Four Day Weekend is Bringing Back Live Performances
Fort Worth Magazine article by Jillian Verzwyvelt
Four friends from Dallas with a dream, a passion for comedy, and only $700 in their pockets mark the modest beginnings of Four Day Weekend, a critically acclaimed Fort Worth improv troupe.
After an unexpectedly long intermission, Four Day Weekend returns to the stage on May 14 with shows every Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The cast was coming off of its busiest year yet when COVID-19 essentially shut down the live performance industry, but the troupe was able to stay afloat through applying their “yes, and…” approach to navigating the challenges.
“Improv teaches you to be very adaptable and to pivot quickly,” co-founder and cast member David Wilk says.
“Yes, and…” is a simple technique wherein one strikes the word “no” from his vocabulary. In improv, Wilk says, ideas are not evaluated as good or bad but as higher or lower percentage choices. While a traditional improvisational tool, the concept also lends itself well to other areas attempting to maximize cooperation and productivity, such as in business.
“Improv is the definition of collaboration and teamwork,” Wilk says. “We listen very well, and we’ve trained our brains to build on the pertinent information of our partners. It’s not what I know. It’s not what you know. It’s what we know together.”
Pre-pandemic, Four Day Weekend’s “yes, and…” philosophy and relatively clean content attracted a large corporate crowd. Last spring, the troupe was able to sustain a steady income and these relationships through redirecting its focus from live shows to Four Day Creative, its video production branch that specializes in hosting virtual events for corporate clients.
While on a live performance hiatus, Four Day Weekend found time to devote to expanding Four Day Creative.
“We were too busy sawing to sharpen our saws,” Wilk says. “Now that the live shows are back, though, our business is going to be even bigger because not only do we have our live shows but our commercial element and virtual events.”
Four Day Weekend has been a staple of the Fort Worth comedy scene since 1997. In 24 years, the improv troupe has performed almost 6,500 shows. Now, the cast is eager to return to the stage to introduce new material to their audiences.
To ensure the safety of cast and audience members, theaters will operate at limited capacity — 50% occupancy in Dallas and 75% in Fort Worth — until herd immunity is achieved.
Four Day Weekend hosts shows at 312 Houston St. in Sundance Square. A full performance schedule and ticketing links may be found at fourdayweekend.com.
Location Mentioned: Four Day Weekend