Reality TV 

Imagine yourself an executive producer

Washington Improv Theatre presents Season Six
Fri., Jan. 18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan., 19, 10 p.m.; $12.50;
Stars at the American; www.charlestoncomedyfestival.com

Stuart Scotten of Season Six will tell you straight out that audience participation is the single most important factor for a successful improv comedy performance.

"It's simple, really," he says. "The more they get into it, the more they get out of it."

Season Six is the live, improvised pilot of the hottest new show on television created for the viewers, by the viewers. Originally intended as a glimpse into possible pilots of already popular shows such as Grey's Anatomy, the performance has evolved to reflect changing tastes.

In this age of reality TV and striking writers, Season Six provides a refreshing shift, offering everyday people an opportunity to create their very own show.

Comprising experienced improv comedians from other Washington D.C.-based troupes, Season Six prides itself on giving audiences a great show without overstaying its welcome. In other words, they avoid "jumping the shark," Scotten says, as some television programs are known to do. Season Six tries to use a certain pattern to extract the desired result. The pattern is intended to mimic characters, twisted plot lines, and convergent themes typically associated with mainstream television.

When Season Six takes the stage, members immediately ask audience members what kind of television show they would like to create. From action to soap opera, the genre selection then plays an important role in the characters, which often wind up hilariously stereotyped.

Or better yet, tragically out of place.

Complete with live, improvised commercials, Season Six will forever change the way you watch your "stories."

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