1st Annual F. Harold Festival kicks off tonight

06/07/2011

Tonight marks the start of the first annual F. HAROLD FESTIVAL at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. Created and produced by RICK HORNER, the event features six days of local comedy, including improv, sketch and standup. The idea behind the event is to create a showcase exposition where audiences can delight in a cross section of talent, discovering new up-and-comers as well as reconnecting with old favorites.

Tickets are available by the night ($10), or for the entire week ($25).

TUESDAY, JUNE 7TH
6:00 John Kensil
6:30 The Hendersons
7:00 Rosen & Milkshake
7:30 Carolyn Busa
8:00 Grimmachio
8:30 Ryan Carey
9:00 Really Big Show
9:30 Aaron Hertzog

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8TH
6:00 Luke Giordano
6:30 Shannon’s (Not Really) Standing Up
7:00 Better Than Bacon
7:30 Atomic Love
8:00 Saving Lupin
8:30 Ebony & Ivory
9:00 Alex Grubard
9:30 Becca Trabin

THURSDAY, JUNE 9TH
6:00 Dum, Dum, Stupid & Dum
6:30 Rick Adams
7:00 Rintersplit
7:30 The Averagazzi Present: Zanni Which Way You Can
8:00 Camp Woods
8:30 Whipsuit
9:00 Dave Terruso
9:30 The Feeko Brothers
10:00 Hate Speech Committee

FRIDAY, JUNE 10TH
6:00 Miniboss
6:30 Pasionés de Pasionés
7:00 Iron Lung
7:30 Jessica Tandy
8:00 King Friday
8:30 Mayor Karen
9:00 CUBED
9:30 Asteroid!
10:00 Fletcher

SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH
6:00 The Dream Machine
6:30 Rookie Card
7:00 Horner & Davis
7:30 Adrift
8:00 The Amie & Kristen Show
8:30 MattAnd
9:00 Jess Carpenter
9:30 Brick
10:00 Medic!!

SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH
6:00 The N Crowd
6:30 Toy Soldiers
7:00 Vorlauf
7:30 Beirdo
8:00 Where’s Hillary?
8:30 Angry People Building Things
9:00 Hans Gruber

F. HAROLD COMEDY FESTIVAL
WALNUT ST THEATRE, STUDIO 5
825 WALNUT ST, PHILADELPHIA
JUNE 7-12

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Duofest begins today

09/30/2010

Tonight marks the start of the first ever DUOFEST, hosted by the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER and taking place at the Shubin.

This weekend explores the joys of duos… two person improv that until now has never appreciated this level of attention. Kudos to the producers for locking in on a unique theme and creating a playspace for this abundant but underdeveloped corner of the improv world.

Audiences have four days of twosome love to take in, and there’s a lot of talent that’s going to be represented on stage through the weekend. You’re likely familiar with a lot of the local ones… the longtime partnership of Whipsuit, the organically fresh Amie & Kristen Show, the one-man duo with an audience member M@&, the newly retitled Rosen & Milkshake and even an old school reunion of Holmes/Maughan. All of the acts promise to be excited and fun-filled, but because weekend passes are long since sold out and I love lists, I’m giving you my picks of new, exciting and different duos you may not know about but probably want to make a point of checking out this weekend.

THURSDAY PICKS

Toy Soldiers
Kelly Vrooman & Alan Williams

Kicking off the list and performing tonight are Toy Soldiers. These are two local improvisers very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve played with both of them regularly through the years, but more so because I’ve been in the audience watching them. They’re individually fun to watch, and I’m really excited for the debut of them together in a premise that plays exceptionally to their strengths.

Gay Boy / Straight Boy
Steve Kleinedler & Dana Bein

Closing out opening night is this duo from Boston. As the title might suggest, one is gay and one is straight, but most importantly, both are hilarious. I’ve been able to play with Steve on numerous occasions, and he’s always a delight. Although I haven’t climbed on stage with Dana, he’s a joy to watch and makes some surprising choices. I’ve been waiting to catch them together in this show, and tonight I finally get to.

FRIDAY PICKS

The Cascade
Rick Andrews & Jenny Dunne

Rick is a Duofest producer and brings with him a long history of improvised stage work, starting out at ImprovBoston and continuing up through his current work with Magnet, where he met Jenny. Although she’s newer to the craft, she’s had the opportunity to dive in and train with some of the best NY has to offer. Now watch as these two carefully explore the nuances of perspective and change, reliving a single moment over and over, discovering how subtle choices define consequence.

Grandma Hates Technology
Mike Weiss & Jessica Weiss

A father-daughter act that is as quick and clever as it is adorable. They brought the house down and wowed audiences at PHIF last year, and since that time have been on a streak, killing stages at festivals all across the country. Anyone that has any doubts about Jessica’s age surely hasn’t seen that girl take on solid adult personas and bust out shadow characters with the best of them. Truly a unique show not to be missed.

