To our fans:
The move to our new space has been much more challenging than a naive (kind of) young business owner had imagined. We were able to create an entire theatre out of a retail store for about 6 grand, including a thousand going towards a liquor license alone.
We went from a crappy hole-in-the-wall basement to almost seeming like a professional comedy club. I believe this move has also been our curse. With no alcohol allowed yet (very soon though) and more of a potential for something grand, some have the impression that we didn’t upgrade enough to make it worth it. The truth of the matter is that Studio Gallery wasn’t going to be around much longer. We had to move soon, even if we weren’t exactly ready for such an investment. 
It’s taken a lot of help from a lot of people, and I thank all of you. Especially all the improvisers who have been here 2, 3, or even 4 nights a week. It’s also taken a lot of criticism from some, most of it indirectly. However, whether you stuck with us through it all, or dipped out as the going got tough, I still thank you for ever being a fan. Omaha has a promising comedy presence, and Backline remains dedicated to giving a home for all those who want to join and learn.
We will be going through some much needed changes soon. While I can’t reveal anything yet, I think it’s something you all will appreciate.

To our fans:

The move to our new space has been much more challenging than a naive (kind of) young business owner had imagined. We were able to create an entire theatre out of a retail store for about 6 grand, including a thousand going towards a liquor license alone.

We went from a crappy hole-in-the-wall basement to almost seeming like a professional comedy club. I believe this move has also been our curse. With no alcohol allowed yet (very soon though) and more of a potential for something grand, some have the impression that we didn’t upgrade enough to make it worth it. The truth of the matter is that Studio Gallery wasn’t going to be around much longer. We had to move soon, even if we weren’t exactly ready for such an investment.

It’s taken a lot of help from a lot of people, and I thank all of you. Especially all the improvisers who have been here 2, 3, or even 4 nights a week. It’s also taken a lot of criticism from some, most of it indirectly. However, whether you stuck with us through it all, or dipped out as the going got tough, I still thank you for ever being a fan. Omaha has a promising comedy presence, and Backline remains dedicated to giving a home for all those who want to join and learn.

We will be going through some much needed changes soon. While I can’t reveal anything yet, I think it’s something you all will appreciate.

iowest:

We all strugglin. Hold your heads up high and your drinks higher. 
See ya at the bar. Go to www.ioimprov.com/west to find out more about our classes and shows.

iowest:

We all strugglin. Hold your heads up high and your drinks higher. 

See ya at the bar. Go to www.ioimprov.com/west to find out more about our classes and shows.

Crashbar:
I had just started doing shows at TNT when iO West’s bar got it’s temporary drive-thru. When I heard a team was doing shows to raise money for the bartenders, I really wanted my team to be a part of it. TAB (the team that created Crashbar) was kind enough to put us on the second, or possibly third, night of it. Before this, the only long-form improv shows in LA where students could perform was TNT. 
While I far more often was at TNT, there’s no doubt that Crashbar had changed the game. They had night after night of amazing shows, no matter what team they had up. It was a great space. They notoriously bounced around from place to place, but every place seemed to work. Even when it was a room with a few chairs and some paintings on the wall.
The only member of TAB that I was ever in a team with was Casey Feigh in our group called Firehawk, which was easily one of the most fun teams I ever performed on. (The team in the picture.)
It’s sad to hear it’s over. I’m glad to know it’s because they’re moving on to bigger things.

Crashbar:

I had just started doing shows at TNT when iO West’s bar got it’s temporary drive-thru. When I heard a team was doing shows to raise money for the bartenders, I really wanted my team to be a part of it. TAB (the team that created Crashbar) was kind enough to put us on the second, or possibly third, night of it. Before this, the only long-form improv shows in LA where students could perform was TNT.

While I far more often was at TNT, there’s no doubt that Crashbar had changed the game. They had night after night of amazing shows, no matter what team they had up. It was a great space. They notoriously bounced around from place to place, but every place seemed to work. Even when it was a room with a few chairs and some paintings on the wall.

