Lineup for Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin


UPDATE: We neglected to include the Guilty Pleasures shows next week. Our apologies!

The time is upon us as this evening the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER takes up residence at the Shubin for the next two weeks (albeit with a slight hiatus this weekend as they take to the Del Close Marathon). They’ve got shows featuring all the house teams, a first glimpse at a new one, the anniversary of the Bully Pulpit, standup, sketch, rant-o-wheel, visitors from Pittsburgh and the big ticket… SUSAN MESSING & BECKY DRYSDALE!

Wednesday, July 28

8:00PM – The Bully Pulpit, $10
The monthly show celebrates one year with a special panel – all the members of Secret Pants

9:30PM – Rant-O-Wheel hosted by Jaime Fountaine, $10
The return of the infamous Rant-O-Wheel – you never know what you’re going to get

Thursday, July 29

8:00PM – King Friday + Friends, $10
9:30PM – Fletcher + Friends, $10
In a prelude to their DCM shows this weekend, it’s two of PHIT’s house teams in back-to-back shows

Friday – Sunday

PHIT takes the show on the road to the Del Close Marathon in NYC

Tuesday, August 3

8:00PM – Guilty Pleasures: Free Taping
The best kept secret in Philadelphia comedy looks to create some Internet notoriety. A special free taping featuring Roger C. Snair, Chip Chantry, Rob Baniewicz, Meg Favreau and Chris Cotton

Wednesday, August 4

8:00PM – Guilty Pleasures, $10
Regular installment of the monthly show. If you haven’t seen this yet, for shame as you are missing out. Featuring Roger C. Snair, JP Boudwin, Patrick Foy, Dominic Moschitti, Sam Narisi and Kevin J. Kelly

Thursday, August 5

8:00PM – Hey Everybody! hosted by Aaron Hertzog, $10
An evening of stand-up featuring David James, Steve Gerben, Luke Giordano, Blake Wexler, Carolyn Busa, Christian Alsis and Matt McCusker

Friday, August 6

8:00PM – Stranger, Danger + Friends, $10
Double trouble from the comedic pair Sarah Cowdery & Alex Gross

11:00PM – “Stormcrow” sneak-peek, Free
A special free sneak-peek at one of the new house teams, tentatively titled Stormcrow

Saturday, August 7

8:00PM – Irony City + Activity Book, $10
Improvisers from the far west (Pittsburgh) share a bill with the original PHIT house team

9:30PM – Messing with a Friend, $15
The incomparable Susan Messing (iO, Annoyance) is joined by the always unpredictable Becky Drysdale (Second City, UCB). This is one amazing ticket!

11:00PM – Sketch Up or Shut Up, Free
Sketch comedy twist on the classic open mic hosted by Meg Favreau

Advanced tickets for these shows don’t seem to be available yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when they are.

Comedian Profile: David Dritsas


Editors Note: In celebration of The 2010 ComedySportz World Championship, this week we’ll be profiling comedians from the local ComedySportz roster…


Might have seen him in: ComedySportz, Second City, Bad Hair Sketch

Hangs his hat in: Bella Vista

Stomping Grounds: Cheltenham, PA

Pays the Bills: Semi-professional comic actor / Director of Online Development for the 24/7 Comedy Network

Projects: Currently, I am working with a startup comedy entertainment company (24/7 Comedy Network), which is launching nationally distributed comedy radio stations and a web site similar to “Funny or Die,” etc. I’ve got a top-secret improv project in the works, as well. Stay tuned.

Other Hobbies: SCUBA, graphic design, sitting my a** on a beach

Why Improv?

Improv was an avenue into performing arts for me. I didn’t take the traditional route of a theater degree. I took evening classes in acting and improv and eventually auditioned for ComedySportz. I was lucky enough to get in and it was a major training ground for me—still is. I love improv but it isn’t everything for me. I’ve done a lot of sketch comedy, been lucky enough to be hired by Second City, worked on comedic plays and I plan to do more.

With my new job I hope to be producing some new original material (video-based). While I can’t say that this material will be improv per se, improv is always a tool I have in my pocket and without it I don’t think I would be the same performer I am today. It has also allowed me to make connections that have led me to work full-time in the comedy world. Gotta love that!

If you know someone who you think should be profiled, we’d love to hear about them.

Announcing Philadelphia Comedy Collective and Comedy Month


Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in November

Three of the top forces in the local comedy scene are teaming up this year, becoming The Philadelphia Comedy Collective, and presenting Comedy Month. Forming the new collaborative are the Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative. Their first endeavor, Comedy Month, will run from November 1-21 at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom Street. The producers will announce the performance schedule later this summer.

The first week of the festival will be the now week-long Philadelphia Improv Festival featuring local longform and shortform improv acts and troupes from all over the country. Now in its sixth year, the Philadelphia Improv Festival has hosted top-notch local acts along with teams from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (NYC), iO West (LA), DSI Comedy Theater (NC), Second City (Chicago), the Magnet Theater (NYC), Washington Improv Theater (DC), and the People’s Improv Theater (NYC). The Philadelphia Improv Festival is produced by Matt Nelson, Alli Soowal, and Jason Stockdale.

Following the improv festival, Philly Sketchfest will present its third annual event, a full week dedicated to sketch comedy. Philly Sketchfest is the brainchild of sketch troupe Animosity Pierre’s manager Ben Maher and Pierre members Matt Lally and Dave Terruso; Jessica Ciaramella and Cathleen Collins are associate producers. As active members of the Philadelphia sketch scene, these comedians have experienced the growth of comedy in the city firsthand. In 2009, the festival grew to include over a dozen local and national sketch groups.

