Pan Theater: Cheap Improv Comedy

“Can I get a suggestion for an occupation? Dentist, thank you, I heard dentist.” and thus starts an improv show. However, Pan Theater doesn’t put on the typical improv show. Absent are the corny, Whose Line Is It Anyway? games. Pan Theater specializes in long -form improv; narrative stories that cover a specific genre or concept. On any given night, you may watch an improvised one-act play about an evil professor hatching a plan to take over the world, a touching family drama, or film noir mystery.

Oh, don’t worry, it’s still funny, but in a more bizarre, sublime way. Something the most sublime is the theater itself- it’s a cozy (read: small) theater nestled in a nondescript office space that also includes a palm reader and a nurse training program in downtown oakland, a block from the Paramount theater. For the cautious SF San Franciscans, it’s steps from the 19th Street BART Station. You likely never saw it as you walked by, but now that you know where it is, it’s worth stopping in.

Pan Theater has two house troupes: The Afters perform on Friday nights and Awkward Face on Saturdays. The cast is a great mix of eclectic performers, most of whom got their start at the training program at the theater. Shows are typically ten bucks online and $12 at the door,  but sign up for the mailing list and you’ll get tons of discount opportunities, including frequent half price discounts. That’s six bucks for a night of improv, and you can come back as many times as you want, because no show will ever be the same. (Hence the concept of improv.)

Pan Theater- Improv comedy shows
Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm
$6-$12
2135 Broadway
[Downtown Oakland]

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Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin was raised in the shopping malls of suburban Long Island, New York. As a teenager, her life goals were to become a writer and marry Bret Michaels. After attending college at the University of Delaware (yes, in the state of Delaware) and earning a graduate degree educationl at NYU, she's achieved only one of those goals. Along with writing, Robin enjoys performing improv comedy, internet memes, cross-stitch, and showing off her alarmingly extensive knowledge of obscure pop culture trivia. Currently, Robin resides in Oakland, CA and is writing a book about the 1980s teen book series, Sweet Valley High.

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