Picture yourself standing on a stage. There’s an eager crowd anticipating your next move and it’s your turn to speak, but you haven’t a clue what you’re going to do next. For most people, this is the beginning of a nightmare. But for the improvisers at Villain Theater, it is an experience they crave.
Villain Theater is a new improv theater company founded by FIU graduate Peter Mir and Jeff Quintana in August 2015. In less than a year, the company has become the premier place for comedy in South Florida. Every Friday and Saturday night, Villain packs in audiences at their unique space in Little Haiti’s MADE at the Citadel for an evening full of laughs.
Beyond comedy, improv creates a safe, playful environment that allows participants to enhance and develop lifelong skills, both personal and professional. Some benefits of improv include increased confidence, heightened creativity, team building skills, the ability to think quickly, and more assertive decision making.
“Most people are bad at conversation because they’re sitting there waiting for you to stop talking more than they’re listening to you. That’s the major skill you develop in improv that works for everything. Just becoming a better listener.”
– Jeff Quintana
The origins of Villain Theater can be traced back to 2003 when Peter and Jeff met at an audition for another improv comedy group, Impromedy. The two became regular cast members and their friendship and chemistry blossomed. Searching for a richer experience, Peter and Jeff explored theater in Chicago and New York. When they weren’t able to find what they were looking for, the pair decided to return home and create it themselves.
“We started realizing that Miami didn’t have what we wanted and so we went somewhere else. But when we went there, we realized that what we wanted wasn’t there either. So we decided to come back to Miami, take what we learned in New York and Chicago, and build what we wanted here. Miami is fertile ground.”
– Peter Mir
Incorporating what they’ve learned in other cities, Peter and Jeff are bringing new life to the theater scene in South Florida with Chicago style improvisation, sketch, and devised comedy. With the establishment of Villain, improv has become an accessible tool for actors in Miami.
“We just aren’t seeing ourselves represented in those big markets. People down here are starting to say ‘I want to see what we do represented. Where is our voice?’ That’s why I came back down. This is a place where I can get that voice to come out.”
– Jeff Quintana
With over 25 FIU alumni in the regular cast and even more FIU Alumni and current students taking classes, Villain Theater is the perfect place to join your fellow alumni on Saturday, July 16 for a special FIU night.
To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite, select Saturday, July 16 and enter promo code FIU to receive a $5 all night pass.
Due to the liberal and “anything goes” nature of improv comedy, we recommend attendance be kept to 18+.
By Ivan Lopez