Thursday, August 21, 2014


In 2012 & 2013, the Village Idiots held four improv competitions, where all winners were decided solely on audience voting. And it was from these intense tournaments that Plan B was formed. But to truly understand them, you need to go back to the beginning...
James Battaglia

In December of 2011, Swithun No introduced James Battaglia to Hobert Thompson and the two of them became very good friends. One night while watching an animal documentary, these two lads simultaneously burst out laughing at the voice-over phrase "pandas and fake snow" and it stuck. With this silly name and a lot of panda-themed, stage make-up, this wildly-creative team won the first 2012 improv tournament.
Brian Calmes

It was soon after this first competition that a young Brian Calmes started taking improv classes at the Village Idiots.

By the second competition, the "Pandas" had invited the very talented Eric Kohl to join them as now a three-man team.
Eric Kohl

And this time--without make-up--they rocked the house again! But it wasn't easy as there was some very stiff competition from their 2nd place competitors: the very funny, and equally bizarre team--"Schwoone" conceived by the outrageous Peter Schafer and quickly-advancing Brian Calmes.

Fresh off their wins, the "Pandas" boys created their own monthly improv show at the Village Idiots Pillar Theater, where they would often invite other improv groups and teams to play with them. Many times these invited teams would show up; many times they would not. More than once, Eric and Brian were called upon at the last minute to help open up a "Panda" show.  

10-Round Mag
Sliced Bread
 Plan B
Months later, while James and Hobert were hanging out, a simple idea shared between the two of them transformed into a movie script written in a day. They got so excited about creating their buddy/stoner movie, "Twenties," the "Pandas and Fake Snow" team did not enter the third competition. Without teams of their own, Eric and Brian forged an alliance dubbed "10-Round Mag," and proceeded to win the hearts of the audience and the prize of the competition.
Steve Spindler

It was soon after this that a young Steve Spindler started taking improv classes at the Village Idiots.

Eventually, Hobert was planning on moving back to North Carolina, so with much sorrow Pandas did their last show (click here to view), and Eric and Brian now started taking over the realm of producing the monthly show.

In the fall of 2013, Eric and Brian entered the fall competition as "Sliced Bread"... which everyone agreed was not a great name, but it would have to do. Nonetheless, their chemistry overcame their nomenclature and their team made it as a tournament finalist. Meanwhile, James paired up with Steve as "Not the Audience" which also made it as the tournament finalist. So who won?


It was after this competition, that the guys were reminiscing about how Eric and Brian would often have to be the backup plan for the Panda show, how they would have to be the plan B. And then they realized it: They were "Plan B" all along.

But then the Village Idiots got kicked out of Village Gate... And James could no longer do shows due to work commitments.... And Brian was moving away to go to college... etc.

But before certain doom, Swithun No was determined to get "Plan B" together for one last performance in the Village Idiots new home... for one final performance... for one night only... their LAST STAND! Come check these award-winning improvisors out at 8pm tonight for what is bound to be an epic night of improv comedy at its finest!

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