¡ZARZAMORA! was formed in 2010 in Austin, Texas with three long time friends and collaborators with a desire to perform more cerebral comedy than they usually attempted. Since then we have expanded to five members and have performed in festivals across the country and overseas (Finland to be precise.) All the members share a passion for performing and as a group are adept at numerous aspects of improv, including one-person performance, dramatic improv, short form games, long form genre narrative and geurilla performances.
The absurd and unpredictable Canadian tag-team sketch/improv duo of Isaac Kessler and Ken Hall take you on a bizarre ride of undefinably funny comedy. Tired of talking heads? So are we. Using their charismatic charm, manic delivery, and balls to the walls physicality, 2-MAN NO-SHOW creates a whimsical and fantastical world of heart-felt characters connecting in genuine and hilariously unexpected ways. Nominated for a 2013 NOW Magazine Award & 2012 Canadian Comedy Award as Best Improv Troupe, 2-MAN NO-SHOW have been an Official Selection of Sketch Comedy festivals in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Charleston, Chicago, Austin, Boston and Toronto. On the improv front, they have performed at festivals in NYC (headlining with Jet Eveleth and Scott Adsit), Chicago (2010/'11/'12 - trifecta!), and Toronto. They completed their 2010 world tour with a full 25-show run at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival as part of the world’s largest fringe fest – The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. They have delivered undiluted hilarity on the North American Fringe circuit, performing to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim in New York (FRIGID Audience Choice Award), Montreal (standing ovation - 13th Hour Show), Winnipeg (4 Stars - CBC), and Toronto (5 Stars/Critic's & Patron's Pick). Critically acclaimed internationally and across North America, 2-MAN NO-SHOW will astound and amaze!
All best friends have great stories full of unbelievable achievements and triumphs. Of all their infamous tales of bravery and/or loss, Rico Bruce Wade and Joe Anderson will re-live whichever story the audience begs to know more about.
Calvinball is improv in which the rules & format are created as we play. Drawing from Harold, La Ronde, Freeze Tag, and a strong backbone of game creation, Calvinball creates something new and fun with each performance.
A local celebrity will tell stories and a group of internationally known improvisers will recreate the stories through improvisation.
Alan Longstreet (Fox 2 Meteorologist)
Born and raised in Coopersville, Michigan, Alan spent his winters sledding down the side of the county dump and summers perusing the wildly informative Farm Museum. His college studies have taken him from Grand Rapids Community College to Central Michigan University with a short and unproductive stint to Florida in between. Unfortunately he can't bring you the typical meteorologist meets tornado love story, but he has become fascinated with the unpredictability of Mother Nature.
While he's not working the green screen, you can find him working it in Studio C as my bosses parade him around in tight t's for a weekly fitness segment. He also has a dog who loves him very much and a wife that sometimes tolerates him. He has only recently worked up the courage to give improv a shot, so keep the heckling to a minimum. Or don't, but if you must, keep it clever!
Cal Cagno (89X Host)
Cal Cagno is the host of Cal & Co. heard weekday mornings 5:30- 9AM on 89X. Cal was born and raised in Royal Oak Michigan. He studied broadcasting at Central Michigan University and has been with 89X since 1999. Cal has been married for 12 years and has 2 children. He also owns a 1964 Pepsi glass bottle vending machine in his house. Before mornings he previously worked the 3-7pm shift for five years before taking over mornings in November of 2012!
Chicago Improv Productions Touring Company is a branch of CIP, the organization that produces 6 different improv programs throughout the year, including the Chicago Improv Festival and College Improv Tournament. The organization's mission is to honor and celebrate the improvised arts in it's various applications. The Tour Company is the next evolution to expand this mission. Spearheaded by CIP Executive Director, Jonathan Pitts, this multiethnic ensemble is comprise of men and women from 18 to 54 years of age; whose origins span the country from Florida to Hawaii. While also being the creator of the CIF and CIT, Pitts is part of the teaching staff at Second City and has performed in over 15,000 shows and 20 festivals through the world.
ComedySportz Detroit (Detroit)
ComedySportz® is improvisational comedy played as a sport in many cities nationwide, and in the UK, by members of the World Comedy League. Two teams battle for laughs and points as they make up scenes, games and songs on the spot. The audience votes for the winners, a referee calls the fouls and we even play the national anthem before each match.
Formed in January of 2013 as part of the Chicago Improv League (formerly the College Improv Tournament Alumni Association), d’Hôtél Winñetkå competed against 7 other teams and wound up victorious; winning the 2013 Championship in the league's inaugural season, and making an appearance again in the following season's Finals. The seven members of d’Hôtél Winñetkå have all taken part in the Chicago improv community, where they've trained and performed at such venues as iO, Second City, ComedySportz, and the Annoyance theater. They'll be continuing on, performing at comedy festivals around the country, and again in future seasons of the Chicago Improv League, where they'll be defending their title.
