Guerilla Improv: Choreographed Construction

May 16, 2007, 11:50 AM

Agent Carlson, Agent Henry, Agent Marks, Agent Henley, Agent Connerly, Agent Curtis

Photography by Curt Rierson of

Agent Connerly:

Last year in the fall, there was a lot of highway construction on my way to work, causing all sorts of delays. I very quickly became frustrated sitting still in traffic watching construction workers just standing around. 'Hop to it! Move!' I would think to myself. That's how we came to the idea of this mission, having construction workers not just being active, but doing it with jazz hands.

Downtown Kansas City is going through a major revitalization right now, specifically in the so called "Power and Light District", including the building of a new sports arena. This has a lot of construction workers and contractors mixing with office workers over the lunch hour. But they didn't mix so much as steer clear of each other. This kind of social awkwardness made for a perfect target for a guerrilla improv mission.

We did 4 different improvised dance routines in 3 different locations. First, right next to the construction site for the sports area. Second and third, across the street from Cupini's, a restaurant with both patio dining and large windows to the dining room. Lastly, next to The Mango Room, restaurant with big tinted windows and across the street from another construction site. Each time we danced, we'd be in character as we approached the area, casually coalesced into a line, then broke into dance. When the dance was complete, we'd all of a sudden break out back into character and casually disperse.

My favorite response came just after we stopped dancing near The Mango Room, as one of the patrons from inside ran up to the front door, leaned out and asked when the next show was!

A big kudos goes out to Susan Messing for teaching us the Busbee Berkley exercise at the Chicago Improv Festival this year. It was the jelly that made this doughnut roll.

Agent Curtis :

The construction set was beautiful. I can't wait for people to start asking us if we choreographed our dance. We get to tell them that it was all made up on the spot! As for the mission itself, it was an absolute riot! I loved how everyone stopped to watch very cautiously. Even traffic stopped at one point!

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