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K-State Today

April 22, 2015



DelFestopia offers a weekend of improv this weekend

By Ben Hopper

DelFest image

To honor the man known as the Father of Modern Day Improv, K-State's On the Spot Improv troupe created DelFestopia to celebrate Del Close, a Manhattan native. On the Spot will host a two-day improv festival, featuring The Reckoning, April 24-25.

On the Spot will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Union Station in the K-State Student Union. The show will feature several troupes from the Midwest.

The Reckoning will host improv workshops all day Saturday and will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday in Forum Hall in the Union. All shows are free and open to the public.

For nearly 14 years, The Reckoning has played to packed houses and critical acclaim at iO Chicago and toured across the country with their singular brand of long-form improvisation.

Hailed as "hands-down, the best in Chicago" and "a versatile rock band" of improvisers, the group is known for its unpredictable shows and forms, as well as experimentation and innovation as ensemble.

Members from The Reckoning include performers from theaters such as iO Chicago, iO West, UCB, Second City, Boom Chicago and the Annoyance. You may even recognize a few familiar faces from TV shows like, "Saturday Night Live," "Madmen," "Cougartown," "Modern Family" and countless commercials.

Close was born in Manhattan in the hospital that is now the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house on Fremont Street. At 17, Close joined a traveling performance group. However, he returned to Manhattan to attend Kansas State University until he was 23. In 1957, he joined the cast of the St. Louis brand of "The Compass Players." This group is the direct precursor to "The Second City," which opened in December 1959.

Close co-authored "Truth in Comedy," a book that shared long-form improvisation techniques. Close created the "Harold," a now common frame of long-form improv.

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