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Monkey Business Institute has, like many other organizations, spent the last 15 months existing in a virtual space. We’ve been surviving on virtual shows, virtual trainings, and virtual entertainment for private events (game shows, murder mysteries, trivia, etc.). But, while we’ve gotten really good at these virtual offerings, they still cannot replace real, live, in-person shows, and the sense of community felt by the audience and improvisors.

Now, things are changing! In what seems like forever we are taking our first steps toward a full slate of in-person events. Since almost all our troupe members are fully immunized, we feel like it’s finally safe to be among the public and them with us. And boy oh girl are we excited!  

A few weeks ago, we performed our first in-person event in over a year – a charity golf tournament where we were hired to be hecklers on one of the tees and, wow, that was insanely fun! Next up was a live game show for a small gathering of a media company. And in a few days, we’ll be performing our first in-person public show in the Madison area! (Get tickets now!) 

Excitement of in-person shows aside, the pandemic forced us to redefine who we are and what we’re capable of. Our troupe members are excellent improv artists, and we found we have so much more talent in other areas while being cut-off from each other in real life. The forced break gave us a chance to create and develop new ideas on our own, some for the virtual world and some for in-person trials. 

Improvised tours, new and unique game shows, sketched shows, film and music parodies, pop-up improv shows, and much more came pouring out of our heads! The creativity didn’t stop for the troupe. In addition, we found in our private virtual bookings the remote employees also craved creativity and fun. The human mind is wonderfully creative when presented with months-on-end of virtual meetings!

Those relaxed in-person social interactions by employees were missed and we were happy to put on a show to brighten their day, albeit virtually. Our virtual entertainment helped break the monotony of the Zoom world by presenting new people, new “places” and new ideas into their homes. Employees had fun, got refreshed, and in some cases of virtual training learned new ways of communicating and thinking. Though there were limits to what came through a computer screen.

In-person interactions add non-verbal communication, a shared real environment, sights, sounds, and yes, even smells, that key us in to how we interact with each other. An annoyed look by someone on a computer screen might be due to an in-home interruption, whereas in-person the same look might be confusion for what someone is saying. In-person interactions have the benefits of full presence, communication, and clues about where we are and what we’re doing, not to mention who we’re sharing that space with.

We’re happy to be getting back to in-person entertainment and training. While we await our regular performance venue to reopen, we will enjoy exploring new stages, new companies, and new types of entertainment we created; and even some ideas our customers bring to us! Fear not, our virtual offerings are not going away as there were and will continue to be departments, teams, and whole organizations living in the virtual world with entertainment and training needs.

The dark clouds of the past 15 months have given way to silver linings and brightening skies.

Our Summer Series is filling up with special shows in July, check out our Events page for ticket and show information:

Keep up to date by signing up for our email list (scroll to the bottom!), checking our Events page, and following our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We are so eager to see you, and each other, in person again! With your support (buy tickets!)  we hope to bring back regular shows and classes by the fall. And, if your organization would like to book us for a private event, contact us for more info.

We’re ready to laugh, entertain, interact, and teach. Will you join us?