The only member of TAB that I was ever in a team with was Casey Feigh in our group called Firehawk, which was easily one of the most fun teams I ever performed on. (The team in the picture.)

It’s sad to hear it’s over. I’m glad to know it’s because they’re moving on to bigger things.

Level 4B Improv


It’s been 6 years since I started level 1 improv at UCB. Since then, my favorite class or workshop to date is Craig Cackowski’s Level 4B at iO West. I had already taken Level 4B twice without Craig, but everyone told me I needed to take it again with him. For anyone’s who has taken this class, or one of his workshops, it’s very likely your’s as well.

While I’m not fond of calling a level xB, students only have to take Level 4A or 4B to move onto Level 5 at Backline. After 2.5 years, this is our first 4B.

I attempted to create my own version of this class. Almost all exercises and warm-ups were either created by me, or at least tweaked from an earlier version. We have 7 weeks with 3 hours, and 14 of Backline’s very finest players, 2 of them are BIT teachers.

I wanted to have a different focus each week, which lead me to discover and label 7 very important aspects one must consider if they want to be a great improviser. We went in this order:

Audience, Trust, Listening, Time, Space, Perspective, and tonight we work on Fun.

It’s not perfect, but I’ve really tried to help get my students to that next level. I had an absolutely stacked Level 5 with Billy Merritt at UCB and Level 7 at iO West with Dave Hill, and I feel confident in saying that the caliber of talent in this class is equal to both of them. 

Had it not been for such an amazing group, I’m not sure I’d feel as cocky about my exercises in teaching this Level 4B. I laughed real laughs in this class, a lot of them. If you are able to, I strongly recommend seeing their only class show this Friday at 9pm, which will also be the final Game Night @ Studio Gallery.

A NEW Home for Comedy in Omaha!


We have already reached our goal, however, we have plenty of work to keep doing to our new place, and need as much funds as we can get. We made sure to make the rewards very well worth it, including a year-round Friday night pass for only $75, or any class for only $100. We even still have an option to name our toilets, or our green room. Please make sure to look through and see for yourself. Only 10 days left!

Omaha Comedy Week Returns!
The entire comedy scene here in Omaha comes together this week, especially, to help get our name out there as a whole. Whether you perform or like watching stand-up, sketch, short-form improv or long-form improv, there are very talented people right here in this city, and their numbers are growing exponentially. Since last year’s premier of OCW, groups like Collabo Comedy, 1980star, and The Weisenheimers have more than earned their own nights. Omaha has also gained two more comedy festivals this year with OK Party’s Crom Fest, which went great, and the Omaha Improv Festival, which also went pretty great I believe, regardless of my own bias.
Omaha’s comedy scene is becoming a regional force at the very least, and we’re not only being talked about in Kansas City, Des Moines, and Denver, but also New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I wouldn’t be surprised, if by next year, Omaha Comedy Week has multiple venues each night.
As of right now, however, the great thing about Omaha Comedy Week is that we are merely spreading the word of our already nightly shows each week by cramming the night with our best material. Our combined effort helps us spread the word as one force, and this week in particular, we ban together and support each other. Even at Studio Gallery, we’re not holding any classes or putting on other shows while this goes on. If you were not aware, there are plenty of nights you can see comedy at three or four venues here.
I like to support local business. I know that if you live in Omaha, you probably do as well, even if you don’t often do it. If you have yet to see a local group’s comedy show here in Omaha, I suggest you get out there this week. I promise each night will be very funny, and most importantly, fun.
We’re up Friday at Studio Gallery…you know, if you are only going to see one.

Omaha Comedy Week Returns!