DAAANG Judi Dench
DAAANG Judi Dench is a Chicago based, long form, improv team. We truly believe that we have a unique comedic voice that brings joy to people wherever we perform. We have worked hard for all the success we have had. In the past year we've performed over 50 shows in many different notable Chicago comedy venues, we have a weekly show at The Playground Theatre, a monthly show at The Upstairs Gallery, we have performed in the famous Chicago Improv Festival two years in a row, and we are so excited to be performing in Chicago's Women's Funny Festival this June, Coachella Improv Festival in July, and The Jangleheart Improv festival in August. What brought us together was our love of the theatre and our communal recognition of it's comedic value and satirical potential. We typically begin our improv sets with individual mock audition monologues made up on the spot with the help of a suggestion then we break into a montage of scenes inspired by those monologues. We are breaking free from the Ophelias and Laura Wingfields as we expertly parody the typical female monologue which includes (but not limited to) vagina/flower imagery, our boy's comin' home from war, and "Gimme your cheapest ticket to anywhere" professions of undying love. Our improv is always relationship driven, very physical, pretty weird, and tends to push the dramatic boundaries. The most important thing to us is that the people who come to our shows have as much fun as we do!
Based out of Louisville, Kentucky, Damaged Goods has quickly become The River City's premiere and most sought after improv comedy troupe. In just three short years, they've taken their special and unique brand of high energy short form improv games and managed to become a recognizable name in Louisville's soaring and vibrant arts scene. In 2013, Damaged Goods set a new standard for improv in Louisville as they were honorably selected to be a part of the 16th and 17th annual Chicago Improv Festival, The Detroit Improv Festival, and The Compass Improv Festival. Damaged Goods has performed in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Bowling Green, French Lick, and currently performs regularly at The Bard's Town Theater in Louisville.
Darcy & Bingley
Darcy & Bingley revel in grounded absurdity, like a robot struggling with a long distance relationship. Chris and Rob appear unstuck from time, speaking in an elevated dialogue that harkens an audience to a world all its own. They provide high octane gentlemanship with equal measures of emotion and frivolity and an infectious thirst for both tea and adventure. Each performance is akin to a rollercoaster, and like the good houseguests they are, will leave you regaled with stories from the colonies and sorry that they must bid you adieu.
The Detroit Creativity Project is an in school improv theatre program offered by a group of Detroit creatives and Y Arts Detroit. We believe in the power of improvisation and in the future of Detroit's youth. We offer these classes free of charge to area schools to help students build confidence as well as communication and collaborative skills.
Detroit Neutrino Project
Through the use of multiple cameras crews and split second timing, The Neutrino Project: The Instant Movie creates an hour-long theatrical movie experience in the time it takes the audience to watch it.
Well-versed in iO's signature "Harold" form, Dogs brings a unique take on the classic piece. Ten some odd Dogs with ten disparate skill sets bringing ten some odd takes on the same suggestion. Each show is full of wit, physical engagement, crisp edits, outrageous games, and, above all else, energy to keep it all together. Dogs (the team) has a lot in common with dogs (the animal). We're playful, energetic, and love people food. We jump on each other's ideas the way a puppy jumps on your lap. While we usually make our home at the historic iO Theater in Chicago, these dogs (much like Chance and Shadow from Homeward Bound: The incredible Journey) will travel long distances to show off all the tricks they know. Dogs know improv. Dogs do improv.
RACHEL DRATCH: Cast member of Saturday Night Live for 7 years. Second City Mainstage in Chicago for 4 revues: Pinata Full of Bees, Citizen Gates, Paradigm Lost, and Promisekeepers, Losers Weepers. Other live comedy includes Improvolympic in Chicago, Dratch and Fey at Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade theater and Aspen Comedy Festival, Assscat 3000 at UCB theater, and Celebrity Autobiography at the Triad in NY. TV: King of Queens, Monk, Frasier, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, The Middle and a dancey-dance on Yo Gabba Gabba. Film: Down with Love, Click, My Life in Ruins, Spring Breakdown, and Just Go with It. Author of Girl Walks into a Bar.
KEVIN DORFF: Kevin Dorff is known for his work as a writer and sketch performer on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Dorff co-starred as "Mike the Federal Agent" on the first season of the Adult Swim series Delocated with his former Late Night colleague Jon Glaser. His character was written off the show at the start of season two, as Dorff was in Los Angeles writing for The Tonight Show at the time, while Delocated is filmed in New York City. Dorff returned to work on Delocated as a writer in season three. Dorff has made guest appearances on television programs such as TV Funhouse, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, Important Things with Demetri Martin, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.<br />
TIM ROBINSON: Tim Robinson was a featured player on Saturday Night Live and currently a writer who joined the cast in September 2012. Robinson hails from Metro Detroit, Michigan and began studying improvisation at The Second City Detroit during his senior year of high school. Upon moving to Chicago he continued performing at The Second City, both on the Mainstage and in the National Touring Company. Robinson is a proud member of the improv powerhouse Cook County Social Club and the sketch group My Mans at Chicago’s iO Theater. In 2011, Robinson and his frequent collaborators Mark Raterman and Andy Miara developed and produced My Mans as a pilot for Comedy Central. That same year Robinson was part of the New Faces Characters show at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. He currently lives in New York City.
