Improv Tours at The Blanton Museum 24 Grand Opening

On the first night of the biggest art museum on a college campus, they brought in a team of improvisers to lead late night comedy tours of the new collections. I came straight from a Whirled News Tonight Show and arrived at the Blanton five minutes before our midnight tour began. There was a line of people waiting to get in that went all around the block. There was an electric energy around the museum as the staff slipped me in the door and I heard the live band playing in the atrium.

Once inside, my improv partner, Shannon McCormmick, and I only had a few minutes to decide on a persona for the tour. Dave and Rachel were in bathrobes and had planned on giving tours as if the museum were their home Mr. and Mrs. Blanton. Shannon and I decided to give a tour as international high art thieves. We led a group of people around the museum telling them what art to steal and how to steal it. It was a ton of fun and went over really well. The museum is beautiful and had a truly Austin opening.

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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