The Professor

From Austin Improv Community Wiki

The Professor (full name: The Professor: Improv Inspired by Doctor Who) is a narrative improv troupe that presents improv in the style of the British science-fiction franchise Doctor Who.


While identical in concept to Doctor Who, the shows performed by The Professor don't occupy the exact same universe as Doctor Who. The central character is "The Professor", and no mention is made of specific Whoniverse villains.

In the first two seasons, no scenes ever occurred in TARDIS. Onstage, the exit of the TARDIS was represented by a free-standing blue door. In season two, this door could flip around to a non-blue side, and thus become a non-TARDIS door on the set.

Typically, one actor plays the Professor for a contiguous run of shows, with different actors playing (pre-determined) "companion" characters (or, in rare cases, pairs of companions) from week to week.


Prior to the founding of the troupe, the idea of "Improvised Doctor Who" had long been floating around in the improv community.[1] In June 2011, Justin Bozied posted a Facebook status inviting all interested parties to join him for an improv take on Doctor Who. The Professor then premiered at The Hideout Theatre on Thursday, June 23, 2011 as part of The Threefer, and played an 8pm show at the Hideout two days later.

Its first full run was a six-week set of Friday shows at The Institution Theater from October 14, 2011 to November 18, 2011. Its second run was at Salvage Vanguard Theater (produced by Gnap!), on Fridays and Saturdays from March 23, 2012 to April 21, 2012. In between runs, the troupe played one-off shows, including The TV Set in July 2012[2]

At the end of 2012, Justin Bozied stepped down as director. At the start of 2013, Michael Ferstenfeld took over as director, and the troupe resumed performing one-off shows like The TV Set[3]. For their third run in late 2013, Ferstenfeld incorporated scene-painting, the interior of the T.A.R.D.I.S., voice modulation, and homemade robots, drawing more influence from "classic" Doctor Who, 1963-1989, the years preceding Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.


"Season Zero"

Jordan T. Maxwell as the First Professor.
Jordan T. Maxwell as the First Professor.

The first two test shows in June 2011 featured Jordan T. Maxwell as the First Professor.

(Emily Breedlove rehearsed with the cast, but did not play in either show.)

Season One

Michael Ferstenfeld as the Second Professor.
Michael Ferstenfeld as the Second Professor.
Andrew Pish as the Third Professor.
Andrew Pish as the Third Professor.

The first run of shows, from October to November of 2011, featured Michael Ferstenfeld and Andrew Pish as the Second and Third Professors.

Season Two

Peter Rogers as the Fourth Professor.
Peter Rogers as the Fourth Professor.
Karen Jane DeWitt (left) as the Fifth Professor.
Karen Jane DeWitt (left) as the FifthProfessor.

The second run of shows, from March to April of 2012, introduced Peter Rogers and Karen Jane DeWitt as the Fourth and Fifth Professors, with Michael Ferstenfeld also reprising his take on the role.

Season Three

Season three ran on Saturdays at The Institution Theater in November 2013.

The run featured tech by Michael Yew.





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