MIKE O'BRIEN: Mike O'Brien joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" as a featured player for 2013/14 season, which is the show’s 39th. O'Brien came on the scene via the Chicago improv theaters. In 2009, following in the footsteps of many comedic greats before him, he moved to New York as a writer for SNL. O'Brien hosts the popular web series "7 Minutes in Heaven," in which he interviews celebrities in a closet. He also stars in the sketch comedy group The Reckoning and has appeared on IFC's "Portlandia." His one-man show has been featured at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and Chicago. He will be making his feature film debut in Broadway Video's upcoming "Staten Island Summer."
Dubalicious combines the thrill of long form improv with hilarity of partner dubbing. This two lady troupe, founded by Lauren Bickers and Cara Trautman in 2006, has performed at several venues including The Planet Ant Theater, Improv Inferno and probably Go Comedy! Improv. Lauren Bickers and Cara Trautman met during their first improv class in 2001 and since have been active improvisors known for being somewhat weird, but also very cool. Their unique style of improv reflects their odd outlook on life. Audiences agree that Dubalicious is a fan favorite, sure to please any comedy crowd.
Colleen and Jason have been performing and teaching improv at the iO Theater for quite some time. Their improv show is about people and why they stick together. You should see it, you robot. Starring: Colleen Doyle, Jason Shotts "Do real-life couples have an advantage when it comes to improv?...the answer appears to be yes. If you like unfussy character-based work it was worth the wait to see Doyle and Shotts. Throughout, the simple chemistry and truthfulness of Doyle and Shotts carried the evening." - Chicago Tribune "(Recommended) Doyle and Shotts invest their interactions with the excitement of discovery…it’s not hard to feel the love." - Chicago Reader "For years T.J. Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi have reigned as Chicago's must-see two-person improv team. After catching a recent set from Colleen Doyle and Jason Shotts at iO Theater, I think it's safe to say there's room on that improv pedestal for yet another pair of performers. " - Chicago Tribune
Empty, Full of Donuts formed in 2012 during level 2 classes of The Improv Shop in St.Louis, MO. They graduated in August of 2013 - developing a form they called Soap Opera, which relied on big characters, high stakes and recognizable Soap Opera tropes referenced in scenes. From October of 2013 they became a house team regularly performing the Harold on Thursday nights at The Improv Shop.
Proudly hailing from Toronto Canada, FAKE COPS is a fast paced long-form team that explores perspectives on the mundane, the absurd, and everything in between. We hit hard, and transition quickly between worlds and themes. Fake Cops have developed an audience following through our use of unexpected and creative call-backs which not only surprise audience members, but tend to surprise and delight us as we perform. After meeting while completing the Conservatory Program at The Second City in Toronto, our 6 member team (made up of two ladies and four gents) assembled to push content and create a new forms of improvisation. Our monthly show, "Fake Cops Presents: THE DISASTER" has a loyal audience that come to watch raw, honest, and often dumb-but-fun shows. As one of Toronto's up-and-coming troupes, we are continually being asked to join show rosters for top-notch Toronto teams including The White Rhino All-Stars (which includes faculty members from Toronto's Second City Training Centre). Fake Cops were pleased to perform to a sold-out audience at the 2014 Chicago Improv Festival. We also had the pleasure to perform at home in Toronto's 2013 Big City Improv Festival along side Toronto's top comedians.
Forest Preserve is an improv ensemble compiled of semi-veteran players who met while taking classes at iO, Chicago.
After initially being drawn to each other solely for enjoying each others company, our supportive friendship has blossomed into a mystical exploration in the craft of improv.
Forever Fifteen is an improv duo featuring Joe Hingelberg & Travis Pelto of Ferndale, MI. The two have been improvising together since the age of 15, and were lucky enough to have a high school improv club where they met. Both have been improvising, writing, and performing together and separately since then. Their improv sets are a reflection of this history: fast paced scenes, big, dynamic characters and high energy sets are the norm between the two. Forever Fifteen can be seen performing at Go Comedy! Improv Theater regularly every other Sunday night, and the duo has written shows together like Joe vs. The Travis, White Elephant, and the award winning Wirelessless.
Fred Willard & the Mohos
FRED WILLARD: Five time Emmy nominee Fred Willard, radiates a unique charm that has established him as one of our generation’s most gifted comic actors. A master of sketch comedy, Fred is most heralded for his quick wit and improvisational expertise which he has exemplified in over 100 appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For his performance in Best in Show, he won the Boston Film Critics Award, the American Comedy Award, The Sierra Award and a tribute from AFI. Waiting For Guffman earned him an American Comedy Award nod for Funniest Supporting Actor. Some of his other film work includes; This Is Spinal Tap, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, the Academy Award nominated Monster House, and the Academy Award winning short film, Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall. Fred starred as the only human in the Academy Award winning film, WALL-E and was honored by AFI for contributing to America’s Cultural legacy. The New York Times named WALL-E the best film of the decade. Fred has appeared in over a thousand TV episodes. From Get Smart to his recent appearances on Modern Family. He co-starred with Martin Mull in the cult classic, Fernwood 2 Night. Fred garnered three Emmy nominations for his performance as Amy’s Dad on Everybody Loves Raymond. For What’s Hot, What’s Not he received a daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host. He received his fourth prime time Emmy nomination for his performance as Phil’s dad on ABC’s Emmy winner, Modern Family. Fred can currently be seen in Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues and heard as the voice The Secretary of The Interior in Disney’s PLANES! Fire and Rescue.
