Comedy juggernauts Movie Riot perform a brand new, action-packed movie live on stage every Friday night. Featuring some of Austin’s most talented comedians, Movie Riot has played to sold out crowds for 5 years and are 3-time nominees for the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Improv Team. Whether they are performing their signature Trailer Thrash, Spin-Off Summer, Horror-fied or The Classic Film form, their movie-inspired masterpieces promise hyper energy, wild characters, and huge laughs.
This Summer, Movie Riot’s freshening up their time slot with some new cast members and switching back to having improv troupes open. We sat down with Movie Riot’s Kyle Sweeney to talk all about it. TICKETS HERE.
So, you got some new members. Tell us about them! What was the “audition” process like? No auditions. Gross. I feel like that’s always a tough environment to succeed in. We’re not too precious about what we do – just come play and have fun with us. We opted to just play with a boatload of guests over the better part of a year, really feeling out a lot of different personalities (#deepbench). We ended up boosting our cast up to 7 strong, which is a nice number for the Movie format.
Ultimately Molly Moore, Katie Byrnes, and Nicole Russell all thought it was a good idea to jump on board our crazy train, and it’s been a blast. I think it is fair to say our shows have gotten that sweet combo of crazier, but also more grounded. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s been super fun.
You guys have been doing this as a weekly show for years now. How do you keep it fresh? Movie Riot has a mode of just wanting to have fun. That’s our modus operandi – just ours, no one else wants to have fun in their shows. That’s uniquely copyright Movie Riot (2018) TM.
We had gotten pretty familiar in our old five person dynamic for such a long time that the infusion of some of that new #deepbench energy really stretched and challenged the old status quo of Movie Riot in a a super positive way.
Also, I think now with the larger cast, we have an opportunity to play and enrich the main characters that we inhabit. Before when a show would have less overall improvisers, we’d all have to fill in as three different characters and we’d charmingly confuse ourselves and chaos would reign. It would all come to a head in the final climax of the movie when we were all both playing the heroes and villains and side characters.
You do a longer show, where the Austin standard is often 22 minute sets. What kind of improv muscles do you have to flex keep that going? Most of our festival sets or when we perform at other theaters, we will play 22 minute sets. But it’s just so quick to try and fit an entire movie into that timeframe. It tends to be very manic and somewhat plot centric. The longer format just gives us the ability to follow the fun. We get to play a little slower with more time to discover character/game moments.
You just switched back from stand up to improv openers. Why the switch? We loved having the pop of rad stand-ups at the top of the show. It was a great 1-2 punch stand-up/improv. But two improv acts in a show also gives the audience two pretty cool distinct flavors. We also missed seeing batches of improvisers playing and hanging out Fridays at 7pm
In fact you can catch Perineum opening for us throughout June. It’s going to be a party.