Sunday, February 12, 2012

ISU's Improv Mafia Prevails Once More

Congratulations to ISU's Improv Mafia for winning the Lower Midwest Regional yesterday in the College Improv Tournament.

The Improv Mafia won the Lower Midwest Regional last year, as well. This year, they defended their title in Indianapolis, earning the right to compete for the national championship in March in Chicago. That makes the Improv Mafia one of 13 regional champions, chosen from a field of 110+ teams nationally.

The Improv Mafia began in 1998, created by Mikel Matthews, who is now over in Champaign acting and directing. The Improv Mafia website tells us that they have "evolved over the years from performing mainly short form games to providing a unique hybrid of short form, long form, musical, and other experimental forms in their weekly one hour shows." (The weekly shows are on Tuesdays, by the way, at the CPA Art Room 145.) Clearly, their hybrid is working, with a National Championship in 2008 and 2nd place at Nationals in 2010-11.

You can see video of their first-round performance here, here, here and here. It's a little jumpy and not complete, but it will give you an idea of what they were doing in Indianapolis, anyway.

As for who was on the winning team, well, I haven't been able to find their current roster anywhere, but I think I spotted Andrew Bogue, Mitch Conti, Carly Heiser and Jason Raymer in the video. If anybody from the Improv Mafia wants to stop by and correct that or offer more complete credits, feel free! Here's the 2010-11 group if you'd like to play Match the Faces with the video.

In the meantime, congratulations and felicitations to ISU's elite improv troupe!


  1. Massive love to my Mafia, but what they're doing now is actually pretty close to the kind of things we did when we started. They're more experimental with the form now, though.

    They're an amazing group and I couldn't be prouder of them.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Mikel. Somebody definitely needs to update that website! And maybe they can take your hint and change the info about short form to long form over the years.

    I saw them perform at a One State Together in the Arts conference and really enjoyed the performance. It amazes me that college groups can accomplish this kind of performance with people coming and going so often.