We Got Your Back

In case you’re not aware of The New Movement and it’s sexual assault/harassment scandal, we encourage you to read this article before this post.

Much like our national politics, the New Orleans improv scene has become a polarized and fractured place. There are two clear ends of the spectrum and a vast array of folks scattered in between. Those that stayed behind made difficult and specific choices that, while important to their own paths in this life, wounded a great many - none more so than the victim of the assault. Each person carries the weight of what happened in their own manner. It follows the people newest to this conflict, gleaming and flickering from the corner of their eyes as they struggle to place it. Meanwhile, those closest are shackled and locked underneath the roots of trauma, betrayal, and friendships shattered. None of this can be remedied easily and, for many, the pain will be lasting.

Since this fragmentation, however, there have been some wonderful occurrences around the city...multiple shows happening at many different venues! People are getting together to jam and take workshops, to play and to rehearse. Monthly shows, weekly shows, one-offs dot the events calendar as many have chosen to cultivate new creative lives outside the gravity of a single building. This is the beginning of how a vibrant and thriving community should be!

After producing a weekly show for these past few months, we have seen the desire for more stage time and also a community who wishes for instruction in a fun AND safe environment.

In this next chapter we will all have to work together to continue to improve the integrity, transparency, and diversity of our community. At Two Friends Improv Theater we are committed to strengthening all those and more as we work to build out our small corner. Admittedly, this will not come easy. There is justifiable and monumental mistrust in anyone who is looking to take on a leadership role. There is the uneasy trepidation as community members may migrate from one camp to another as they come to terms with past actions. We are steadfast that we should not act punitively towards these individuals and, provided they agree to our Performer’s Bill of Rights and standards of conduct, they are welcome to train, play and help rebuild the trust our art form is so carefully built on. That said, it is also our policy to be as open and transparent about these folks and to listen intently to the concerns of the broader community as it contributes to these discussions. Our collaboration will be open and clear as we work to make ourselves a conduit that takes in the best ideas and practices available and finds the support and resources necessary to accomplish them.

We will not shy away from uncomfortable conversations or glaze over the issues and concerns that community members may have. This community should be fun, hilarious, and safe for all of the people, all of the time. We are certainly imperfect people and we will make mistakes, but we will earn your trust as leaders and resources in our community. It is our hope that the policies and procedures we put in place today can help us avoid and mitigate the false steps others have made in the past.

So please keep making art! Produce that show, write that sketch! Sign up for classes, take intensives at all the big name and small name theaters you can find! Take all the risks and leap into the unknown that lies ahead.

We got your back.