PHIT Welcomes Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2014: Real Feelings

Philly Improv Theater is excited to welcome back international sketch comedy powerhouseCambridgeFootlights2014 Cambridge Footlights as they stop in Philly on their 2014 international tour “Real Feelings”. The Footlights have visited PHIT many times in the past, most recently for the 2013 FRINGE Festival with their show “Canada”.

Cambridge Footlights is the most renowned student comedy group in the United Kingdom and have launched the careers of a long list of internationally-renowned comedic talents, producing household names like John Cleese (Monty Python), Hugh Laurie (House) and Emma Thompson (Love Actually) while continuing to nurture exciting new performers like Mitchell and Webb (Peep Show) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat).

Advance tickets available.

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The SHAM is Heading to DETENTION!

For Philly Improv Theater students and fans alike, The SHAM has been a popular part of MeredithWeirSmallour SUPER FREE SUNDAY line-up along with our student-friendly show The Dean’s List. The PHIT company members, directors, and instructors that make up the cast have been putting out some amazing work – but much like Doctor Who, The SHAM has reached the point in its life where it needs to regenerate into something new and wonderful. This Sunday August 31st, The SHAM will have their last show before the cast disappears during September to practice for their new incarnation: The Sunday Night Slackers. Their new show, debuting on October 5th will be DETENTION! and will continue to follow The Dean’s List. They’ll focus on The Slacker, a fast paced, tag-out heavy form that will be super fun to watch with a rotating cast of 6-8 players:

Becca Trabin
Brian Rumble
Dave Sucharski
Erin Pitts
Fred Brown
Joel Thomas
Kevin Pettit
Kristen Schier
Max Sittenfeild
Meredith Weir
Nick Gillette
Rob Alesiani
Steve Kleinedler

In addition to the regular cast, DETENTION! will also feature special out-of-town guests when the opportunity arises. Don’t miss the last show on Sunday August 31st before the break!

-Meredith Weir
PHIT Volunteer Coordinator and member of The SHAM.

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FALL SESSION CLASSES NOW ENROLLING! INTRO SKETCH AND IMPROV ONLY $199 THROUGH 8/25!

It’s hard to believe that we are already enrolling for our final class session of the year. MikeMarbachSmallSince we’ve started our class session system back in January we’ve seen nothing but positive results. PHIT has always been a theater that strives to create a community feel for its students, performers, and its audience and the sessions system combined with improv practice groups and shows like Iron Sketch has only strengthened this feeling. Students have many ways to meet new people, practice what they’ve learned, and forge connections to people they want to improvise with or write with. They are seeing more shows and as a result their understanding of class concepts sinks in that much faster and they get that much better. With every class they prove why PHIT is the top comedy training center in the Philadelphia area- and recently named one of the top 20 comedy schools in the world!
Fall Session classes are now online and ready to enroll! We are running a special “Back to School” sale from now through Monday, August 25th at noon. All improv 101 and sketch writing 101 classes are only $199! That’s $100 off the full enrollment cost! And you still get all the same perks:

- Student Pass that gets you into all PHIT shows for FREE!
- Access to improv practice groups that double your improv training time for FREE!
- A graduation show you can invite friends, family and even strangers to see!
- The chance to study with multiple instructors within a session!
- Opportunities to perform as soon as your first week in class!
- Access to exclusive PHIT workshops and electives.
- Lots and lots of new friends! (Individual results may vary)

​In addition to helping you with public speaking, strengthening your acting and writing skills, thinking more on your feet, and countless other things… improv is a great release. For several hours a week you are around people that want nothing more than to see you succeed. You are surrounded by fun, supportive people that make you laugh and you make laugh in return. I hope you’ll consider signing up for one of our upcoming 101 classes.

Holly LaurentjetevelethWe’ve also got great things in store for returning students and our comedy loving audience. The weekend of October 4th will be one to be reckoned with as PHIT welcomes Jet Eveleth and Holly Laurent! Jet & Holly are nationally known performers for many reasons. Not the least of which is the two being members of what is arguably the best improv team around- The Reckoning. Both have created great names for themselves over the years. Jet tours the country performing with the likes of 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and SNL’s Paul Britain and was recently cast in an upcoming NBC Sketch Show to premiere soon! Holly is an alumni of the Second City Mainstage where she wrote and performed in three critically acclaimed revues. Both will be in town for a full weekend of shows and workshops covering both improv and sketch comedy. This is a weekend of comedy performance and training that is NOT to be missed!