MARY WILLARD: Mary is an award winning playwright best known for Elvis and Juliet and the musical Moon Shine! with music and lyrics by Marty Stuart. She has been a Televison writer and television host. Mary is the producer/director of the MoHo Group, a sketch writing and performing group, in 1995. They meet weekly and regularly perform at the Second City Hollywood.
RICHARD HORVITZ: Fans of animation will recognize Richard Horvitz as the voice of many iconic characters, including INVADER ZIM, Billy from THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY, Daggett from THE ANGRY BEAVERS and Alpha 5 from the original MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS. In addition to Richard’s animation work, gamers will recognize him from his many video game roles in such classics as PSYCHONAUTS (RAZ), RATCHET AND CLANK series (Zoni, Pollyx ,Zurgo) DESTROY ALL HUMANS (Orthopox) and SKYLANDERS(Kaos) to name a few. Richard continues to work on screen as well. Most recently he was seen in THE INFORMANT with Matt Damon and CRAZY, STUPID LOVE along side Steve Carell. Many will remember Richard as the nerdy Alan Eakian in Paramount Pictures 1980’s cult classic SUMMER SCHOOL, directed by Carl Reiner. Richard is a proud member of Fred Willard’s sketch comedy group the MOHO’s . Richard has made several appearances with Fred on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Richard has also appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and on SNL. www.richardhorvitz.com
Improvised puppet show for adults presented by some of the festival performers.
Trained and founded through the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, Gayle is a six member indie improv team. Gayle has been together for over a year now, performing regularly around the city as well as traveling to colleges in the area. For the improv nerd is us all, Gayle does organics, using the suggestion as a jumping off point to explore different themes through different forms, all of which arise organically through the scene work happening right before your eyes, nerd. Each show is completely different, completely improvised, and super fun. But more than anything else, Gayle loves you.
Glassworks Improv is an improv team. Glassworks Improv consists of Alex Raney, Elliot Heinz, and Mack Hastings. Glassworks Improv started in 2013... ...There's a reason bands are drawn to playing with Glassworks. Like the best bands and improv groups, they bring both a frantic energy and a focused poise to every performance. Like Philip Glass (their namesake), they can find energy and new life in repetition, in variation. They walk these lines without fear, as friends. The fun that they have on stage is palpable. Yes, every performance is different, but they are linked by a common bond, one forged through years of playing together, whether as friends or as serious improvisors. It is beautiful and youthful and fragile and perfect. There is an authenticity to each member that comes across with each performance. They started as friends, and have carried this into adulthood. Now they are touring and building a name for themselves. There is a hunger there, not a hunger for fame or money, but a deeper, truer hunger - the hunger of young artists. They want to be the best at their craft that they can be, they want to wring from themselves any bit of talent and leave it onstage, forever in search of the perfect show. Even just the search for a perfect moment. It is powerful to behold. Also it is funny. Everything I write after that seems redundant and less meaningful, so I'll try to keep it brief. Go see this group. Now. If improv is about truth, then these young men are prophets and truth tellers. You don't walk the other way when a prophet comes to town, you run to them, or get hit by giant fireballs.
Go Labs: Beta Testing (Ferndale)
New short-form games and long-form shows inspired by suggestions from fans in the audience and fans on the internet will be revealed for the first time.
God Takes a Holiday
God Takes a Holiday is a new MN based improv group that does “if these walls could talk…” scenarios. We met through Drop In Classes and Space Jams at Huge Theater. We were drawn to each other and the rest is history. As noted above, we like to explore what can happen in a given location. We might find ourselves in an underground poker tournament in the public library, or we might end up running next to Lady Gaga at a gym, or find a malt shop run by human sized monkeys... You just never know what surprises you may find.
Governor Jack is one of the longest running and most celebrated improv and sketch comedy groups in Denver, Colorado (Named Best Improv Troupe 2014 by Westword Magazine). They are best known for their highly praised monthly show Governor Jack Watches You Sleep, which has hosted guests like Alex Berg (UCB LA), Nnamdi Ngwe (iO Chicago, Second CIty) & Rachael Mason (UCB NY). The group was twice selected to perform at the Del Close Marathon (NYC) and were profiled in the Upright Citizens Brigade’s feature length documentary. They have been closing night performers at the Denver Improv Festival multiple times and have performed in venues from LA to NYC. On the web, you can see the team in their popular web series How To Make a Web Series (A web series about making a web series) and many sketch videos.
Hawk & Wayne
HAWK & WAYNE combine a unique mixture of the Chicago and West Coast long-form improvisation styles through Hawk’s training at Second City Chicago and the Annoyance Theatre and Wayne’s training at Los Angeles’ Groundlings. They are currently in their fifth year in residence at one of Florida’s largest Equity theatre companies, American Stage in St. Petersburg, where they have done year long runs of their critically acclaimed shows: The Dumb Show, 321, The Memory, News of the Weird: Live!, and It's a Living. They have performed their unique surrealistic spin on two man long form to critical acclaim at numerous festivals, comedy clubs and theaters throughout the country. They both founded and are directors/educators of American Stage Theatre Company's Intensive Improvisation Program. Gavin is a Theatre Arts Professor at Eckerd College and is the Artistic Director of A Simple Theatre. Ricky is an accomplished television and film actor. They are both members of Actors' Equity Association.
