The long-awaited UCB improv manual has arrived! At Friday’s opening press conference for the 15th Del Close Marathon, a mysterious box joined the UCB 4 on stage and quickly upstaged its famous co-stars; each time Ian Roberts held it above his head, chants of “Box! Box! Box!” filled the small basement theater. When someone finally asked the now-annual question about the progress of the group’s book, the box (which had been joined by three brother boxes) was ripped open to triumphantly reveal The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual.
Written by Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, the book was years in the making due to the busy schedules of the group’s members. The trio made a point to meet up and write together, often from 7 to 10 in the morning, Roberts said later at a press event. “And it took a long time because we really worked hard to make sure that you could read it and understand it as someone completely uninitiated to improv,” he added. “So we would challenge ourselves: ‘Ok, but they’ve never been to a class. They’ve never seen an improv show. Would they understand that?’ And you had to proof everything that way. So it was a long process.” The first 200 books were sold at DCM over the weekend, and the improv manual will be released later in July, at UCB theaters and its online store. Roberts said they have no plans to go on a book tour or do much publicity. “We think that most people that’d be interested in this would know about us and just come to us for the book.”
Photo courtesy of UCBTheatreNY’s instagram.