​As the Education Director I take the growth of every student that comes through our training center very seriously. I attend and instruct practice groups. I sit in on classes. I see class shows. I adjust our curriculum as needed and that last part is needed more and more, because our students are getting better and better. What PHIT is doing right now helping to fuel the creative growth of not just our theater, but the entire Philly comedy community and beyond. Our alumni are traveling around the United States and beginning to make great names for themselves. It’s only a matter of time before some of those names are more widely known. Take a look at our upcoming class schedule, sign up for a class and you’ll see pretty quickly what I’m talking about.

​Thank you to all students, staff, performers and audience members for everything you do.​

Mike Marbach
PHIT Education Director

 

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PHIT Launches Original Dynamite Series Project: Dirty Laundry!

The Dynamite Series @ PHIT is excited to announce a brand new show specifically produced for the series: Dirty Laundry!

This show, created and directed by Steve Kleinedler, is a comedic exploration of the day-to-day life of a typical Philadelphia family. Touting a diverse cast (Kelly Jo Little, Rick Horner, Molly Scullion, David Donnella, Susan LaPalombara, Mary Eklund) that spans not only experience levels but age ranges, Dirty Laundry will be a unique and engaging improvised show that can’t be seen anywhere else but on the Philly Improv Theater stage.

SteveKleinedlerSmall“It’s a pleasure to work with such gifted comedic actors. In improv it’s possible to be any character at all no matter what age you are. But watching actors in their 40s and 50s playing alongside actors in their teens and 20s create an utterly believable, heartwarming, and truly funny extended family is a unique treat. This is a great show for audiences of all ages.” -Steve Kleinedler, Director.

Dirty Laundry will premiere with a run of shows in September and then settle into a regular slot the first Saturday of each month. Visit the show’s Facebook page to read more about the show and grab your tickets!

Show Dates:
Thursday September 4 @ 7:30PM
Friday September 5 @ 7:30PM
Saturday September 6 @ 7:30PM
Sunday September 7 @ 1:30PM

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PHIT Announces the First Launch Pad Team: Bad Kitten!

Philly Improv Theater is proud to announce the inaugural Launch Pad team, Bad Kitten! Copyright Lindsay Docherty Photography http://www.lindsaydocherty.comThis team has been blowing up on the local improv comedy scene and has made a lasting impression in other cities. Already a talented group of performers, the theater has paired them with PHIT company member Raja Rajanathan (This is Your Captain) as their Launch Pad coach to help them realize more of their artistic goals. You can follow Launch Pad on our Facebook page, and check out Bad Kitten on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Look for the team to have their four week run of shows Wednesdays in September!

Wednesday, September 03 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, September 10 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, September 17 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, September 24 – 7:30PM

Learn more about our Launch Pad program and apply by clicking here!

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STILL SPOTS LEFT IN LATE SUMMER SESSION CLASSES!

PHIT Student TransparentRegistration for our late summer classes and workshops is coming to a close, but you still have a chance to register for a class. So if you wanted to start or continue your journey into comedy or just make new friends who share a love of laughter now is the time to do it. Enrolling in an 8 week class also includes:

  • PHIT Student Pass that gets you into all PHIT shows for FREE!
  • Access to improv practice groups that doubles your training for FREE!
  • A graduation show you can invite friends, family and strangers to see!
  • Opportunities to perform as soon as your first week in class!
  • Access to exclusive PHIT workshops and electives.
  • Lots of new friends! (Individual results may vary)

If you aren’t sure about committing to a full class, you can sign up for one of our FREE (yes, zero dollars) Intro To Improv Workshops. You’ll learn the basic improv concept of “Yes, and..” and discover how much fun taking a comedy class at PHIT can be! This two-hour workshop mimics the curriculum we teach in the very first week of our Improv 101 class and it gives you the chance to “try before you buy” with some low-commitment fun that doesn’t involve picking someone up at a bar. The free workshop sessions fill up really fast, so don’t hesitate to sign up for a spot now!

