Spontaneity rules the evening and the #BossBabes are in charge in Washington Improv Theater’s (WIT) production of “Not a Pyramid Scheme.” Now playing at Studio Theatre where WIT is celebrating its 25th season with a year-long residency, the show is co-directed by Clare Mulligan and Kaelan Sullivan Fleury. The production features a 12-person cast that wields the language and flaunts the culture of multi-level marketing (MLM) to satirize these “endless income” schemes endemic to American life.
…talented and enthusiastic performers…side-splitting…
Each production begins with the cast asking an audience member to describe a recent purchase, which the actors use to create a “business opportunity.” Hilarity ensues as the imaginative and quick-witted performers incorporate the item into classic MLM activities, including attempts at exploiting friends and family for profit; attendance at a fabulous (and expensive) MLM conference; and the rejection meted out to a downline with the temerity to question anything, ever, at any time.
The sparse stage is filled with talented and enthusiastic performers who arrange and rearrange a handful of plastic chairs as they move briskly from one MLM-induced predicament to the next. Each actor brings something unique to the story, whether a gift for comic timing, a creative spin on the action, or a priceless one-liner in the midst of the lunacy. If you’ve experienced one of these schemes first-hand or just marveled at their staying power, “Not a Pyramid Scheme” is a side-splitting look at what happens to the people who buy into MLM “opportunities” and the people who try to get them out.
Running time: One hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.
“Not a Pyramid Scheme” runs through June 10, 2023, at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. For more information and to purchase tickets, go online. Masks are required in all WIT performance spaces.