Improv Everywhere (IE) is a comedic permormance art group based in New York City , formed in 2001 by Charlie Todd. Its slogan is “We Cause Scenes. The group carries out pranks, which they call “missions”, in public places. The stated goal of these missions is to cause scenes of “chaos and joy. Some of the group’s missions use hundreds of performers and are similar to flash mobs, while other missions utilize only a handful of performers. Improv Everywhere has stated that they do not identify their work with the term flash mob, in part because their site was created two years prior to the flash mob trend.
While long-time members of Improv Everywhere are usually the principal performers in missions, many are open to the public. IE has organized and carried out over 100 missions, from synchronized swimming in a park fountain to repeating a five-minute sequence of events in a Starbucks coffee shop over and over again for an hour, from flooding a Best Buy store with members dressed exactly like the staff to riding the New York City Subway without their pants. All the missions share a certain way : Members (“agents”) play their roles entirely straight, not breaking character or betraying that they are acting. IE claims the missions are benevolent, aiming to give the observers a laugh and an experience.
IE have also performed several ‘fake’ missions which are staged and uploaded on April Fools Day as a real mission, causing outrage until the next day when the joke is revealed. Examples include the No Underwear Subway Ride, and the “Best Funeral Ever” prank.
Here you have some examples of their acts:
They also have a really interesting book that I bought and I will read it after the evaluation week next week, so I will post again talking about the book.
Their webpage is: http://improveverywhere.com/