We’re also in the middle of @PHITComedy Weeek! A week every couple months where we try to reach out to people that might not know we exist. Up until you landed on this page you might have been one of those people. Now that you found us we’d like to keep you updated on everything we do! You can follow @PHITcomedy on Twitter and like us on Facebook at PHITComedy. You’ll get updates on classes, shows and more. If you have a moment and want to help get the word we’d love for you to share that information with others.

Thanks for your interest in PHIT. We hope to see you around the theater or in a class soon!

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New Role at PHIT for Corin Wells, PHIT Seeking New Class Registrar

CorinWells_color(small)Corin Wells, our Class Registrar for close to two years is taking on a new role coordinating extra-curricular activities for the theater and the Training Center (i.e. arranging parties, group comedy outings, and other special events). “Over the last few years as the Training Center has grown exponentially, I have always wanted more opportunities for students to mix and mingle with each other,” said PHIT’s founder and Executive Director Greg Maughan. “I’m really excited that Corin has decided to take this on, and I can’t wait for her name to become synonymous with partying - just like Miley CyrusP!nk, or Oingo Bongo.” Look for more social events as a result of Corin’s help starting in the Training Center’s fall session later this year.

Corin’s new role also means that PHIT is now searching for a new Class Registrar. If you are interested in helping out at the theater in a big way, want to be more involved in the life of the theater, and have the time to volunteer we want to hear from you! Anyone intersted in filling this important volunteer position at the theater can email contact@phillyimprovtheater.com with the subject line “Class Registrar” and include a cover letter and resumes as attachments to their message. The theater will accept applications on a rolling basis until a good candidate is found. For more information about the role, please read the full description of the position below:

 

CLASS REGISTRAR

This volunteer reports to the PHIT Education Director and is also answerable to the PHIT Executive Director. The Class Registrar consults with the the Executive Director, Education Director, and PHIT Instructors.

POSITION TYPE:
Volunteer

KEY FUNCTIONS:
The class registrar ensures the smooth day-to-day operation of the PHIT Training Center for student/customers by: reviewing email to the main account for the PHIT Training Center, confirming payments received, maintaining the accuracy of class registration lists, handling make-up class scheduling, organizing the collection of student feedback, and assisting the Education Director with maintenance of the PHIT Student Database.

EXPECTED TIME COMMITMENT:
15 hours per week during general enrollment periods, some of which must be time in the PHIT office during normal business hours. Full day in office with Education Director once each session.

POSITION TERM:
6 months. Continuing for additional periods of six months is allowed and encouraged, and one month notice is requested as a courtesy for leaving position. The Class Registrar cannot serve for a period of time greater than 2 years.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • A minimum of 1-2 hours of free-time each day for duties (including weekends).
  • Availability to work two four hour shifts in the office each week (monday through friday) between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. working with the Education Director.
  • Availability to work in the office from 11am – 5pm with the Education Director on the Friday before each session starts.
  • Attendance at scheduled executive team meetings, training center meetings and company meetings throughout the year.
  • Ability to handle access to sensitive information in a trustworthy, responsible way.
  • Access and availability to check inbox at any time to handle time-sensitive emails appropriately (including nights and weekends.)
  • Ability to be a good representative of and for the theater.
  • Ability to work at steady pace (instead of sporadic, large chunks of time).
  • Attention to detail and ability to see processes through to on-time completion.
  • Professional but friendly tone over email and phone.

COMPENSATION:
As a volunteer position, the Class Registrar does not receive any monetary compensation. In recognition of the dedication that being Class Registrar requires, the following compensation will be given:

  • Free admission to any show at PHIT (free admission to other shows PHIT presents or produces outside The Adrienne may be offered on a case-by-case basis).
  • For each term of 3 months served as Class Registrar, credit towards workshops and classes as follows:
    • 2 free workshops at PHIT (not to exceed $200), or
    • one free class at PHIT (not to exceed $299), or
    • $200 towards reimbursement for the cost of a comedy class outside of Philadelphia (or travel/lodging expenses associated with a class outside of Philadelphia) as approved in advance of registration by the Education Director.
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PHIT Supports Indie Improv Teams with Launch Pad!

