A dozen people braved the depths of sleep-deprived lunacy to cap off 50 straight hours of improv comedy in Port Coquitlam last weekend.
The Second Storey Theatre troupe staged its inaugural Improvathon, a 50-hour test of improv skill, will and endurance, over a three-day span between Friday and Sunday.
Though skeptical at first, the cast and crew made it through relatively unscathed.
"I've never done anything like that before - it was crazy," said Graham Myers, Second Storey's owner and artistic director. "The nighttimes were easy. It was the mornings that were pretty rough."
The format of the non-stop show allowed each of the eight cast and crew members three, 30-minute breaks over the 50-hour stretch.
Four audience members endured the entirety of the show as well, a feat that earned them all lifetime passes to every Second Storey show in perpetuity.
"I'm really glad that they did, because I did want to give those prizes away," Myers said. "They deserve it, obviously. It's crazy."
According to Myers, his lone moments of solace came in the form of a brief stint of shut-eye on Sunday morning.
"I didn't really prep myself for this at all," he said. "I didn't know what to expect, but I know myself. I've always been able to push myself way past my normal abilities. It's something that I'm good at. I don't how or why, but I am. I drank a lot of water and tried to keep moving."
The show's format included three mainstay performances - referred to as Sudden Death Improv - serving as the anchor for each night's entertainment. Scheduled around those two-hour slots were acts from across B.C. and Washington state, which all banded together to raise about $300 for the PoCo-based Learning Disabilities Association. But that's not to say the event was without a few instances of testiness.
"We're all very friendly, happy people, but there was some bickering going on," Myers said. "It was rare to see." He's unsure of any official record for the longest consecutive improv show, but Myers has set his sights on that mark and will continue staging the event in the future.
"The crazy thing is we all felt great during the last show on Sunday and could have gone longer and done more," he said.