The Philadelphia Joke Initiative (PJI) will handle the final week of performances. The comedy advocacy organization recently completed a successful run of its improvised musical, “Rodgers and Hammerstein are Dead.” The group was founded in 2009 and is dedicated to supporting comedy and comedians in the greater Philadelphia area. PJI recognizes comedy has inherent cultural value, and will foster Philadelphia’s cultural community by regularly producing comedy events, nurturing local talent, encouraging that talent to remain in Philadelphia, and raising the profile of Philadelphia-based comedy on the national market. PJI is run by Alexis Simpson and Kate Sabato.

About The Philadelphia Comedy Collective

The Philadelphia Comedy Collective is a consortium of local producers, performers, and companies unified for the purpose of comedy advocacy, cultural vitality, and excellence in improvisation, sketch, stand up, theater, film, music, and other comedy media.

Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in NovemberPhiladelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in November

This Weekend: Adsit and Gausas at the Adrienne


The PHILLY IMPROV THEATER is putting on a special weekend of shows at the Adrienne, headlined by comedic super-duo, Adsit & Gausas.

SCOTT ADSIT is well known on both the UCB and Second City stages, and has a solid following with his work on the Adult Swim show Moral Orel. However in the last few years, he is most likely recognizable for his role as Pete Hornberger on NBC’s 30 Rock.

Philadelphia native CHRISTINA GAUSAS, named one of “The 10 Funniest New Yorkers You’ve Never Heard Of” by New York Magazine, has been seen onstage in groups like Gravid Water and Assscat 3000, as well on the small screen in featured appearances on Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien and Important Things w/ Demetri Martin.

The duo brings their special hour-long one act of high-stakes improv to Philadelphia this weekend, which is highlighted by complicated and clever characters known to evoke both comedic and visceral reactions in audiences (TimeOut NY).

The shows on Friday and Saturday are anchored by the PHIT house teams, the Amie & Kristen Show and a special edition of Blind Troika.




ACT FAST: Second City Master Workshop


The SECOND CITY cast of CITY OF NUTTERLY LOVE will be teaching a master improv workshop tonight from 7-9PM at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The class is geared for students that already have some improv experience under their belt. Instructors include EDGAR BLACKMON, RACHEL MILLER & KATIE RICH.

The class is $39, but if you mention and reserve your slot by 3PM today, you’ll pay just $25. Email Janette Amadio of PTC to RSVP.



EDGAR BLACKMON (Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing with The Second City. After graduating from The Second City Conservatory, he went on to work with The Second City’s Outreach and Diversity Program, starring and writing in four revues, including Six Degrees of Reparations and How The Kanye West Was Won. As a member of the two man comedy team,The Mad Highentists, he performed in All The Way Live and On Your Side in The Second City’s Skybox Theater and at Sketchfest in Chicago.He couldn’t do this without the support of his family, and for that he says thanks.

RACHEL MILLER (Ensemble) is delighted to be spending some quality time in Philadelphia. She is currently an understudy to The Second City national touring companies and the Mainstage Theatre in Chicago. She has also performed with The Second City throughout Mexico, New England and The Caribbean via Norwegian Cruise Lines. She spent 5-1/2 years in Amsterdam with sketch/improv theatre Boom Chicago, sings with guitar/vocal improv duet Vlad & Rachel, and recently created The Podcast at the Annoyance Theatre. Previous Chicago improv includes The Pat Shay Dancers, Kiki Greenwell and Baby Wants Candy. She has performed at comedy festivals in Edinburgh, Singapore, Berlin and Chicago and freestyle-rapped at U2’s European “Vertigo” Tour Party. She hearts this cast, her family and Mr. Hicks.

KATIE RICH (Ensemble) is very lucky to be a part of this stellar cast. A Chicago native, Katie earned a B.S. (yup) from Northwestern University before getting the opportunity to tour all over the world with The Second City. She also performs at the iO Chicago with Carl and the Passions, the Frank Hayes 4,The Deltones Improvised Musical and Women Aren’t Funny. You can see her in those ubiquitous Sonic Drive-in commercials, in Martin Short’s “Let Freedom Hum,” and in the movie The Ice Harvest. Katie is proud to be an instructor for both the iO and The Second City. She’d be nowhere without her friends and worse than nowhere without her family to whom she owes everything. Katie spends a lot of time figuring out what to do now that her dream has come true.

Second City and PTC join for summer comedy revue


The Philadelphia Theatre Company has announced that a select group of it’s actors will partner up with comedians from Chicago’s Second City for a summer comedy revue set to run July 8 – August 2:

“the Chicago-based masters of sketch and improv comedy will partner with Philadelphia’s funniest actors in a show reflecting Philadelphia in all its diversity, complexity and hilarity.”


For years, Second City has been a training ground for generations of comedians dating back to Alan Arkin, Del Close, John Belushi & Bill Murray clear up to Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert & Steve Carell. I wonder what superstar comedians of tomorrow will be coming to Philadelphia this summer…

RUNS 07/08-08/02
SATURDAY @ 7:30 & 10PM, SUNDAY @ 3PM

Improv Legend Paul Sills Dies at 80


Paul Sills died on Monday at the age of 80. The son of improv revolutionary Viola Spolin, Sills co-founded the Compass Players with David Shepherd in 1955 and later the acclaimed Second City, serving as director until 1965. Sills was instrumental in the development of improvisational comedy as an artform. His work helped lay the groundwork to inspire thousands – including so many of my close personal friends that I have today. His work and subsequent training centers hold ties to comedy legends the likes of Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Alan Arkin, Stephen Colbert, Jerry Stiller and countless others…

Sills died at his home in Baileys Harbor, WI due to complications of pneumonia.

“There’s no laugh like the explosion of laughter after improvisation.” – Paul Sills