The improv jam that closed out the first-ever Gatlinburg Improv Fest was a little more intimidating than I expected. I knew not to volunteer for “Alphabetical Shakespeare Should-Have-Said” but I did jump on-stage for the Irish Drinking Song alongside James Newport, Diane Harmon, Dan Buck, Tyler Langford and Chase Padgett.

Later, I went on-stage without knowing what I would be doing and found myself in a four-way dubbing scene with three others. We each provided the voice for someone else in the scene. I had to speak for a member of Shenanigans while also lip-syncing to whatever words were spoken by Chase Padgett.

We had another good Einstein Simplified show at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evening. Obv-Prov and Shenanigans turned in solid long-form performances as well. For me, the highlight of the night was a show by Reasonably Priced Babies, a troupe from Asheville, North Carolina. The members have been doing improv for at least 20 years and their remarkable expertise was apparent the moment they took the stage. RPB performs at The Magnetic Field about once a month. I hope to catch their show the next time I’m in Asheville.

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