Philly Improv Theater is excited to continue our support for a thriving independent comedy scene in Philly with a new opportunity for indie improv teams to receive free coaching, rehearsal space, stage time, artistic direction, business advice and marketing materials PHIT: Launch Pad.

Launch-Pad-Graphic-2014

Starting immediately, newly formed or pre-existing indie improv teams in the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding metropolitan area will be able to submit an Application for Launch Pad. Selected teams will complete a three month development experience that starts with artistic, business and marketing meeting with PHIT staff in month one, continues with weekly free rehearsal space (on weekend mornings or afternoons) and coaching with coach chosen by PHIT work on artistic goals established in initial meetings, and concludes with a one month run of weekly shows opening House Team Harold Night at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

At the conclusion of their PHIT run teams will be able to make separate private arrangements to continue with their coach if they are interested, and will have been given the tools to try their hand at self-producing a comedy show elsewhere in the city with an understanding of approaching venues, budgeting and street marketing (with poster and postcard designs created for their team as part of Launch Pad).

Launch Pad comes about as the result of creative thinking, many months of meetings, and some creative budgeting at the theater by Greg Maughan (Founder and Executive Director), Ralph Andracchio (Artistic Director), and Kristen Schier (Improv Producer) with input and advice from many other individuals. “What’s cool about this opportunity for independent teams is that they may not have all these resources available to them or have the money or knowledge to put all these things together, but PHIT can use our years of experience to work with them and give them the tools to be successful as an indie act,” says PHIT Artistic Director Ralph Andracchio. “We’re the only theatre I know of that offers an opportunity like this to independent teams. It’s good for the team and it’s good for the city’s comedy scene in general.”

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New Show Alert! WildCard is coming this July!

Philly Improv Theater is excited to announce our newest show – adding an extra spark to the start of our Friday nights is an improv comedy show like no other: WildCard! Premiering Thursday July 3rd at 7:30 p.m. and then continuing every other FridayWildCardLogoWebsiteSmall beginning July 18th. Catch four acts in one hour on the PHIT stage, and the last group isn’t even chosen until the show has begun!

Hosted by Something Simple with Frank & Alex (Frank Farrell & Alex Gross), WildCard features top independent improv teams, experimental collaborations between PHIT’s top performers, and the opportunity for you to hand the hosts an idea before the show starts and perform it at the end of the night in the WildCard slot.

WildCard pitches can include anyone performing any kind of comedy. People who haven’t played together in the past are encouraged to form on-the-spot acts! Any group of potential performers can submit a pitch (with the name of their act, a one sentence description of what they’ll do, and the cast list) while they are waiting for the show to start. WildCard’s hosts review pitches after the first team takes the stage and select their favorite idea to whisk backstage for whirlwind 30 minute rehearsal before they premiere as the final act of the night.

AlexGross_color(small)“Frank and I are excited about this opportunity to bring more independent teams and whacky/crazy/weird one off shows onto PHIT’s stage. Get with friends, shoot ideas off each other and come prepared to bring it/watch it be brought!

If you have an independent team make sure to let me know so we can book you. If you don’t, find people to make one and hire a director/coach!” – Alex Gross

Have an independent improv team and would like to be booked into an advance slot on the show? Email wildcard@phillyimprovtheater.com!

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LATE SUMMER SESSION NOW ENROLLING! INTRO CLASSES ONLY $249 THROUGH 7/25/14!

PHIT Student TransparentWe are now enrolling for our Late Summer Session! If you are new to improv or sketch writing NOW is the time to enroll. All Improv 101 and Sketch Writing 101 classes are only $249 through 7/25/14. That’s $50 off the full enrollment cost! Enrolling in a class also gets you a student pass that gets you into PHIT shows for FREE during the run of the class! So if you want to start your journey into the comedy or know someone that should – or just want to make new friends this summer who share a love of laughter-enroll now!