The entire comedy scene here in Omaha comes together this week, especially, to help get our name out there as a whole. Whether you perform or like watching stand-up, sketch, short-form improv or long-form improv, there are very talented people right here in this city, and their numbers are growing exponentially. Since last year’s premier of OCW, groups like Collabo Comedy, 1980star, and The Weisenheimers have more than earned their own nights. Omaha has also gained two more comedy festivals this year with OK Party’s Crom Fest, which went great, and the Omaha Improv Festival, which also went pretty great I believe, regardless of my own bias.

Omaha’s comedy scene is becoming a regional force at the very least, and we’re not only being talked about in Kansas City, Des Moines, and Denver, but also New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I wouldn’t be surprised, if by next year, Omaha Comedy Week has multiple venues each night.

As of right now, however, the great thing about Omaha Comedy Week is that we are merely spreading the word of our already nightly shows each week by cramming the night with our best material. Our combined effort helps us spread the word as one force, and this week in particular, we ban together and support each other. Even at Studio Gallery, we’re not holding any classes or putting on other shows while this goes on. If you were not aware, there are plenty of nights you can see comedy at three or four venues here.

I like to support local business. I know that if you live in Omaha, you probably do as well, even if you don’t often do it. If you have yet to see a local group’s comedy show here in Omaha, I suggest you get out there this week. I promise each night will be very funny, and most importantly, fun.

We’re up Friday at Studio Gallery…you know, if you are only going to see one.

August News and Schedule/ Classes


BACKLINE NEWS

Omaha Comedy Week-

All of Omaha’s comedians are coming together the last week in July for an amazing week of comedy.  We introduce some new teams, including The Sitcom- an improvised sitcom.  There is also a Video Sketch Competition where the top 10 are shown the final night of the festival on the large screen at Studio Gallery this Saturday. Check out omahacomedyweek.com and letspowerlunch.com to check them out and vote.

Prizes for 500 Likes-
If our facebook page gets 500 likes by 10pm on July 27th, we’re going to randomly select two that have liked it, and they will each get $50.  We will pick names at our show during Omaha Comedy Week!  Tell a friend- www.facebook.com/backlineimprov 

Thursdays, once a month-
This month we introduce our ‘888 Mark of the Improv’ happening one Thursday every month, and it’s a free show!  You get to see 88improv hold down a full hour at 8pm followed by various Backline teams that go up at 9pm.
2-Person Team Competition-
Submit your two-person team by Thursday, July 26th at 10pm by sending an email to backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject ‘2-Person Submission’.  Participants can only submit to be in one team, so choose wisely.  Only 10 teams will be selected, and teams will be announced in the Friday show during Omaha Comedy Week.  Include both people in the team, and the team name.  The winner gets a half-hour slot August 24th.
Classes-
We have three classes coming up soon, Level 1, 2, and 3, and a Class Show for the first Sketch Level 1 this month.  Check out more info below.
Backline Improv- July Schedule

Thursday, August 2nd (free)

8:00pm- 88improv

88improv- Nate Schoenfeld, Sarah Kennedy, Steve Hydeen, and Tim Schoenfeld

9:00pm- PodProv/Chantilly Mace
PodProv- Doug Rothgeb, Eric Green, and Heather Jones
Chantilly Mace- Chel Wagoner, Elissa Ami, Heather Jones, Patricia Lilyhorn, Tracie Mauk, and Sarah Kennedy

Friday, August 3rd ($5)

9:00pm- 2-Person Competition
5 2-person teams each get 8-9 minutes to win your vote to come back August 17th.

10:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- The Arena
The second team ever to get 3 consecutive wins, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, goes up against a great new team called ‘TBAmeritrade’.
Tomorrow Never Knows- Chel Wagoner and Will Meinen
TBAmeritrade- Allyson Schneiderwind, Justin Johnson, Natalie Johnson, Nick Rowley, Rachel Ware, Tracie Mauk

Friday, August 10th ($5)
9:00pm- 2-Person Competition
5 2-person teams each get 8-9 minutes to win your vote to come back August 17th.

10:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- The Arena
Champions vs Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!


Friday, August 17th ($5)
9:00pm- 2-Person Competition Finals/ Q*bert

The winners from both nights of the 2-Person Competition.

Q*bert- Dylan Rohde, Elissa Ami, Justin Johnson, Nick Rowley, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Will Meinen
10:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- The Arena
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Friday, August 24th ($5)
8:30pm- Level 1 Sketch Stage Reading
Come see stage-reading’s of the best sketches written during this class of: 
Andy Niess, Dusty Stehl, Elissa Ami, Jack Comstock, Justin Johnson, Mike Hogan, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Rachael Osborn

9:00pm-2-Person Competition Winner/ Ladies & Gentlemen

The Winner of the 2-Person Competition
Ladies & Gentlemen- Chel Wagoner, Nick Rowley, Sarah Kennedy, and Will Meinen
10:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- The Arena
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Friday, August 31st ($5)
8:00pm- Level 3 Class Show
This is only the second class to take Level 3.  This is Backline’s second generation of great improvisors, and you will want to keep an eye on these guys.

9:00pm-2X2 + The Sitcom
Runner up for the 2-Person Competition splits the night with Dylan +1.
The Sitcom- Chel Wagoner, Elissa Ami, Nick Rowley, JC Morgan, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Tim Schoenfeld

10:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- The Arena
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Classes
(All classes held at Studio Gallery- 4965 Dodge St.)

Level 1 Improv (Nick Rowley)- Wednesdays Starting September 5th, 7-10pm. $100
Want to learn how to create focused two person scenes that areboth fun and funny to watch?  This level will also teach you how to listen better, find patterns, and trust your instincts.  There is no pre-requisite.  Graduation Show is Friday, October 9th at 8pm at Studio Gallery.  To sign up, send an email to backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject “Level 1 Submission”.

Level 2 Improv (Dylan Rohde)- Thursdays Starting August 16th, 7-10pm. $100 (No Class September 6th)
This level will start to teach the basic learning structure of long-form improv, The Harold.  You will learn how to bring scenes back later on in the show in a way that is more refined to have more fun and get more laughs.  Pre-requisite is Level 1 or training at a nationally known long-form improv school.  Graduation Show is Friday, October 5th at 8pm. To sign up, send an email to backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject “Level 2 Submission”.

Level 3 Improv (Dylan Rohde)- Tuesdays Starting August 7th, 7-10pm. $100 
The full learning structure ‘The Harold’ is taught in this level, and the show as a whole starts to get it’s own personality.  More than anything, this level will teach you to trust your other performers on stage.  Pre-requisite is Level 2.  Class Shows at 8pm on August 31st and September 21st.  To sign up, send an email to backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject “Level 3 Submission”.

(Source: backlineimprov.com)

Level 1 Sketch starts June 30th


Want to learn how to create and write ideas into quick, funny, and clear to understand sketches, for stage or video.  Saturdays from 2-5pm, $75.  Send submissions or inquiries to backlineimprov@gmail.com.

(Source: backlineimprov.com)

Introducing- Game Night!


Friday Night Comedy got an upgrade- now twice as fun!  Check out Game Night every Friday at Studio Gallery! 

(Source: facebook.com)

June Schedule


Backline Improv- June Schedule


Great shows and classes coming up, and don’t miss our upcoming Omaha Comedy Week the last week in July!  Right now, there’s a video sketch competition you can submit for by checking out omahacomedyweek.com.

Friday, June 1st-
8:30pm- 2X2 + PodProv
Spicy Fries- Nick Rowley and Sarah Kennedy
Dylan +1 featuring Heather Jones
PodProv- Dpug Rothgeb, Eric Green, and Heather Jones

9:30pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- EPIC
The most epic movie scores of all time play throughout every scene!  You’ll tell your grandkids of this show.  
Doug Rothgeb, Dylan Rohde, Elissa Ami, Eric Green, Justin Johnson, Nick Rowley, and Sarah Kennedy

Friday, June 8th-
8:30pm- Two Great Teams!
Ladies & Gentlemen- Chel Wagoner, Nick Rowley, Sarah Kennedy, and Will Meinen.
Q*bert- Dylan Rohde, Elissa Ami, Justin Johnson, Nick Rowley, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Will Meinen.