Honey was an official selection of the 2014 Chicago Improv Festival, Inaugural 2013 District Improv Festival, 2013 Detroit Improv Festival, 2013 Baltimore Improv Festival, 2013 and 2014 Phoenix Improv Festival, 2012 Detroit Improv Festival and the 2012 Fall Back Festival in Rochester, NY. Nick Armstrong of IO West described Honey as the "perfect example of group mind on stage". We were pretty honored by that one. Thanks Nick. An audience member once said that our show makes the most sense. Thanks to them too.
Hugs and Pullups
Hugs and Pullups is a Chicago-based comedy troupe that has been performing together since March 2009. Utilizing the talents of iO graduates; Hugs and Pullups members have also studied at other Chicago theatres, including The Second City Conservatory and The Annoyance Theatre. Hugs and Pullups is coached by accomplished Chicago director, performer, and improviser, Piero Procaccini. Hugs and Pullups has hosted several successful headlining runs at The Second Stage, Donny’s Skybox, The Upstairs Gallery, and Studio BE. In addition, Hugs and Pullups has performed at The de Maat Studio, The Playground Theater, Gorilla Tango Theatre, The Cornservatory, and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy. They performed at The Chicago Live Festival (2010), Chemically Imbalanced Comedy’s Snubfest (2011), The Detroit Improv Festival (2011, 2012, 2013), The Milwaukee Comedy Festival (2013), and The Chicago Improv Festival (2013). Hugs and Pullups is Meg Kennedy, John Stiens, and Brian Vabulas, and occasional sit-in Dan Hodos.
Human Amusements' unique blend of character-driven long form, instructional-video riffing, and parade of weird wigs has been entertaining Metro Detroit audiences weekly for the last year, winning Go Comedy's "Best Late Night" award for 2013. This past spring they also had a successful run of their critically acclaimed sketch show "Better Living Through Human Amusements". You might meet a friendly policeman, cable access psychics, "health" "professionals," or anything else they come up with. Expect to come away from each show a little wiser, and pleasantly confused
Hypeman charmed crowds for months, as Erik came out as Craig, an obnoxious dude who sees improv as a way to touch women and get attention. The women onstage have none of it, and make it their mission to frustrate Craig's efforts. As the months waned, we introduced Steve- Craig's preteen brother. Steve is equally obnoxious, and eager to please his brother. Both take turns pumping up the crowd, and setting up the scenework for the ladies. Often the ladies try to rescue Steve from the influence of Craig. It's a fun, fast-paced show, and brings something unique to the art of improvisation.
Kris & Hayley
Kris & Hayley have been performing together for close to five years. Together they have traveled the GTA, North America, Bermuda and crossed the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. You can expect a variety of different scenes from this dynamic duo as they love to keep the audience - and each other - on their toes by pushing the limits physically, emotionally and narratively. Kris and Hayley are alumni of the prestigious Second City Conservatory program, The Naked Fridays Players and have performed side by side in the Second City Puppet Company with Stop Punching Judy and multiple Second City Theatrics shows including the critically acclaimed Miracle on Mercer Street, The Bench, Princess Polly & The World's Smallest Ninja and touring on the Norwegian Dawn.
Lorax is a Vancouver, BC based comedy trio specializing in high energy, physical, organic improvisation. These 'crown princes of fabulous fun' have won the hearts and minds of many audiences in the five years they've been playing together. Lorax has been showcased at the Vancouver International Improv Festival and Edmonton's Improvaganza. As well their bombastic, physical show has toured Fringe Festivals across Canada, and been featured at the Vancouver
TheatreSports League, Comedy Waste Fest, Instant Theatre, Pump Trolley
Comedy, Rapid Fire Theatre and Victoria’s Impromaniacs.
LowRes.jpg performs a LaRonde, a series of two person scenes. LowRes.jpg is made up of Detroit area improvisers.
Magnet Theater Touring Company is home to some of the top improvisation talent in the country. The Magnet TourCo brings this veteran talent together for an unbelievable showcase of long-form improvisation. Performing classic and new structures with patience and craft, the Magnet TourCo consistently blow minds and wow audiences all across the world.
Two-woman troupe Man Hands formed in 2008 while taking classes at Second City Novi, when Jen Hansen and Carrie Parmenter realized they shared a brain. Using long form scene montage, they create characters that are odd, yet oddly relatable. In 2011, Carrie and Jen performed at the Planet Ant Colony Fest, Spontaneous Combustion Detroit, and the Toronto Improv Festival. They were finalists in the 2011 Bailout Improv Tournament Spectacular (BITS) at Go Comedy! Improv Theater. Carrie and Jen also wrote and performed in Midlife Christmas, Go Comedy's 2011 holiday-themed sketch show. When not performing, they enjoy playing with their husbands and having meaningful conversations with their dogs.
