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NEWS: RIP Bearded Men Improv, Long Live The Bearded Company

An image not reflecting the status of a Minneapolis-based improv troupe.

Yesterday, the award-winning Bearded Men Improv troupe announced that it would no longer perform under its founding name. The company, which has Minneapolis and Los Angeles chapters, will henceforth be known as The Bearded Company.

With typical élan, the 11-year-old company announced the change in a statement whose first sentence might have elicited some alarm from the company’s eager audiences: “Today marks the official end of Bearded Men Improv.” The pithy statement, signed by local improv mover and shaker Joe Rapp, enumerated the reasons behind its change with both wit and a core of seriousness.

Foremost in this was broadening the troupe’s name, which no longer reflected its actual makeup. “Our group has never wanted to exclusively cater to men,” wrote Rapp. “And having that as a piece of our identity felt stale and outdated. More and more often and throughout the years, we have had female identifying guests and permanent members of some of our shows, and it has felt like a disservice to them to be part of the Bearded ‘Men.’ In 2018, and beyond, we will be actively looking for more opportunities for diverse collaboration, so now feels like the perfect time for this change.”

As of press time, The Bearded Company had already rebranded its website, although the website remains accessible at: http://beardedmenimprov.com/

The Bearded Company will return to HUGE Theater on Friday, March 2 at 10:30pm for the fourth season of its themed show Bearded Manor, which runs each Friday from March-April 2018.

Amy Donahue
Amy Donahue is a staff reviewer at the <em>Twin Cities Arts Reader</em>. She interned with the magazine during the summer of 2017, served as a guest contributor while studying abroad in Europe that fall, and has moved up to regular old reviewing. She admits to being at least 50% terrified of contemporary German opera.
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