How Luke and Taylor Bruneaux Created the Ultimate Funny Business with Kismet Improv
The Providence couple-turned-business partners first brought their love of laughter to the stage at Hope Artiste Village in the fall of 2021.
In fall 2021, the pandemic was still very much a thing — and no laughing matter, but perhaps a much-needed time for a few chuckles. So Providence-based husband-and-wife team Luke and Taylor Bruneaux — he a health care data scientist, she a tech industry marketing specialist — created Kismet Improv in Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket and let the funny business begin.
Why did you guys start this?
Luke: Taylor and I had done improv for years, in Boston and Chicago, and we started doing improv here, like at Wage House. But the pandemic hit and that closed everything down. We’d always wanted to start our own improv theater and talked to others in the state we knew, and we opened last fall. It’s been going pretty well ever since.
No one does comedy to get rich, right?
Luke: True, but here, we pay our performers. It’s a big part of our mission; we wanted
improv to be rewarded. We have a regular marquee cast that I direct and it performs on Friday and Saturday nights.
You teach improv, too; what are the basics?
Luke: Being positive and present, having the idea of opening your mind to what’s in the room, listening to other people. The more you’re thinking of a joke, the more that works counter to being funny. It’s about creativity, being spontaneous and sharing the stage, opening yourself to being there and getting rid of your inner critic. Rational thinking is what you do all day long, not here.
Do improv skills help in real life?
Luke: Some people take classes to get on stage, some to gain more confidence at work and be comfortable in meetings. It’s all good.
Is Rhode Island intrinsically a funny place with funny people?
Taylor: Oh, yes, for sure. For one thing, there are a lot of transplants here, trained improv artists from New York and L.A., and Rhode Islanders themselves are proud of being quirky and understanding the nuances of being here. You tell jokes about Benny’s, and people love it. 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, 205-2552, kismetimprov.com