PAYMENT PLANS!
Partial payment plans are available! Simply place a non-refundable $150 deposit by July 7th, 2014,  and pay the balance of $149 by July 25th, 2014. Sale prices and payment plans are not able to be combined.

FREE INTRO TO IMPROV WORKSHOPS!
If you aren’t sure about committing to a full class, register for one of our FREE Intro to Improv Comedy Classes! Students will get a sampling of what our Improv 101 course covers and discover how much fun they could have taking a comedy class at PHIT! This two-hour class gives cautious students the chance to “try before you buy” and eases you into improv by offering you a chance to enjoy some low-commitment, high-support fun. Click on the below classes link and you see several options to choose from. Bring friends and make a FREE afternoon/night of it!

WRITING FOR TELEVISION WORKSHOP
Just added to the Early Summer session is a great workshop with Luke Giordano covering the business of Writing for Television and what you need to know about the process of becoming a TV staff writer.

ACTING & IMPROVISATION: A TOUR OF THEATRICAL STYLES
If you’re a returning improv student then you’ll definitely be interested in this. Kristen Schier and Steve Kleinedler are doing the “Acting & Improvising: A Tour of Theatrical Styles” elective again this summer. Work your acting and improv muscles separately and together in this awesome workshop covering several different theater styles. There’s more workshop announcements coming soon!

NEW AND RETURNING INSTRUCTORS!
We’ve just added Fred Brown (PHIT House Team “The Future”) and Tara Demmy (PHIT House Team “Dr. Sleepover”) to our teaching staff! Both have Improv 101 classes now enrolling. If you’ve seen either perform then you know you are in for a treat in their classes. We also have two returning instructors! After a few sessions off, Corin Wells picks up the chalk once again to instruct another great 101 class and Madonna Refugia will return to PHIT to teach her first Sketch 101 class in over a year.

With the best classes and instructors in the Philadelphia area, there’s really no better place to learn comedy. So, have some fun and make new friends by getting involved in a comedy class at PHIT this summer!

Mike Marbach
Education Director

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Please Welcome PHIT’s New Improv House Teams for 2014!

PHIT’s most recent audition process took place May 17 and May 19 to cast for two new RalphSmallWednesday House Teams that will premier in August. The talented performers that took part in the process were once again amazing, and both of our new directors had their work cut out for them deciding who would be cast on these teams. After some spirited deliberation and days of meetings and emails, we are thrilled to announce our new line ups. Please welcome Codename Amsterdam and Codename Barcelona to the PHIT family! There will be a lot of hard work for them between now and August, and we are all looking forward to the amazing shows I know these teams will put on. And as always we will find out their real team names at the premiere.

I would also like to thank each and every performer who came out to vie for a spot on the teams and didn’t get a call back. Please know that the audition process is tough, and was made that much tougher for the directors by all of the really talented performers that participated. Philadelphia has become such a vibrant comedy scene in the past few years, due in no small part to everyone who has stepped on stage to perform improv, sketch, or stand-up. You are what make not only the comedy scene in this city great, but make the city as a whole that much more wonderful. Remember Philly Improv Theater has many opportunities for performances, so keep an eye out for upcoming auditions and special projects that will need the support and participation of talented performers like you!

Ralph Andracchio, Artistic Director

Codename Amsterdam – Directed by Jessica Snow
Stuart Draper
Stephanie Drejerwski
Jamie Glasheen
Kevin Murphy
Ned Redmond
Mallory Rhodes
Kevin Ruth
Dave Sucharski
Richard Werner

Codename Barcelona – Directed by Bobby Lang
Whitney Harris
Cole Johnston
Sean Landis
Kayleigh Leggitt
Megan Marron
Max Scholnick
Andrew Sigwart
Peter Szekeres
Jacob Todd

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DUOFEST 2014 is Almost Here!

PHIT is extremely proud to present DUOFEST 2014! Since 2010, our theater has been DuoFestFacebookPhoto2014Vers4hosting the ONLY FESTIVAL in the country that is dedicated to comedic duos, and this year is going to be even bigger and better. Over 4 days (June 5th through 8th) we will be hosting duos from across North America who will play on our stage, present workshops, and most importantly have fun in the great city of Philadelphia!