2013 Canadian Comedy Award Winner: Best Improv Troupe. Before there was time, there was MANTOWN. An eternal collection of man-oriented, Platonic forms that first took corporeal form (on stage) in 2006, obliterating the theatre and all the God-fearing audience who made the mistake of attending that night. This self-proclaimed testosterone-fuelled improv juggernaut has toured festivals across North America and improvised with a wide variety of guests at home including: Colin and Greg from Whose line is it Anyway? Scott and Kevin from Kids in the Hall, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Tim Meadows, Jerry Minor, Steve Little, and Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo. It was also just announced that these five Second City Alums have been invited as the only improv troupe to perform at this year’s Just for Laughs 42.
Matt Naas & The Sing-a-long Singers is a one man band and so much more. Join Matt as he creates new songs and sings some familiar favorites in ways that need to be seen to be believed.
Messing with a Friend (Norm Holly)
A New Jersey native and graduate of the Theatre School at Northwestern University, Susan is an alumna of the iO, Second City Mainstage, and a founding member of Chicago's infamous Annoyance Theatre. Susan continues to teach and perform improvisational comedy at iO, The Annoyance Theatre, Second City. She is an adjunct instructor for DePaul University. Her standup act with her puppet, Jolly, was featured at the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Late Fridays on NBC. Susan has been an improviser and comedian for over twenty four years. The Chicago Reader has named her "Best Improviser" and Chicago Magazine called her the "Funniest Woman In Chicago".
Missed Connections is the 2013 Launch Group at Go Comedy Improv Theater. Our set begins with a free-form opener initiated by a single word suggestion. This is followed by scenes, some that are called backed, either characters, relationships, or environments, throughout the set. Patient scene play is mixed with high energy physicality, tags, and editing.
MUZ's All Stars (Various)
Christy L. Bonstell is a writer, performer and teacher at Second City Business Communications. When she's not performing with Expert Improv or the Deltones at iO, she's laying down radio voiceovers for McDonald's and Johnson&Johnson. You may have seen Christy earlier this year on the now-cancelled NBC "Mind Games" or on your TV trying to sell you KFC or Filtrete Air Filters. Christy started out her improv training at Second City Detroit and the Improv Inferno in Ann Arbor. She's excited to be back.
Joe Bill is one of the co-founders of Annoyance Theater, where he performed in and directed over 50 productions from 1987-2000. Bill has coached and performed with numerous ensembles at iO from 1985-1987 and 1995-present. Highlights include Georgia Pacific and the innovative lights out long-form, “The Bat”. He currently performs with the improv supergroup Weasilicious and co-stars with fellow Annoyance co-founder Mark Sutton, in the nationally touring production “Bassprov”, which headlined the 2003 Chicago Improv Festival with special guest Fred Willard. “Bassprov” has toured the United States since 2002, and also was named one of the top 10 comedy shows in Toronto in that same year. Bill teaches improvisation for iO, the Second City Conservatory and Training Center, the Annoyance, the Playground and around the U.S., Canada, UK and Netherlands. He started doing improv in 1977.
Three Members of MANTOWN, 2013 Canadian Comedy Award Winner for Best Improv Troupe. This self-proclaimed testosterone-fuelled improv juggernaut has toured festivals across North America and improvised with a wide variety of guests at home including: Colin and Greg from Whose line is it Anyway? Scott and Kevin from Kids in the Hall, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Tim Meadows, Jerry Minor, Steve Little, and Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo.
"No Waiting" is a fast paced, news based debate on current events that inspires rapid fire long form improv comedy! Hosted by Marc Warzecha and featuring Jaime Moyer (NBC's Parks and Rec), (and additional cast TBA), and featuring special DIF guest.
One Night Stand
Watch this diverse and unique group of ladies take a special guest on an improvised One Night Stand revealing personal information about themselves and their guest in front of a live audience. Starting with a fast-paced opening number taking the special guest on nine first dates - leading into one helluva montage showing the audience that everyone is a little bit weird - especially for one night. Collectively these women have copious amounts of training from schools across North America including, but not limited to, Second City, Bad Dog Theatre, iO Chicago and Annoyance Theatre. They were also part of the first ever SheDot Comedy Festival in Toronto. This high-energy group of beauties will knock your socks off with their comedy stylings - but it doesn't have to be just one night. Come watch them at every performance and build a long term relationship off your first One Night Stand.
One Quarter Bruce
One Quarter Bruce is a Hamtramck based improv troupe. They have been melting faces off with their late night shows at Planet Ant Theatre, "Face Melting Late Nights w One Quarter Bruce" that pairs improv and live music.
OTRimprov (OTRi) began in 2010 as a collection of wayward improvisers looking for like-minded performers and a place to play in Cincinnati. After headlining numerous shows for the Little Big Night comedy performances at Know Theatre of Cincinnati (as â€œOff the Rocks Improv,â€) they formed their own partnership with Know Theatre's Jackson Street Market, a resource sharing program for fledgling companies, and began producing shows independently. This continued partnership allows them to call Know's Underground space on Jackson St. in Over-the-Rhine home for a majority of OTRi performances. The group continues to explore a variety of improvisational styles and formats with the goal of providing Cincinnati with a strong improv community that is smart, engaging and sometimes a little bit daring, as well as foster new talent through training and a welcome atmosphere where all performers feel inspired to explore and take risks.Members of OTRi have studied and performed with a variety of improv theatres and groups around the US, including Second City, iO, iO West, ACME Comedy theatre, Mission IMPROVable, SmartyPants, Wit's End, and Incredulity.
