Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament at Washington Improv Theater Saturday, March 16

Ah, the theater. A great place to get FISTed. OK, maybe not. But there will be FISTing aplenty when Washington Improv Theater launches its seventh annual Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament, a bracketed improv competition that runs to April 13. Modeled after March Madness, for five weeks and six rounds, 67 three-person teams with names like “Angry Unpaid Hookers” and “Magic Johnson’s Immune System” will face off with only one rule: The performance has to be made up on the spot. Past audiences have been exposed to 1930s screwball comedy, ukulele serenades, puppet shows, Norse gods, and beatboxing. What’s at stake? Glory and bragging rights, plus a surprise token that is shrouded in secrecy. While some in D.C. might balk at the idea of so many improvisers in one place at one time, Stephanie Svec, one of the tournament’s head commissioners, thinks we’ll be OK. “If D.C. can handle a speaker of the house with a name that sounds like ‘boner,’” she says, “I think D.C. can handle packs of roaming improvisers.”

The Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament runs March 14 to April 13 at Washington Improv Theater at Source, 1835 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 204-7770. washingtonimprovtheater.com.

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