SATURDAY PICKS

Scout and Handsome Rob
Marcy Jarreau & Rob Penty

It’s no secret I’ve had an improv crush on Marcy for years, from her days conquering UCB’s Project Improviser, clear up to the present, as her all-female ensemble Bombardo continues to be a highlight of PHIF each year. In this show, she reunites with Megawatt Team X co-star Rob (sending out some Imposters love) for a duo that’s sure to be filled with strong characters and bold moves.

Snake Pitt
Jake Schneider & Jonathan Pitts

One’s part of Improvised Shakespeare and The Reckoning. The other created Storybox and runs CIF. These are two Chicago greats, just doing what they do best. Sit back and soak it in.

IMP
Asaf Ronen & Karen Eleanor Wight

Local audiences may be familiar with Asaf and his work he’s brought to Philadelphia in the past. A wonder on his own, when you put Karen in the mix for IMP, you get something that really jumps a few levels. Mostly devoid of spoken words, this commedia inspired clowning duo communicates more effectively with glances and gestures than many improvisers could hope to do with an arsenal of verbal language. Fluid character archetypes, combined with often poetic and always hypnotic visual storytelling creates something that isn’t improv… because it defies description.

Landry and Summers
Shaun Landry & Hans Summers

This duo are married to the stage and to one another. Both Second City Alums, both determined to show California how it’s done… first in San Francisco and now taking up residence in LA. 25 years improvising together is no small feat, and here’s a rare chance for folks on the east coast to see what that kind of shared skill, knowledge, intimacy and trust can create on stage.

SUNDAY PICKS

Hodapp and Rothwell
Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell

Two fantastic and funny people who NY is very fortunate to have. They won Magnet’s Improv Duo Tournament in 2009. They won my heart long before that.

Adventure Squad
Kaci Beeler & Valerie Ward

I’ll be honest that I’ve heard nothing about this show, nor am I familiar with the improvisers. But the show description alone has my interest genuinely piqued. Closing out Duofest, these ladies play awkward, quirky pre-teens living through a single day of school. Nostalgia and cringing humiliation are apparently on the lesson plan, and attendance is mandatory.

There are dozens of other acts running throughout the weekend, and you can get the details on all of them on the Duofest website.

FIRST ANNUAL DUOFEST
PHILLY IMPROV THEATER @ THE SHUBIN
407 BAINBRIDGE ST, PHILADELPHIA
SEPT 30TH – OCT 3RD


Duofest is born… and its twins!

06/10/2010

Last week, members of the Philadelphia and NYC improv scenes announced that this fall we’ll be treated to DUOFEST, a festival dedicated to celebrating comedic pairs. Produced in association with the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER, it’s the first festival of its kind, paying tribute to the unique dynamic created when just two people alone share the stage.

For anyone who attends festivals regularly, and even more so for any duos who submit to them, it’s a sad fact that far too many comedic pairs get passed over for larger ensembles. Many times they are already members of larger groups submitting, other times they may not have the notoriety… but regardless of the reason – only a few make it front and center at national festivals. The producers of Duofest look to flip that reality on it’s head… showing us that there’s never an odd man out when you’ve got two people.

PHIT has long shown its love for duos, having played host to such noted visitors as BASSPROV, CODE DUELLO, TYBRUS, TIN SANDWICH and most recently ADSIT & GAUSUS… as well as regularly showcasing local talent like WHIPSUIT, AMIE & KRISTEN SHOW and CUBED.

Now they’ll be taking that love and spreading it out over 4 days, featuring comedic pairs from the far reaches of duo-dom. Duofest will run Sept. 3o – Oct. 3, 2010 at the Shubin Theater here in Philadelphia. If you have a duo you’d like to get involved, submissions are open until July 22nd with a $32 submission fee. If you hurry up and apply before July 2nd, they’ll knock $10 off the fee.

DUOFEST
TWO IMPROVISERS, ONE STAGE
SEPT. 30 – OCT. 3RD, 2010
SHUBIN THEATER | 407 BAINBRIDGE ST
SUBMIT NOW


Philadelphia Improv Festival now accepting submissions

06/04/2009

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Submissions opened today for the 5th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival.

This year the festival will run October 1-3, and takes place at the Society Hill Playhouse.

The deadline to submit is July 7th and the cost is $25.
Submission forms and guidelines are available at phif.org


UCBT announces DCM dates; opens submissions

03/23/2009

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has announced that the 11th annual Del Close Marathon will run from August 14-16, with over 150 shows playing across three venues.

The event was created in celebration of the late Del Close, a pioneer in the art of improvisation and an inspiration to generations of students:

“Del Close was the driving force behind improvisational comedy in Chicago for over 30 years influencing Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley and the Upright Citizens Brigade to name a few. After Del’s passing in 1999, the UCB started the Del Close Marathon to celebrate their mentor and keep alive his name and teachings for future generations.”

DEL CLOSE

DEL CLOSE

DCM is currently accepting submissions for shows. In particular they’re interested in out-of-town groups submitting late-night shows. The submission deadline is May 4th.