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Catch The Society at REP

Emerging victorious in Improv Cage Matches, The Society brings its comedy back home to the SCV

Posted: November 5, 2009 5:18 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2009 6:00 a.m.
Local improv group The Society will bring its "clean" brand of comedy to the REP this Saturday. Local improv group The Society will bring its "clean" brand of comedy to the REP this Saturday.
Local improv group The Society will bring its "clean" brand of comedy to the REP this Saturday.
The Society is an improv comedy troupe based right here in the Santa Clarita Valley, performing monthly at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall. But for the last 12 weeks, The Society (short for the Societal Preservation Society) have competed at Hollywood's legendary iO West Theater in a no-holds-barred Improv Cage Match. And, they've emerged victorious every week.
"We've been doing 20 minute musical comedies," said The Society cofounder and Santa Clarita resident, Lincoln Hoppe.

"Essentially, we make up a musical - scenes, songs, plot and characters - all on the spot. We love it. And, apparently, the audience loves it, too."

Brett Spackman, Hollywood filmmaker and cofounder of Side Street Productions, praised The Society after a recent Cage Match. "The Society is by far the most original and funniest Los Angeles improv troupe I've seen in the last 10 years."

The Cage Match works like this: Each week, two comedy groups battle it out to see who can win-over the tough Hollywood crowd. Each group entertains the audience with 20 minutes of long-form improvised comedy; that's 20 minutes of scenes made up on the spot based on an audience suggestion. The audience then votes on which group it prefers, and the winner returns the following week to take on a new challenger.

"You feel very connected and involved since all the ideas for the show come from the audience," said Brittany Fuhriman, a student from Washington. "I could not stop rolling with laughter."

Even though The Society has won 12 straight Cage Matches in gritty Hollywood, there's another detail that might surprise you. The Society keeps the comedy clean.

"It's just funner and more challenging to keep it clean," said Kirby Heyborne, Santa Clarita resident and The Society cofounder. "No shock value, no dirty humor, just good clean wit, characters, music and spontaneity." Heyborne quipped, "And no one in Hollywood has complained yet, ‘Hey, we want more dirty stuff!'"

The Cage Matches are great, and we couldn't be more pleased with the honor of winning 12 straight," Hoppe said. "But at the REP in Santa Clarita is where we do our real thing. It's our home, and it's where we come alive."

You have one more opportunity to see The Society locally before the end of the year: this Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Repertory East Playhouse, 24266 Main St. in Newhall, at 8 p.m.

The Society also teaches improv classes and is available for hire. Visit for more information - and to buy tickets, watch videos from their shows and learn more about improvisation.


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