

My people. My group. My collaborative mission. And a goal to work toward with this group. Where would I find such a thing?

Enter The Box, stage right. Never in a million theater seasons would I have imagined that improvisational comedy would be the missing ingredient in my Tampa life, but it surely was. Turns out I fit in well with creative types who like to perform. And I’m starting to realize that the lessons you learn in improv class are equally applicable to daily life. These life lessons come from my fabulous Box instructors (in chronological order of when they taught me): Michele, Alain, Paulie, Crystal, Rebecca, and Andrew.

Give yourself a challenge.

In the middle of my first performance in my Level 1 student showcase, I was pretending to be a DJ at a radio station. But there was no conflict, no tension, no pressure in the scene. Only after leaving the stage did I remember that I could have given myself a challenge — for example, pretending that I got a call from the station manager saying this was our last day on the air. What would I do if it was my last day on the air? In a way, improv is like embodying the advice about “living every day like it’s your last.” The Box helps me remember to challenge myself.

Be more specific.

I’m always telling my students to be more specific in the papers and articles they write for my class. But how often in our daily lives do we remember to be specific? How often, in the stories we tell people, do we remember to add the “telling detail”? In one of our classes, Crystal gave a great example. If you’re on stage, you can hold up a cupped hand and say, “Look at this!” Or you can hold up a cupped hand and say, “Look at this one-eyed toad!” Only one of those spurs a flood of creativity. Specificity encourages creativity.

You can never “yes and” too much.

The Box also taught me what Jim Carrey’s character from “Yes Man,” has known since 2008: Saying “yes” to opportunities leads to an infinitely more creative life, with untold opportunities for growth. This tenet of improv is one reason why this form of comedy works with my personality more than other forms. Because it’s about teamwork. It’s about building something together. It’s about making each other look good. It’s about the community more than the individual.

One time my classmate Taylor constructively pointed out when I’d negated my classmate Anne in a scene. I didn’t even realize I had done it. But once it was pointed out to me, I made a conscious effort to say “yes” to new assertions as they arose. I made sure to accept — and add to — what my teammates gave me. That’s also not a bad way to live your life.

David Wheeler


David Wheeler is a journalism professor at The University of Tampa and a frequent contributor to CNN and The Atlantic. Follow him on Twitter @WheelerWorkshop.

Laughter Yoga for the Improviser and all Creatives

laughter yogaGood laughter is terribly infectious, yet you don’t see a lot of it in movies, and I’m guessing that it falls into the same category as complex special effects and scenes with animals, in that, time and money often force a director to think whether they really have the time in the schedule to get the scene.

Good laughter is also rare in today’s technological/social media age. Remember laughing so hard as a kid? Almost peeing your pants and not being able to remember what was so funny in the first place? Children laugh on average about 300 times a week, adults, 15.  Acting /Improvisation relies on being in the moment, being able to play, on stage or in front of a camera. Laughter Yoga helps to get the actor/improviser there. Whether Laughter Yoga is used as a warm-up for performance, or as I do, a daily regime, it is an exercise for the insides, laughter helps create great bonds, enhances creativity, reduces stress, improves the immune system, and it even helps people to learn faster.

Yogic breathing techniques (breathing from the diaphragm) are integrated with intentional laughter practices, (object/space work) resulting in numerous benefits to physical and emotional health. Participants live life more joyfully and are better able to cope with whatever stresses life may bring.

The overarching reason to do Laughter Yoga is that it is fun!!!  It’s really true what they say, “Laughter is the best medicine!”

Victoria Headshot 2Submitted by Victoria Dym, actress, storyteller, published poet, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, ordained minister, and an ensemble member on the The Box house team, Dear Aunt Gertrude. Twitter Handle @vicdympoet
Sources: American Journal of Medical Sciences, Alternative Therapies, Psychology Today, The Scientist of the University of Maryland Medical Center (as cited in The Orange County Register)


Goodbye 2017!