The DUOFEST 2014 website is a great place to read more about all of this year’s participating duos, see workshop offerings, and purchase tickets. Our theater is also offering a great deal for comedy fans with our WEEKEND PASS! These passes will get you access to all of the shows in the festival at an unbelievable savings. But hurry! There is a limited quantity of Weekend Passes, and when they’re gone they’re GONE!

We hope everyone will join us for what’s going to be a fun and exciting weekend this June!

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Please Welcome Brian Rumble to the PHIT Directing Team!

PHIT is excited to announce Brian Rumble as our newest House Team director! Brian will BrianRumble_colorsmallbe stepping in to take the helm of Sabotage, one of our popular Wednesday Harold Teams. Sabotage was cast and previously directed by PHIT alum Jessica Ross, who has relocated to sunny Los Angeles to continue her comedy career.

Brian comes to our theater with a wealth of improv experience, most notably as a former member of PHIT House Team Davenger, current member of local improv duo Due Diligence, and director of the Figment Theater production “Note to Self”. Both Brian and Sabotage are excited about hitting the ground running and continuing to build on the solid foundation Jess and the team has built.

Please join us in giving Brian a warm welcome!

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PHIT Announces New Improv Producer

KristenSchier_smallPHIT is excited to welcome Kristen Schier to the role of Improv Producer on the Artistic Team! Kristen was formerly PHIT’s Season Producer, helming the theater’s longer run projects like this spring’s Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn. Her move to Improv Producer will open up many more opportunities for Kristen to shape the theater’s improv offerings as well as oversee PHIT’s improv house teams, helping make sure they have everything they need to succeed on our stage.

Kristen is a director, instructor, and house team member here at PHIT. She is also the Artistic Director and a performer with The N Crowd, a popular short form theater group that performs weekly to packed houses at The Actor’s Center. In addition has a B.F.A. in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts – where she is also an adjunct professor in improv and acting – and has been working in Philly as a professional actress, improviser and teacher for several years. She currently performs as a part of PHIT house team The Future and as one half of the immensely popular duo The Kristen & Amie Show (The Amie & Kristen Show).

“Kristen is one of the most amazing performers and instructors I’ve ever met. Her command of the nuance of performing comedy is mind-blowing, and her insights into what works and what doesn’t on stage are spot on. Her process is informed by her years of training and performances, and I know that the improv facet of the theater is in good hands with her. I’m really excited about the future!” – Ralph Andracchio, Artistic Director

Kristen will begin in the Improv Producer role immediately. Please join us in giving Kristen a warm welcome to the position!

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PHIT Announces New Improv House Team Directors for Spring 2014

Philly Improv Theater is excited to announce our directors for the new house teams ahead of auditions on May 17th. Please help us welcome Jessica Snow and Bobby Lang to the directing family! These two were our first choices to direct new house teams and we think that those lucky few who are chosen for new teams will benefit tremendously from the experience, training and talent both bring to new teams. Of course, it’s an added bonus that Jess and Bobby are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet or work with as well.

JessicaSnow_color(small)You probably already know Jess as a PHIT instructor who has performed in the past house teams Activity Book, Davenger, and INDUSTRIAL (the unofficial “first house team” at PHIT). Jessica started improvising in high school, she was captain of a short-form group in college - where she also performed in a Commedia Dell’Arte ensemble – and is a founding member of Philly short-form group The N Crowd.

Jess is a real student of improv too – she’s trained at PHIT, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (NYC) and workshopped with a list of wonderful instructors including: Betsy Stover, Asaf Ronen, Keith Johnstone, Ari Voukydis, Jeff Griggs, Douglas Sarine, Seth Morris, Billy Merritt, Chris Gethard, Eliza Skinner, Kevin McDonald, Karen Wight, Dave Warick, Jill Bernard, Alexis Simpson, Kelly Jennings, Ed Nevraumont and Scott Greer.

BobbyLang_smallBobby is a current member of the house team Dr. Sleepover and was previously  part of the indie group, Deleted Scenes (six Bucks County Community College students that utilized suggestions to create movies with the help of puppets). Deleted Scenes the first team from a community college to ever advance to the finals of the National College Improv Tournament.

