Bird City Improv was officially founded in 2018, though the company has been in the works for several years, engaging with communities and organizations in the mid-Atlantic since 2014. Working with students ages 8 to 80, Bird City Improv has collaborated with organizations like Johns Hopkins University, Itineris Baltimore, The Ulman Foundation, Green Globe Theatre, Morgan State University, The Ed Lally Foundation, The Smithsonian Association, ArtsCentric, KidsRock, The Baltimore County Public Library and Womb Work Productions, while also providing freelance instruction for hundreds of individuals and community groups. With our company's launch, Bird City's network has continued to expand, offering nationwide professional and artistic development online and in-person.
Bird City is a triple bottom line business working towards sustainability beyond wealth. This means we measure our success, not only by our revenue, but by our impact on our community and our environment. We refuse to limit our target market to corporate clients, offering accessible, "low-cost to no-cost" community classes. Eco-minded, we are proud of our green business model. By offering onsite and online training, as opposed to a brick and mortar classroom, we are able to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, improv is naturally eco-friendly! As an ephemeral art form, we are able to bring performances and workshops to organizations without wasting material resources.
Bird's the WOrd
Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, our company is fondly named after the city in which we have our roots. Baltimore is the Bird City. Not only is it home to the Orioles, Ravens, and Hopkins Blue Jays, but to a range of progressive organizations who proudly represent themselves with birds: pigeons at the Dovecote Cafe, flamingos at Cafe Hon and crows at the Iron Crow Theatre. Bird City Improv has chosen to represent itself with a sparrow, a bird which symbolizes joy, cooperation and creativity, pillars of strong improv and communication.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare analogizes the death of a sparrow to the randomness of life. He concludes that while we cannot control the spontaneous, we can prepare for it. In fact he argues preparing for spontaneity is all that matters - just like improv. Echoing Shakespeare's insight Bird City teaches how to be ready for the spontaneous. Checkout the original quote below.
"There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all."
Tavish Forsyth is the founder of Bird City Improv. He is a queer improviser, educator, and social justice advocate based in Baltimore. He has two degrees in theatre and studied at the Baltimore Improv Group, iO Chicago, and Powerhouse Theater. In addition to working at Bird City, Tavish is an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches applied improv to undergraduates through the Center for Leadership Education.
Tavish is versed in Long Form Improv, Short Form Theatre Games, Movement, Mindfulness, Stanislavsky Technique, Elizabethan Theatre, Dramatic Writing and Sketch Comedy. Through creating an atmosphere of play, Tavish empowers individuals to listen, adapt, and respond, to cultivate awareness and connectivity, creating theatre that is silly, patient, and honest.