Planet Ant Home Team
The Planet Ant Improv Colony Home Team is our resident group of improvisers that performs every week as part of our Monday night show. Comprised of some of Metro-Detroit's best comedic performers, the Home Team is a tradition almost as old as the theater itself. It's roots began over a decade ago with a half a dozen original players, but over the years the troupe has grown to include over thirty members.
Presto Change-O is a troupe dedicated to the 'magic' of improv. Members Chris DiAngelo, Erik Heilner, Tim Kay, Matt Naas, and James Quesada started the troupe with the common interest of doing long form improv that fostered the ability to follow every instinct and challenge one another to think and act fast. Their shows are marked by quick start scenes and big characters that blend into each other like wildfire. Initiated in spring of 2013, Presto Change-O is currently a featured House Team at Go Comedy! Improv Theater in Ferndale Michigan.
Alex Marr has been performing improv for over four years both at Go Comedy! in Detroit, Michigan and most recently at The Torch Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Rick is a graduate of The Torch Theatre's longform program and has been performing improv for two and half years. Rick and Alex met during an improv audition in Phoenix. Although cast in two different teams, Rick and Alex were drawn together from their audition experience. After an initial show at The Torch Theatre's Ghostfest, they went on to win a six-show Cagematch run. They're currently being lion-tamed by the ever-talented Jacque Arend.
Each year the Ferndale Public Library selects a book and gives it away to participants in the community. The library and partnered organizations host programs in the community to encourage reading and discussion. The 2014 selection is Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg. The book explores the true history of a family secret as it was discovered and investigated by the author. James Quesada, the show's director, took inspiration from Annie's Ghost to create the siblings secret revelations form.
Shambles is a long form group that experiments with form, music, and movement to create a show that tests the boundaries of improvisation. Founding member Amber Dernbach has taught and performed improv for over ten years; both Ian Jacoby and Josh Ingersoll are are accomplished musicians and improvisers in their own right, having performed across the country on multiple tours. Ensemble member Mack Hastings is fresh off several tours with his group Glassworks Improv, also based in Eau Claire. Our Eau Claire music scene roots bleed into our style and our sensibilities; DIY.
Smith & I
Smith&I is a long form improvisation group, emulating the comedy duos of old. Stacey and Pat have performed together on multiple teams over the past few years and have been performing as a duo for almost two years. Together and with their various other groups, they have performed regularly and locally at theaters such as The Second City, iO, the Annoyance, ComedySportz, Stage 773, the Playground, and Upstairs Gallery. Both have performed in festivals around the country and beyond: Big City Improv Festival (Toronto, Canada), NCCAF, Gainesville Improv Festival, Sarasota Improv Festival, Out of The Loop Fringe Festival, The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, The Chicago Women's Funny Festival, Ladies Are Funny Festival, The Chicago Improv Festival, The Big Little Comedy Festival (Grand Rapids, MI), Detroit Improv Festival and the Fall Back Comedy Fest (Rochester, NY). They recently were on contract with Second City on board the Norwegian Breakaway together.
The boys of Switch enjoy hanging out, talking about "guy stuff" and slapping each other around. These real-life tendencies have directly impacted their improvised form; a modified living room that opens with honest discussion stemming from audience suggestion. From there, nothing is off limits. The boys play fast and physical; climbing on each other, using each other as objects, and giant fight scenes are common in shows. Nothing is ignored as they constantly push the scenes and each other throughout the show. There is no time for rest when "Switch"Â performs because their edits are soft and transformational, using the physical position, line, or idea in the current scene to jump-start the next. It is with trust and love that "Switch"Â plays and by them end of the show, the boys will be exhausted and covered in sweat and the audience will have experienced a full, physical and outlandish piece of improvisational art. "Switch" has been together almost 3 years and has performed over 200 shows together. They spent a year in the Chicago "Barprov" scene before being spotted by Charna Halpern, founder of the iO, and given an unprecedented two-night run at the world famous iO Theater. "Switch Committee" has performed, headlined and taught at festivals all over the country like Denver, Phoenix, Cleveland, Detroit, Eau Claire and more.
Tegan & Sarah
These Canadians have character-heavy improv that reminded me of a middle-school slumber party, all infectious, sugar-jacked giggle fits and goofy non sequiturs. It was incredibly silly, in the best way." - The Portland Mercury
In the time of chimpanzees there was a monkey. Its name was Tegan and Sarah. Tegan and Sarah are an improv duo based out of Vancouver, B.C (Canada), comprised of members Tegan Verheul and Sarah Szloboda. Staples of the Vancouver comedy scene, they have brought their distinctive style to stages across North America. Their care-free approach balances technical prowess and extreme physicality, with undeniable joy. Last seen in Detroit opening for TJ & Dave, recent festival stops included Duke City Improv Festival in Albuquerque, All Jane and No Dick Festival (Portland), Big City Improv Festival (Toronto), and DuoFest (Philadelphia).