Bobby has studied at PHIT under Mike Marbach, Jason Grimley, and Steve Kleinedler. He has also studied at the Magnet Theater in New York under Rick Andrews, Elana Fishbein, and Armando Diaz and at the Peoples’ Improv Theater in New York under Leslie Collins and Kevin Cragg. Bobby began his improv journey in 2010 studying both short form and longform improvisation under Bill McLaughlin at Bucks County Community College.

Those performers interested in auditioning for one of these new teams still have time to register for a slot! Auditions will be held Saturday May 17th between 10AM – 5PM with callbacks happening Monday May 19th between 7PM – 10PM. Read our audition post for more info and how to register. There are only a few spaces left!

Congrats to Jessica and Bobby! We’re all looking forward to the amazing work these two dedicated performers will no doubt display when they turn to directing and their teams premiere later this summer!

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A Fond Farewell to Mayor Karen

528459_502864123094428_462683889_nThe time has come to say goodbye to our longest running House Team, Mayor Karen. Over the last four years, MK has grown into one of the most fun and flawless teams on the Philly comedy scene. In addition, her cast members have grown individually and have become  wonderful performers, instructors, and directors in their own rights. And now that these formidable players are taking different paths in life (to move to other cities, move to other projects, or even start families) we wanted to take a moment and share a brief oral history of the team, comprised of their best memories from this long run, in their own words…

Nathan Edmondson (director, 2010-2012): “PHIT had recently cast a new team or two (in May 2010) and Greg thought there was enough talent left over from the auditions to put together an additional team.  So these performers had already been through and overlooked for two callbacks when I brought them back for a third.  It was my luck that they hadn’t been scooped up already.  I had the privilege of watching them rehearse every week, grow as performers and have them as good friends.  You’re already missed Mayor Karen!  Our holiday parties were the best!”

Rachel Semigran (cast, 2010-2012): Whenever Nathan would sass us in rehearsal for talking or dicking around we’d call him ‘Mad Dad.’ So like a bunch of weirdos, we bought him a Father’s Day card and sent it to his home. Also, before I left to study in London, during my last show, Nick Gilette, being the mad genius that he is, managed to make my very last scene about me transforming into David Bowie and made it so that, ‘The only thing left to do…is go to England.’ Then everyone hugged me on stage and I cried a lot. The one scene that has stuck out in my brain as one of my all-time favorite improv moments was when Nick sat backwards on a chair, very seductively, and without missing a beat, Nora said with a lusty voice, ‘I love it when you babysit me.’ And then the scene was wiped. Perfection. Once a Mayor, always a Mayor.”

Alan Kaufmann (cast 2010-2014): “It’s really hard to choose, but one of my favorite MK moments was in one rehearsal Nathan told us to do a run of scenes but play in the style of another team member, so we all had a lot of fun twirling around and pretending to eat sandwiches.”

Steve Swan (cast 2011-2014): “We were in Toronto for an improv festival and hurricane Sandy was hitting and all transportation was being shut down.  We were on one of the last buses out.  Our driver was a barrel chested man standing six feet twenty, who defiantly cursed the storm as the rain pounded against him.  Throughout the harrowing journey, he sang of a love, long ago lost…  Also, Nora snuck on without a ticket, so I’m pretty sure she can be legally deported.”

Michael Tomasetti (cast, 2010-2012): “The Mayors were all warming up behind the curtain at The Shubin before we went on. We were doing a ‘pumped up’ warm-up and grabbing each other on the shoulders and shaking each other. Hochman and I took it to another level, I got caught up in the moment and ended up headbutting him really hard in the head. We both sort of held each others’ heads, hoped we didn’t have a minor concussion and did a show.”

Jen Curcio (cast, 2013-2014): “I loved all of the combat scenes Mayor Karen ever did, but especially the one I had with Lizzie Spellman. We were lotion wrestling at Victoria’s Secret and it was magical.”

Lizzie Spellman (cast, 2013-2014): “I really trust these guys when we’re on stage. