What’s a Harold?

harold Big Blue Door is central Virginia’s only genuine longform improv comedy program. We teach the techniques of listening and responding that allow performers to build hilarious, powerful, and truthful scenes. For the scenes to inspire and build on one another they’re presented in longer format–a long form–made up of multiple scenes. ‘Long forms’ are frameworks that the performers use to organize scenes, characters, and storylines.

The first widely-popular “longform” was the Harold, which works like this:

  1. The performers get a suggestion from the audience, often a single word, and use it to start an opening game that generates a handful of different ways to use the suggestion.
  2. Pairs of performers take turns creating scenes with different characters and storylines.
  3. Performers return to those characters and storylines more or less in order, expanding, heightening, and exploring tangents
  4. Performers cycle through the characters and storylines a third time, this time exploring possible connections.

There’s no reason for audience members to keep track of any of this! It’s similar to the way musicians count beats and phrases of choruses and verses. All we want you to do is enjoy!

Want to see how it works in practice? Come see one of our shows!



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