On Thursday night at Alex’s Place at the YMCA, Jim Belushi received some startling news. He was not, in fact, the mother of Island teenager Della Burke. At least that was what the audience decided. Mr. Belushi was performing with the IMPers, an Island-based, award-winning improv comedy troupe for teens and young adults. He and Miss Burke were playing a comedy game called Should Have Said. The game involved the two sitting in a car having a conversation.

IMP has returned from two sold out shows at the Chicago Improv Festival and is showcasing their show this weekend back on the Vineyard. The troupe was the only teen group selected to perform at the festival in the city noted as the improv capital of the country. Johnathan Pitts, executive director of the Chicago festival, called the Island group “one of the best troupes in the country.”

During last Thursday’s IMP rehearsal, there was some hesitation about Hansel. The game was called “Happily Ever After . . . Or Not,” and the improv group of teenage actors were waiting for the narrator, in this case Ashley Girard, to begin the story.



Dressed in their Christmas best of red T-shirts, jeans and sneakers, the student improvisational comedy group IMP walked out from behind the curtains last Friday night, ready to stake their claim.

“This is our space,” Mariah Mac-Kenzie said. She and her fellow IMPers have been waiting to say that for 10 years. They’ve used stage space and classrooms in schools across the Island, but now they have a place to call home.

Ed Cisek, longtime company member of WIMP and IMP Improv, received the news this week that every improviser dreams of: he is now a performer on a Harold Team at the iO Theater (formally ImprovOlympic) in Chicago.

He was chosen as one of 15 performers from a group of 80 who completed the iO training program. At the end of his summer teaching at IMP Camp, Ed will join an impressive list of actors such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Neil Flynn, Rachel Dratch, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Adam McKay and Amy Poehler, to perform at iO.

IMP, the Island’s youth improv troupe, has been selected to perform at the 2010 Teen Chicago Improv Festival, and will be in the spotlight for two nights in a row this weekend in an effort to raise funds for the trip to the Windy City.