9:30pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- Cagematch
Three’s Company is going for their fifth win this Friday!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Friday, June 15th-
8:30pm- Two Great Teams!
Q*bert- Dylan Rohde, Elissa Ami, Justin Johnson, Nick Rowley, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Will Meinen.
Ladies & Gentlemen- Chel Wagoner, Nick Rowley, Sarah Kennedy, and Will Meinen.

9:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- Cagematch
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Friday, June 22nd-
8:30pm- Two Great Teams!
Ladies & Gentlemen- Chel Wagoner, Nick Rowley, Sarah Kennedy, and Will Meinen.
Q*bert- Dylan Rohde, Elissa Ami, Justin Johnson, Nick Rowley, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Will Meinen.
9:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- Cagematch
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!

Friday, June 29th-
8:30pm- Two Great Teams
PodProv- Doug Rothgeb, Eric Green, and Heather Jones
Ladies’ Team- Chel Wagoner, Elissa Ami, Heather Jones, Patricia Lilyhorn, and Sarah Kennedy.

9:00pm- Interrogated
Our weekly show featuring a rotating cast of Backline’s finest players.  Audience members volunteer to come up on stage and confess something they’ve gotten away with in their life, then we send them back and perform scenes based on that information.

11:00pm- Cagematch
Champions vs. Challengers!  Each teams gets 20 minutes to win your vote to come back next week!


Classes
(All classes held at Studio Gallery- 4965 Dodge St.)
Special Guest Workshop (Megan Grano)- Tuesday June 12th 3:30-6:30pm
A great coach who’s taught for The Second City, iO (formerly Improv Olympic,) and the Annoyance Theatre as well as the LA Improv Festival and the Del Close Marathon in New York.  She will be teaching how to be more real in a scene as well as with a group scene.  Pre-requisite is Level 1, cost is $20.  To sign up, email backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject title “Grano Workshop”.

Level 1 Improv (Will Meinen)- Thursdays starting June 7th 7-10pm
This level teaches the basics of long-form improv and how to create a two-person scene with focus that is funny for the audience.  It also teaches you to make confident choices, say what you mean, and be comfortable in front of an audience.  The Graduation Show is at 7:30pm, July 20th.  No pre-requisite, cost is $100.  To sign up, email backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject title ‘Level 1 Submission’.
Level 2 Improv (Dylan Rohde)- Tuesdays starting June 5th 7-10pm
This level teaches how to bring back what was great before and show it in a new light.  Multiple show openings, second and third beats, and the beginning of long-form improv’s basic learning structure- the Harold.  The Graduation Show is at 7:30pm, July 13th.  Pre-requisite- Level 1, cost is $100.  To sign up, email backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject title ‘Level 2 Submission’.

Level 1 Sketch (Dylan Rohde)- Saturdays starting June 30th (No class June 28th for Omaha Comedy Week)
This level will teach you how to come up with an idea, find out what’s most fun about your idea, and focus on it.  You will write five sketches in this class; topical, political, parody, character, your choice.  A Stage Reading for your best is at 7:30pm, August 24th.  No Pre-requisite, cost is $75.  To sign up, email backlineimprov@gmail.com with the subject title “Level 1 Sketch”.
Backline News-
Omaha Comedy Week-
All of Omaha’s comedians are coming together this summer for an amazing week of comedy.  There is also a Video Sketch Competition where the top 10 are shown the final night of the festival on the large screen. Check out omahacomedyweek.com and letspowerlunch.com for official rules.