To Hell And Back. Or, Come See No Questions

This summer Lisa and I are performing, with our improv troupe No Questions, every Wednesday night in August at the Benevolent Irish Society at 7:00 p.m. (admission by donation; bar opens at 6:30 p.m.).

The troupe is an outgrowth of Laurie Murphy’s improv classes, classes I started in November of 2021, and that Lisa, who’s had her toe in and out of improv for many years, joined this winter. 

As I’ve written about before, it’s not a word of a lie to say that performing improv has changed my life. The devil may care “yes, and” attitude it has steeped me in was the pathway I needed to find my way through the forest to Lisa. It’s the juice that’s powering an upcoming career turnabout. My mind has been opened I’m a better listener, a better risk-taker. I’ve become convinced that it’s a curative experience that everyone—especially the shy, retiring, quietly wry, not-jokey types who would never every consider it—should try at least once.

We segued from improv training to troupe rehearsal in July. Last week was our final rehearsal before opening night last night.

And it was shit.

We were off the rails: not listening, not connecting, forgetting how to say yes, ignoring the fundamentals. We micromanaged ourselves into a malaise.

We came home dispirited. I thought idly whether there might be a way to get out of the August performances. For the first time since I started, I wasn’t excited about performing.


But we pushed on. Rallied.

I agreed to host the opening night. Lisa agreed to host the “PEI Famous Celebrity Interview” that anchors the second act. We made a conscious effort to show up last night.

And, as it turned out, so did the rest of the troupe.

What, just a week before, had felt like an irredeemable train wreck, last night just gelled.

We listened. We made each other look good. We had fun. And we finished the night with the unmistakable high that being vulnerable with a group produces.

So whereas two days ago I was loathe to even admit that we’re performing this August, now I want everyone I know to come. I’m proud of our merry band, I’ve seen what we’re capable of together, and I know in my heart that we’re going to get better every week we perform.

Again, the details:

  • Every Wednesday in August (August 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2023).
  • Benevolent Irish Society Hall, 582 North River Road, Charlottetown.
  • Bar opens at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:00 p.m. and runs to 9:00 p.m.
  • Admission by donation. 
  • Add the shows to your calendar with this ICS file.

Please join us. Tell your friends. Bring your friends.

Our improv troupe performing in a friends and family showcase.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on August 4, 2023 - 16:44 Permalink

I'm starting to think that wearing-shorts is a gateway drug that leads to improv.