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Zach & Willie: A night of long-form improv at Princeton University

(Princeton, NJ) The Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theater presents a senior thesis production of Zach & Willie, a night of long-form improv featuring Zach Zimmerman '10 and Willie Myers '11. Performances will be held on Thursday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday January 8 and 9 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in the Whitman Class of 1970 Theater at Princeton University. The event is open to the public and tickets are $5.00.

Although he had never done improv before college, during his freshman year Zimmerman accompanied a friend to an audition for Princeton’s improv group Quipfire! and thought he would try it himself. Now in his fourth year with the comedy troupe, Zimmerman serves as its Artistic Director. (Myers is currently the Managing Director.) Over an intercession tour with Quipfire!, Zimmerman first encountered the magic of long-form in Chicago, the Mecca of improv. Zimmerman already had some writing experience through playwrighting courses in the Lewis Center and as a writer and actor in Princeton's Triangle Club, where he met Myers, but his desire to pursue improvisational training would take him back to Chicago.

With funding from the Lewis Center and the Fred Fox '39 Fund, Zimmerman and Myers participated in a Summer Intensive program at Chicago’s legendary iO theater (formerly ImprovOlympic), where thousands of well-known comedians -- including Mike Myers, Chris Farley and Tina Fey -- have trained and performed. Through taking the course, seeing improv shows almost nightly (including the well-known two-person "TJ and Dave," from which their title takes its form), and living together in a quite small one-bedroom apartment, Zimmerman and Myers said they learned more about how to improvise and, more importantly, how to improvise as a team. Zimmerman and Myers will use additional funding from the Fred Fox '39 Fund to return to Chicago over winter break to study in two-on-one workshops with expert performers and teachers Craig Uhlir and Rachael Mason.

Zach & Willie performances will be held on Thursday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday January 8 and 9 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in the Whitman Class of 1970 Theater at Princeton University. Tickets are $5.00. For advance tickets please call University Ticketing at 609.258.9220.

The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

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