If you're like me, you definitely won't consider movies like The Hunger Games or Divergent to be in your “Top 10” films of all time. In fact, Youth Dystopia may be very low on a long list of genres that you'd rush to the movies to see. But if you're like me, you will also have your whole world of what you thought you knew about action-packed, coming-of-age genre turn upside down when you see Ripley Improv. If you see a Ripley show, I guarantee the next Divergent-type movie you watch with your fourteen-year-old cousin, you will absorb it with a new perspective and more importantly, a new standard. And yes, this new standard is based on an improv show. Ripley Improv starts every performance immediately in genre, walking out on stage, engaging the audience as if they were townspeople right out of District 12, addressing them as an over-the-top regime lead by a silly dictator. The improvisers have an audience member ceremoniously pick from a hat, “The Sacrifice” -- or in Ripley Improv terms, the main character of that night's story. This sends the cast and its viewers on an epic adventure about the most important time in our lives we too often forget -- the time we get to discover who we are and who we are meant to be. The show begins with grounded scene work based entirely on relationship, often times exposing “heart” right off the bat by creating ever-reminiscent sibling relationships or schoolyard best-friend dynamics. But don't let this fool you -- the “silly” is sure to leak in in no time. One of the simple staples of Ripley Improv is the infamous names the improvisers dub their characters in this dystopian universe, calling the most beloved leads names like “Kitchen” or “Potato,” allowing for an easy relief valve if things look too dark to handle. And if silly wasn't enough, this show also leads us on epic roller coasters of action, perhaps through underground sewers to escape a regime obsessed with scrap metal, or in mile-high tree houses in a society that reveres nature as law. But regardless the silliness and epic chase scenes, in no means are these mature improvisers afraid to sit into serious moments and often times even improvise their dialogue with such poignant lines as “Sometimes, life doesn't work the way you think it will,” or “Trust your own story” -- lessons we all need to be reminded of even as adults. These stories never seem to lack a penchant -- not for the “dramatic” -- but for the meaningful. And when you feel your muscles tie that knot inside your throat, and when notice your brain screaming at your eyes not to let those tears fall because your date might see you, Ripley never fails to alleviate the pain with a reminder that we are all watching an improv show, and we all can laugh at the silly. “Isn't that right, Potato?” I've heard people call Ripley an “All Female Improv Troupe,” “a band of Kickass women,” “a group of girls who continue to prove improv is no longer a man's sport”; and even though Ripley should be proud to have that as part of their identity as performers, I, however, do not see them as such. Much like LA's Chickspeare (an all-female improvised Shakespeare troupe), the improvisers of Ripley embrace male and female roles with exquisite detail, never falling into base stereotypes. With every character they play, they play with such abandon and commitment that I cease to see “a girl” or a “female improviser.” The boy in the next district who grew up on the other side of the tracks is, well…. just that. The teenage heartthrob chosen to be the most fit young man at, I don't know, the “Judegment Ball,” is purely that young teenage heartthrob. The romances we see between the characters are not girls dressing up as boys in some reverse Shakespearean play. The improvisers of Ripley embody the genders so naturally and with such commitment to the character and relationship, that I truly believe this troupe is genderless. And once you see a few shows, you too, might cease to see Ripley as an “All female” improv troupe and start to see them as simply an exceptional “Improv troupe.” Ripley Improv's Youth Dystopia is a perfect genre for a long-form narrative improv show because Youth Dystopia is all about discovery. And what else is a great improv show but...discovery? But my computer is about to die, and I'm not a real critic yet, so I must end my review. Do yourself a favor and see this show.