Sat: Troika Goes Nationwide


For the last three years, TROIKA has been matching up local improvisers into trios. I created the show as a way for people to experiment with new forms and collaborate outside of their normal circles without having to invest in an entirely new project. It’s also proved to be a great way to expose fan bases to different performers.

Troika’s spawned some pretty unique and fun premise-based and concept shows… we’ve seen musicals, rock band reunions, teen sleepovers and spanish language soap operas, as well as a colorful cast of characters including clowns, librarians, puppets and even states witnesses. We’ve seen groups from Troika live on to perform well beyond their season. Early teams PONYCOAT and BRENDA were the first break outs, followed by several concerts from VELVET HELMET, leading clear up to the current CAGEMATCH champs, THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT.

Last month, Troika expanded beyond its normal season by shedding its competition brackets for a special “blind” edition. Tomorrow night,  the show looks to raise the bar, as it takes its first steps towards national collaboration. Improvisers from New York, Boston, DC and as far away as Los Angeles will take the stage with some of Philly’s best. They’ll form three trios never before seen on stage, and not likely to be seen again:

Hannah Foell (Cambridge, MA)
Nathan Edmondson (Philadelphia, PA)
Topher Bellavia (Washington, DC)

Alli Soowal (Philadelphia, PA)
Luis Cortes (Los Angeles, CA)
Steve Kleinedler (Boston, MA)

Jason Stockdale (Philadelphia, PA)
Michael McFarland (New York City, NY)
Peter Fenzel (Boston, MA)

That’s some serious comedic talent, and all I can say is, you’d best expect the unexpected. So I hope you’ll join us for a special evening that is certainly never to be duplicated.


PHIT lineup for July


PHIT_LogoTonight, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER kicks off two weeks of comedy at the Shubin Theater. PHIT has put together a fun lineup full of new shows, special themes, visitors from afar, some old favorites and three nights of female comedy lovingly known as BONERAMA. Check it out:

Monday, July 6
8PM: The Comic vs Audience Comedy Show – $5

Wednesday, July 8
8PM: Guilty Pleasures – $5
10PM: The Bully Pulpit – $5

Thursday, July 9
8PM: Improv Comedy, PhD – Drexel Football Team & Everything Must Go – $5
10PM: CAGEMATCH: m@& vs Rookie Card – $5

Friday, July 10
8PM: Longform Improv: Angry People Building Things and Activity Book – $10
10PM: Longform Improv: WhipSuit and An Improv Jam – $10

Saturday, July 11
8PM: Longform Improv: Angry People Building Things and Activity Book – $10
10PM: Longform Improv: WhipSuit and An Improv Jam – $10
11:30PM: Sketch Up or Shut Up – FREE

Tuesday, July 14
8PM: Longform Improv: Fletcher and Parallelogramophonograph – $10

Thursday, July 16
8PM: Bonerama: The Real Housewives of Philadelphia – $10
10PM: Bonerama: CAGEMATCH: Brenda vs Pony Coat – $10

Friday, July 17
8PM: Bonerama: BWP and Cecily & Gwendolyn – $10
10PM: Bonerama: The Bonerama Variety Hour – $10

Saturday, July 18
8PM: Bonerama: BWP and Cecily & Gwendolyn – $10
10PM: Bonerama: The Bonerama Variety Hour – $10

Tickets are available now at

Alli Soowal Tapped To Teach PHIT L1


Alli Soowal

Alli Soowal, who you might know from, I don’t know – everything (PHIF Producer, ComedySportz, MakeOut Clinic, Men About Town, BWP, 2007 Troika Champ PonyCoat, contributor to this blog, et al…) has been announced as the instructor for PHIT’s Level 1 class beginning next month.

The class beings 6/22 will run Sundays from 6-8pm through 8/10 at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square. More detail and enrollment can be had here.

Kristen Schier Announced as PHIT Level 1 Instructor


The Philly Improv Theater has again tapped Kristen Schier (of the N Crowd, PonyCoat & DCT North) to helm it’s next round of introductory improv classes beginning next month:

This is the place to start if you have never improvised before, or did some shortform improv in the past. In Intro to Longform you will learn about key improv skills like agreement, characterization, monologues, and object work. We’ll finish by learning the Armando performance structure.”

In checking out Kristen’s bio on the site, you come across testimonials from PHIT students who have studied under her in the past. Among them was:

“I was able to shake my crush on her at the end of each class, but then of course it began again at the start of the next”

You too can fall in love with Kristen – and with improv. Registration is now open.

PHIT Level 1: Intro to Longform
Wednesdays 7-9pm, 2/6/08-3/26/08

Fancy A Three-Way?


Tonight marks the Season Three kickoff of’s monthly competitive comedy smackdown, Troika. To date there have been two full rounds, with 18 groups created out of 54 of the city’s improvisers. So far we’ve seen PonyCoat and Knots Gordian emerge victorious. There’s one more spot in the Grand Championship, and tonight that road begins. Your teams for round one are…

Featuring Ann Marie Trepkowski, Ben Camp & Rick Horner

Featuring Amie Roe, Jessica Snow & Liz Scott

Featuring Elizabeth Trepkowski, Rich Keller & Tim Callahan


Troika: Season Three, Round One
The Actor’s Center | 257 N. Third Street
Tonight @ 8:30pm | Tickets – $10

Blitzkrieg of Talent


Tonight the audience decides the fate of nine hopefuls in the Season Two Finale of Troika.

Who will go on to challenge PonyCoat in the Grand Championship? Will it be ‘Z’ For Effort (Jason Stockdale, Jay Brenner & Kelly Vrooman), with their stylized backwards format? Perhaps The 12 Seed (Gregg Gethard, Todd Schaffer & Cubby Altobelli standing in for Kristin Mellor) with their retrospective conversations? Or will it be Knots Gordian (David Dritsas, David Warick & Thomas Highland) with their song extravaganzas? Only time and the audience will tell…

Last season we had some stiff competition and methinks tonight will prove to be little different. With such a myriad of talent, backgrounds and approaches, this is going to be a fun night.


Troika Season Two Finals
Tonight, 8pm
The Actors Center | 257 N Third St
Tickets $10 at the door