New comedy improv theater opens in Pawtucket

As a newly established theater, Kismet Improv has made itself a space for education and entertainment for Rhode Island residents. PHOTO CREDIT: kismetimprov.com

Watch out, Pawtucket! The new Kismet Improv comedy theater is bringing improv and comedy performances, classes and entertainment to Rhode Island.

Kismet Improv, owned by Luke and Taylor Bruneaux, had their grand opening on Sept. 10. In the few months since their opening, they’ve been able to bring much laughter to audiences.

The theater offers adult and teen improv and comedy classes, as well as performances every Friday and Saturday night, according to Luke Bruneaux. The space also offers rental times for their spaces, as well as a full bar for adults to hang out at while enjoying the show.

The actors and performers at the theater exhibit a range of ages, difficulty and performance background, according to Bruneaux, from adults through to college age students. He also said that many students at Brown University in Providence have stopped in to take a class or participate in a performance.

“We have a teen specialty class, so we’ve seen teenagers drop in and have their own environment to practice and play differently,” Bruneaux said. “But, classes in general have a whole range of people with all kinds of backgrounds.”

Ayla Ahlquist, the director of operations at Kismet Improv, said that the instructors of their classes have been trained all across the country, in places like New York, Chicago and Boston, and they all bring a unique perspective to the students they teach.

Bruneaux said that some students in their classes don’t come in with the intention of acting or improv, but to improve other social skills.

“They just want to learn how to speak better in public and be more comfortable and less anxious,” Bruneaux said. “At the same time, we also have people who want to be professional comedians.”

Some students in the class go on to be actors in the group’s weekend performances, while others use the classes to boost their skills to use elsewhere, according to Ahlquist. However, all students, if desired, would have the opportunity to become a cast member in the productions.

Bruneaux said that he first found his love for improv after attending a comedy show in Chicago just after graduating college. Coming from a theatre background, he loved the carefree spirit of improv and the jokes that were made “on a whim.”

“Improv is so focused on just being in front of another human being and feeling their vibe,” Bruneaux said. “It’s not like theatre, where there’s a script, or like stand-up comedy, where you prepare your jokes beforehand. It’s truly come up within the moment.”

Both Bruneaux and Ahlquist suggested that students at the University of Rhode Island, regardless of age or major, stop at their theater to watch a performance, take a class or just see what it’s all about.

“Improv is very short, to the point and entertaining,” Ahlquist said. “I think that students would really enjoy coming to the theater and checking out a show or two and give improv a chance.”

To find out more about Kismet Improv, you can visit their website at kismetimprov.com.