Typically when people participate in marathons, they probably get a little nervous, right? No matter how well-conditioned you are, it’s got to be pretty nerve-racking to think about what your body is about to go through.
Well, Six Kids Improv, a group of quick-witted comedians from Atlanta who specialize in long-form, narrative-style improv, are about to take part in an hours-long Comedy Marathon at Threshold Repertory Theatre as part of Charleston Comedy Fest, trading stage time back and forth with Big Dicktionary and Ratio Girls, and according to one of their members, Madeline Evans, they’re actually not all that nervous about it.
“We’ve been performing together for so long that we trust that we can pull it off,” she says. “We typically rehearse like two times a week, and in rehearsal, we kind of go over things that are working or that we need to improve on, like listening or developing different formats. We’re just bringing what we know we’re good at and our biggest strengths and a lot of enthusiasm to give the best show possible.”
Effective improv requires a lot of trust, and Six Kids (which actually has seven members) has that in spades, both because they’ve been working together for so long and because they essentially learned how to do it together.
“We all met in college at the University of Georgia,” Evans says, “and it was just a self-taught improv group of people who were really passionate about comedy. It was just a community of all these wonderful people who were bringing out the best elements in each other. It’s all about listening and supporting and being empathetic as well.”
Evans says that improv felt like a natural fit for her because even as a small child she loved making people laugh.
“When I was little, I would perform for my family,” she says. “My sister and I would write plays, or we would reenact Grease for my grandma. And then in high school I did stage acting and I fell in love with physical comedy and just comedy in general, because I love to make people laugh.”
It’s not just about laughs, though. Evans says that improv can bring out things in people that they might not even know were there.
“Everything that you need is on stage with you,” she says, “and your partner is providing that. And you’re just listening and supporting and it just brings out the best in people, I think. It’s so much fun.” —Vincent Harris
Comedy Marathon featuring Six Kids Improv, Big Dicktionary & Ratio Girls
Fri. Jan. 17 at 9:30 p.m.
Threshold Repertory Theatre