A Brief Q&A with John Langen, Director of Storyteller

Yesterday, I wrote a post about my experience as the guest on Storyteller. In preparation for writing that article, I asked John Langen, the show’s director, a few questions about his experience with the show, which is now entering it’s fourth month. I didn’t have space to include them yesterday, so I am sharing them here because I think they give some great insight behind one of the theater’s most skilled shows.


How did you come up with the idea for Storyteller? Can you share that story?
When I was in Chicago, my favorite show was the Armando Diaz Experience at iO Chicago. I watched it every Monday night. It was comprised of some of the theater’s best improvisers using monologues as the source to generate ideas for scenes. What I was drawn to was the intimacy of the show.


I knew that I wanted to create something similar here in Saint Louis and cast it with highly skilled and hard working improvisers. I wanted a show that was intimate and accessible to people that might be seeing longform improvisation for the first time. I wanted a show that wasn’t concerned with getting laughter as much as it was concerned with being honest. I thought having guests tell true-life stories would be a great way to capture this


How do you feel Storyteller is different than the Armando Diaz?
Storyteller is certainly inspired by the Armando Diaz Experience. It’s different in that we try and explore stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Our cast believes that every person — from school teachers, to custodians, to stay at home dads and moms — all have interesting stories to tell. We think that we can understand ourselves better by hearing and preserving these stories.


What is/has been your favorite part about the experience? 
My favorite part of performing and directing Storyteller is the amazing cast I get to work with and the incredible guests I get to meet. Every show feels different and new; and every Saturday I fall in love all over again.
You can catch Storyteller tonight at The Improv Shop at 8pm and every Saturday. Stick around tonight at 10 for the Little Improv Shop of Horror’s Sketch Review.

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