Folk Stories

Episodes about Improv:

2: Just Playing with Jay Hitt

September 17th, 2018 (69 minutes)

Jay Hitt is a cast member and Managing Director of the Unexpected Productions (UP) Theater. UP is Seattle's longest running Improv Theater and Jay has been there for two of the plus three decades that its been around.

Jay studied theater in college and got interested in improv through an early fascination with ninjas. At UP, Jay's helped see the theater through multiple expansions, renovations and new shows. One of the show that Jay kickstarted and also hosts is the "Duo Comedy Showcase", an open mic where both budding new improvisers and long time vets can try new material in front of a life audience. I first met Jay while performing in Duos which recently just celebrated its 10 year anniversary - twice.

Today's episode is mostly improvised. We talk a lot about improvisation, what it is and isn't, how to get started and common misconceptions. We'll dive into Jay's day job as the managing director of UP and the challenges of being both a performer and a manager. We'll also talk about Jay's specific style of improv and the sort of qualities he looks for in upcoming improvisers.

If you want to leave feedback or nominate folks to the show, please send emails to feedback(at)


  • Jay's start with improv (it involves ninjas)
  • advice to people who don't think they can do improv (hint: they can)
  • history of Unexpected Productions and improv around Seattle
  • what Jay looks for in improv shows
  • standup comedy and what carries over
  • misonceptions about improv
  • the day to day of a managing director
  • diving into different physical improv styles