Local improvisational theater troupe Sea Tea Improv has partnered with City Steam Brewery Café to create a monthly evening of off-the-cuff theatrical comedy. The performance series, named “Second City Steam” after Chicago’s world-famous theater and training center, will launch on October 4th at 7 PM at City Steam and recur monthly. Admission is free to the public and City Steam’s full restaurant menu and service will be available.
The eight members of Sea Tea Improv met through the Hartford Stage Studio training program last summer. After a year of workshops and performances, Sea Tea Improv began rehearsing and performing independently. Sea Tea Improv is not formally affiliated with the Hartford Stage but is a product of its rigorous training and esteemed background.
Sea Tea Improv began its relationship with City Steam almost one year ago, when City Steam Brewery became the informal post-class meeting location. Students discussed class over a Naughty Nurse, audience members shared a pint with players after a performance, and the formal formation of the company took place at City Steam. Managers generously allowed Sea Tea Improv to rehearse in the Richardson Room on a regular basis, turning a social spot into a place for artistic discovery and refinement. On July 19th, Sea Tea Improv hosted its first City Steam Improv show in the Richardson Room. On a quiet Sunday evening in downtown Hartford, more than 50 guests cheered on a 90-minute performance.
“Improv,” or improvisational theater, is any type of theater created in the moment and without the benefit of script or set staging. Over the last thirty years, improv has burst into mainstream popular culture through television’s hit show WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY and institutions like SECOND CITY (which launched the careers of actors John Belushi, Mike Myers, and Bill Murray).
Following the October 4th performance, Sea Tea Improv plans to invite other improv troupes and their followers to participate in comedy shows at City Steam. Since its inception, Sea Tea Improv has been dedicated to fostering improv through performance and building grassroots support and awareness throughout the Connecticut community. The ensemble has developed friendly relationships with a number other performance groups in the area. Sea Tea Improv created and manages an online improv community through Facebook called “CT Improv” to encourage communication and growth within the Connecticut theater scene. Within a few short months, “CT Improv” has become a hub of information and an excellent resource for its almost 300 members.
City Steam Brewery Café is a 15 barrel brew house, located at 942 Main Street in downtown Hartford. Brewmaster Ron Page hand crafts up to 12 styles of ales and lagers at a time and rotates them seasonally. The casually priced classic brew house menu with new world touches provides a menu for everyone’s tastes. The award winning Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club is Thursday and Friday at 8, and Saturday at 7 and 10 p.m. City Steam plays free classic movies on Mondays and hosts a DJ on weekend evenings with no cover.
“Second City Steam” will kick off on Sunday, October 4th at 7:00 PM. Future dates have not yet been announced but shows will run approximately once a month. For more information visit www.seateaimprov.com, www.citysteambrewerycafe.com, or become a fan of Sea Tea, City Steam, or CT Improv on facebook. If you’d like to hear a human voice please call Julia Pistell at (908) 418-7357. She can provide information about Sea Tea and City Steam, and promises to laugh at your jokes and remember your name.