Frequently Asked Questions

An improv teacher might have told you "Don't ask questions." It's okay here, really.

What’s with the name, “Mad Cowford”?

Before the area was called Jacksonville, it was marked on maps as “Cow’s Ford” or “Cowford.” ‘Twas a harsher but simpler time then, before we got named for a man who never, if we are to be technical, even visited here. There’s debate if the name “Cowford” ever really applied to Jacksonville, but frankly we’re too far into this name to worry about its accuracy. 

We're interested in hiring you for our event, what are your rates?

Please message us at info@madcowford.com for more information and we will work with you and give you options and pricing ranges. Each situation is unique for its content, number of players needed, and length of time. We are available for improv performances, improv workshops, corporate events and more. Sometimes people don’t even know what they want, and we will work with them to deliver the best product we can.

How age-appropriate are your shows and workshops?

Our regular shows are PG-13. Our goal is to provide smart comedy that does not skew to unnecessary vulgarity and language. But, content can be adult and sometimes words are used or we acknowledge the existence of sex. There is also a bar, which acknowledges the consumption of alcohol. Occasionally the audience shouts a suggestion that you might not feel comfortable with your grandmother hearing.

Workshops have people of all ages, but we recommend students be at least 14 before taking our workshops. 

We’ve done shows and workshops for children, and in churches, and we will act appropriate to our audience. Please contact us if you have any concerns.  

How do I become a part of Mad Cowford Improv?

We hold auditions annually and invite performers into the troupe. Most of our current cast went through our classes before auditioning and being invited.

I have prior improv experience. Can I skip a level of classes?

Our preference is that all new students begin with the introductory level class. We know that different theatres and cities teach improv differently and have different focuses. We have found it is beneficial when students share the same vocabulary and have been taught similarly. We believe that all players should have a foundation of trust, listening, character work, and scenic agreement before progressing to the next levels of our classes.

If you do have significant improv experience, please message us. We ask for: background on the theatre or group you are coming from, the classes/performances you have done, as well as a recommendation from a coach or director. 

I just want to dip my toe in the water, or see if improv is for me. What do you suggest?

Come watch a show! We are friendly and are happy to talk to you. Watch this site for information regarding occasional improv jams where you sign up and get to be onstage in a fun, supportive environment. 
 
We also occasionally teach or host visiting teachers for Master Classes or one-off workshops. Check our website or social media for announcements of those classes.

I like books. What do you recommend to learn more?

The first improv book our Director Johnny read was “Truth In Comedy” by Del Close, Charna Halpern, and Kim Johnson. It’s still a great book to start with to understand the basics of improvisation. For more performance-focused mechanics, we’d recommend starting with the “Upright Citizen’s Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual” or Mick Napier’s “Improvise: Scene From the Inside Out.”

How does Mad Cowford ensure an environment of safety and inclusion?

Mad Cowford Improv Comedy believes that improvisation is an art form built on trust and respect. Every student, player, and participant has the right to feel safe and respected while practicing this art. Every case member and student should observe our code of conduct to maintain a fun, creative atmosphere. As with any type of theatre, improv can be used to challenge, criticize, explore boundaries, and take risks. To allow these risks, open communication is encouraged and no student, player, or participant should feel harassed or placed in a situation which does not make them feel safe. For these reasons, Mad Cowford Improv Comedy has established and published a Student Code of Conduct. If you believe you have experienced or observed sexual harassment, you can report it anonymously HERE.

Do you do sketch comedy?

We do. Check out our Youtube or other social media accounts for more information on our sketch based shows. 

I’ve gotten this far, but I have one more question: Is this stand-up?

I mean . . .