Parallel development happens. Sometimes improv forms get mirrored in other cities. But if your theater wholesale rips off, not one, but six shows you saw in Chicago why did you open up your own theater? Did you not have any creative ideas of your own?
In my own particular case you’ve ripped off, not only the format, but actual press release text summarizing the show. And this: “…based on the long-running iO Chicago show” just adds salt to the wound. I saw your show title when you promoted it on Facebook (we’re “friends”) and I liked it so I wondered, “Great title, I wonder what they do?” Imagine my surprise to discover you do what we’ve done for the past decade. Imagine my greater surprise to see that people I trained here in Chicago, people who have seen the Chicago show, in your cast. All you did was change the name… c’mon, do something creative. CREATE something else. And it’s not just Whirled News Tonight, it’s the SIX other shows. It’s enough to make me turn your city’s name into a verb.
Now, see, I started angry and now I’m just sad.
Students come to Chicago to learn and then return home. It is the hope that the ideas and philosophies of longform improvisation spread and grow with each person adding (or subtracting) what they seem fit. And I’ve seen it happen dozens of times before. This out and out plagiarizing just really hit a nerve with me today and each thing I discovered made it worse.
So, good luck with “your” shows and your mimeographed theater.
I’m going to have a Popsicle and calm down now.