Reform School for Wayward Girls

From Austin Improv Community Wiki

Reform School for Wayward Girls was a mainstage show at The Hideout Theatre set in a 1970s all-girl reform school.


The show took place in 1976 in St. Agatha's Reform School for Wayward Girls, a reform school in the fictional town of East Libertyville, Ohio. The show was based on old exploitation films such as Girl Gang, Reform School Girl, and Girls in Prison.

Show Structure

Each performance opened with a hosted introduction from "Mitch Dawson", the superintendent of the East Libertyville Independent School District. The host welcomed the audience and got an audience volunteer to assign a set of six reform-school-girl archetypes (such as "the cheerleader" or "the daddy's girl") to six of that night's female cast members. (Each archetype came with a basic description and a set of accessories.) Then the show proper started with a choreographed dance number to the Runaways' "Cherry Bomb". The dance included the whole cast: the six students, one student-aged boy, and two adults (one male, one female).

The dance then segued to the first act, which was an improvised monoscene in which a teacher oversaw the six girls in detention. The scene opened with a roll call which established each girl's name. The scene then included pop-out flashbacks to earlier scenes from the girls' lives, which usually included information about how each one landed in the reform school. Typically, halfway through, there was a fight among the students that prompts the arrival of a sinister headmaster or similar authority figure. The first act ended with another fight among the girls and then the end of detention.

The host returned to announce a ten-minute intermission. The host had, by this point, come up with three loglines for improvised narratives -- he announced those to the audience and instructed them to vote on which story they wanted. At the end of intermission, the host returned to re-introduce the girls (with a WWE-style introduction) and announce the winning story. He then set up the first scene, performed a bit of scene-painting, and left the stage.

This began act two, which was an improvised narrative. The cast improvised the story the audience picked, typically with the six "reform-school girl" improvisors playing those same students throughout, and the other three performers playing every other character in the story. Often, the narrative included a montage-style scene where all the girls had to work together to achieve some complicated goal.




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