There seems to be nothing better than enjoying a summer outside at a baseball park, smelling the expertly cut grass, catching a savory whiff of hotdogs, and grabbing a frosty beverage to watch professionals do their thing out in the field. There’s something communal about the experience – being in the same area to watch and enjoy the same things as everybody else. That excitement is being brought to various venues in Northwest Indiana as Makeshift Up brings their comedic twist on the rivalry between renowned regional baseball teams (the “Northsiders” vs. the “Southsiders”) with a series of competitive improv shows July 21st through July 23rd.
Makeshift Up, Northwest Indiana’s premier short-form improv team, has taken a classic rivalry and applied to the stage for audiences to enjoy. Two teams of actors will go head-to-head performing various improv games for the audience and allow the audience to choose which of the teams are better at their craft throughout the night all the while using the theme of baseball to frame their work. Director Nelson Velazquez says, “This is the kind of show that people in the area can really enjoy. There are tons of sports-related leagues, stores, and venues people go to all of the time and baseball is probably the most popular sport here. Why not marry the nation’s two favorite pastimes together – baseball and laughter? We’ve got a ton of baseball references in the show as well as stuff that happens in the audience during the show like having a “flex cam” pop up and we take pictures of our patrons showing us their best bodybuilder poses or having them call a game as an announcer. We even do a 7th inning stretch with the whole audience. It’s a ton of fun and we want to give as many people as many chances to partake in the festivities before the series of real games start in the city the following week.”
Although they’re area comedy veterans, this is going to be Makeshift Up’s first show with Improductions LLC, a production company recently formed by members of the local improv scene to help promote, support, and produce local improv comedy in the area. Previous shows had been produced with Crown Point Community Theatre, which closes its doors in July after a 13 year run. “Even though we lost our home venue to play in, we all decided we wanted to continue performing together so we put together a company whose mission is to help grow the improv community in the area. We think we’ve got something unique and special to share with the community and so we’re working hard to keep things going,” adds Velazquez, who is also Improductions’ CEO. He adds, “We already have more shows lined up for the teams involved and are looking to the future of providing a space for groups outside of the area to come to. We look forward to providing quality shows with the Crosstown Rivalry”