2017 was a year of many transitions. When we look back at all we were able to accomplish, we certainly see that it takes passionate and creative people to make a humble theater like The Box successful.  Thank you to everyone who supported The Box Theater in 2017-our students, audiences, staff, leaders, performers and friends. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to complete almost 50 main stage events.   We were able to put on shows, run drop ins, Playground Nights, Classes and more.  What’s more, we moved our theater  and in many ways it feels new again. Thank you for laughing at us and with us. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Take a look back at 2017 at The Box

The Escape Artisans Take New York: Unlikely Lessons from the Del Close Marathon

EA at Del CloseMention an improv festival to any improviser and they’ll always tell you two things: the shows you cannot miss and the workshops that will change your life. It’s a given; you go to the festival to immerse yourself in as much amazing improv as possible. But what happens when you don’t want to do anything improv related at an improv festival?

In June, The Escape Artisans had the privilege of playing at the UCB’s 19th Annual Del Close Marathon in New York City. “Del Close is generally considered the father of Improv. He was the driving force behind improvisational comedy in Chicago for over 30 years, influencing Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, to name a few. After Del’s passing in 1999, the UCB started the Del Close Marathon to celebrate their mentor and keep alive his name and teachings for future generations.” (UCB, 2017) The Del Close Marathon is one of the largest, most famous improv festivals, encompassing 56 straight hours of improv on ten stages across New York City.

As soon as we announced that we had been accepted to the festival the suggestions started rolling in.

“Take as many workshops as you can!”

“Don’t miss the 3:00 AM bit shows!”

“The shows at the Chelsea theater are worth the two hour wait!”

It all sounded amazing. And absolutely exhausting. I’d recently started a new job and was required to get a specific industry license ASAP, so every free minute was filled with studying. The week leading up to the festival was a whirlwind. My licensing exam was that Tuesday, I was teaching multiple classes at a conference my job was hosting on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and then immediately flying to New York and playing in the festival that night. While I was excited that my team would get to play in NYC, what I really wanted to do was crawl in bed and binge on Netflix and ice cream.

A couple weeks before the festival I told my teammates that other than our show, I didn’t want to do anything improv related while we were in New York. To my pleasant surprise, everyone felt the exact same way I did.

Fast forward to Friday, June 23rd. We arrived in New York that evening, climbed eight flights of rickety stairs to our small Airbnb, went to dinner, and rode a wave of adrenaline through our show at 11:00. After the show, the entire team went into vacation mode. For the next 72 hours we didn’t talk about or think about improv. Completely the opposite of what you’re supposed to do at a festival. And it was one of the best decisions we’ve made as a team.

After miles of walking, numerous boxes of wine, amazing meatballs, Josh blurting “My ride is here” every time we heard a siren, and two ridiculous restaurant experiences (you’ve never lived until you’ve been accosted by the manager of an Indian restaurant or chased down the block by a server demanding a larger tip) our team ended up closer and more connected to one another than ever before.

One of my favorite things about the trip was each night at the Airbnb, drinking (or, if you’re Matt, spilling) wine and talking about our day. Between trips to the roof and random walks to the CVS down the street, we’d recap where we went, who we saw, and what we did. Chelsea was an early riser, so she would go out exploring while everyone else was sleeping, Chris and Dale spent Saturday shopping while the rest of us explored the financial district, and Elyse just started a new job, and wasn’t able to come to New York at all. But none of us felt left out of the adventure. Improv is about creating a world, digging into the details, and bringing that world to life for the audience. In this case, we were each other’s audience.EA at Del Clost

The payoff for a weekend of ignoring improv was huge. Our team was refreshed, inspired, and more in synch; and our shows were funnier and more cohesive. While talent and skill are important, a successful improv team is built upon a foundation of friendship, trust, and shared experiences. Sometimes this looks like seeing shows and taking classes together. 

Other times, you have to throw everyone into a small Airbnb in a new city and have a weekend of ridiculous adventures.

Submitted by Nikki Ashlock-Tribe Leader and Player on The Escape Artisans Twitter handle @latinamermaid