Sexual issues may well rise up Saturday night, too, when the festival offers what Harris dubs the "marriage show" — a husband-and-wife duo; another duo of performers who are married, but not to each other; and a third man-and-woman team that addresses relationship issues from the perspective of alternate universes.
"This is an all-African American group, which is not common in improv," Harris said. "Improv is definitely more of a lily-white art form. Their setup is to take a stereotypical African-American sitcom and improvise an episode, complete with commercials."
Rounding out the festival on Sunday is a lineup of acts that will be at least a little closer to general audience fare.
"I'm not saying it's family-friendly; that's probably going too far," Harris said. "But it will have a softer, gentler element."
Harris gets his own moment in the spotlight Sunday with fellow Baltimore improv-er Prescott Gaylord in a duo they call Evan the Loyal.
"Prescott was a gymnast and he usually climbs on me," Harris said. "I am spectacularly fat, so I make a good base for him to climb on. We usually bring people up on the stage and put them in scenes, too."
For a closer, there's Adrift, a Philadelphia troupe that uses as a setup a high school reunion at sea. After a shipwreck, the survivors are stuck in a life raft for days.
Saturday and Sunday will also see several workshops, covering various genres and techniques of improv (as well as the body painting).
"One of things that makes Baltimore special is that there's a lot of people who just want to try improv," Harris said. "In New York, you get people who envision becoming the next John Belushi, minus the drug habit. Here, we mostly get people who want to meet people, or blow off steam after work, or just have fun. They have day jobs, then they come on stage at night, and they're hilarious."
If you go
Baltimore Improv Festival shows are at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10-$15. Workshops are held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; registration is $30 each. Call 410-276-1651 or go to baltimoreImprovfestival.org or creativealliance.org.