The Brothers Jacokes
Growing up we had a fondness for adventure movies: The Goonies, Star Wars The Explorers, Indiana Jones, Gremlins (which, if you look at it through the eyes of Gizmo, is quite a ride!) and others. That love for campy, adventurous fun can be found in our improvised stage show, too. For a decade, exactly once a year, The Brothers Jacokes were on the hunt for the elusive free cookie. Then, about 8 months ago, they found it. Which was unexpected, but it happened and we moved on. We had no choice but to take our sets on other adventures and now we search for what- or whomever the audience demands in a wildly energetic, self-referential parade of characters, locations and more. We don't have a name for our form. I imagine it's called something like "Doorways" on the West Coast and 'Spectrum' on the East Coast, but it's just kind of where we landed. Nothing flashy, just good fun.
The Fun Fun Boys (aka Squash Blossom)
The Fun Fun Boys is a Chicago improv cohort featuring Andy Hart, Arthur Stone, Chris Littrell, Mara Miller, and Schuyler Weinberg. They're great friends!
The Laser Comedy Show
The concept of Laser Comedy was originally explored in the spring of 2011 when Chris Fair was working for his brother's laser reactive, clothing company, HyphyColor.com.Chris had the idea for a show that used more than just words and body language to tell a story. He booked his first show at his friend's "Artsy" showcase for out of the ordinary performances and quickly built the set, formed a group and found a coach, Amanda Rountree, who helped shape the show of how it is today. Chris has been artistically director while solo performing The Laser Comedy Show since late 2011 when his group had scheduling conflicts. Since then, the show's set up has been upgraded and so has its style to adhere to Chris's love of design and photography. Watching The Laser Comedy Show is just like listening to an audio book while watching a comic book being drawn one frame at a time. As the drawings fade, new ones appear and comedy is all in the details.
The Leviathan is a troupe comprised of four metro Detroit souls who were all former lovers in past lives. We love to play odd-scenes as grounded as we can and we use a Location-based format, in that everything tends to take place in the same general area.
The Meeks Shall Inherit the Stern
The Meeks Shall Inherit the Stern explore new worlds through characters who inspire and play with the utmost of depth and absurdity.
The OffBeats began in 2012 as a short-form improv trio in the Go Comedy! All-Star Showdown. Troupe members Joe Hingelberg, Travis Pelto, and James Quesada quickly expanded their idea of mixing poetry and improv into long-form as well as sketch. In 2013 their one-act written show was selected by The Rogue Critic as the year's best original production. Currently, their long-form show is featured on Sundays at Go Comedy! as part of The Sunday Buffet and they still perform as a short-form team in The All-Star Showdown. No matter which rendition of The OffBeats you may see, their shows are certain to contain poetry and scene work that is often deeply existential and at other times just bonkers.
Underage Sugar Addicts
Underage Sugar Addicts (USA) is an award winning improv ensemble not associated with any school or theatre company. Members are all Chicago area high school students. USA does a 4 week Summer run at a Chicago Theatre each year and tours to various festivals. USA has performed at the Chicago Improv Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, Atlanta Black Box Festival, Milwaukee Improv Festival, Richmond Improv Festival, Toronto International Improv Festival and the St. Louis Fringe Festival where they won the Producers Choice Award. Chicago area theaters have also had USA perform to sellout crowds including Comedysportz Chicago, Gorilla Tango Theatre, The Playground Theatre, Apollo Theater and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theatre.
LAURA EICHHORN: Laura Eichhorn grew up in Portland, Oregon, where she started acting as a wee sprite. She moved to New York at the age of eighteen and got her BFA in acting from Marymount Manhattan College. In New York, Laura worked as a model, making the cover of two magazines... and over twenty covers of cheesy romance novels. She continued working as a model when she moved to Los Angeles, until she discovered that doing comedy was much more interesting and fun. (Even more fun than posing with a hunky guy while wearing an old timey wedding dress.) Laura is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and Long Form Program and spends most of her time writing and performing. PEPPER BERRY Pepper Berry has officially lived half his life in Texas and half in Los Angeles. After a brief stint at stand up he moved here to L.A. to be a screenwriter. He then fell into music where he has spent the last 15 years playing in bands around the Los Angeles punk scene, touring the United States and recording albums with either his old band Buck or his current band Bobot Adrenaline. Being a fan of SCTV he began studying at The Second City Hollywood (and later UCB and iO West) where he quickly fell in love with improv. Now, a graduate of The Second City's Conservatory and Long form programs, and a cast member of The Second City Hollywood's long running Really Awesome Improv Show as well as The Second City House Ensemble, he also performs around Los Angeles and the country with Virginia Slims and other improv troupes.
Wheel of Improv
Natasha Boomer two time Canadian Comedy Award winner has been doing comedy in Toronto for nearly 17 years, ranging from stand up, sketch, musical improv and just plain old boring regular improv. She now focuses her efforts of writing plays, her most recent play Supperfesta was just shot for TV with Bell Media. She taught improv and comedy writing for nearly 13 years with Second City and was the founding producer of The John Candy Box Theatre where Wheel of Improv made its debut in 2009.