Drawn to improv for its heightening of the immediacy of theatre, Summer Banks started performing with ComedySportz (now ComedyShorts) Berlin in 2009 and then founded the Berlin English Improv Network as a platform for the booming anglophone scene in Berlin. Her focus in improv performance is on musical improv and semi-improvised forms, and she has performed and taught around Europe from Athens to Amsterdam and up and down the U.S. west coast. She’s developed her own one-woman improv cabaret form and is a co-founder of Rollercoasters, Berlin’s first and only improvised musical group. In 2016 she was invited to Barcelona to perform in the BIG IF’s improvised musical. She and Jackie Koester developed the semi-improvised form Drunk Classics, now playing to sold-out crowds in the Spanish capital. In Madrid Summer began MAD Improv’s open jams and founded the MAD Academy in 2016. She has studied at the Second City summer institute in Chicago, with Joe Bill, and Kevin and Amber from Dad’s Garage.
Comments from students:
“Summer was able to meet each of exactly where we were at so no-one felt left behind. Her instructions were clear and her feedback constructive and inspiring; the hallmarks of an excellent teacher.”
“Summer’s ridiculously nurturing, dynamic, and very open.”
“She is a very thoughtful coach who takes each session and player seriously, and makes preparations to make sure the session is productive. Any session that I’ve done with her – whether a themed workshop or coaching of our improv troupe – I left the session very happy and satisfied with what I’ve learnt.”
An homage to solo vocalists from the 20s to the 80s, Electric Cabaret is an improvised cabaret show starring a new diva every night. Chansons, dittys, a few anthems and some stories all combine with some audience participation in this compact improv show.