When the River City Improv group first got started in 1993, they were spending as much time explaining improv to audiences as they were performing it. Those were the days before "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", when RCI was performing in coffee shops and smaller venues to audiences who were likely attending their first improv show. 23 years later, they're the longest running comedy group in Grand Rapids and have travelled all over the country performing at various high schools and alumni events. Part of their success can be attributed to the close relationships among group members. The troupe still has about half their original members, performing together for over 20 years. These long-lasting friendships add depth and familiarity to their performances, and allow members play to each others strengths and help each other out if anyone is struggling. It all leads to a very consistent, high-quality show.
The group was started by Rick Treur and Jeanne Leep, two Calvin College alumni who were part of the improv troupe together in college. Post college, they realized how much they missed performing and decided to begin their own group. Still closely tied to Calvin College, all RCI members are alumni and hold practices at the college. The group was formed with Christian principles at heart, and they perform only clean comedy that makes fun but doesn't offend or rely on crudeness. Instead, they use political and local humor, sometimes playing off of current events or creating caricatures of people you might meet in Grand Rapids. It's a show for the whole family.
Read more about River City Improv on their website.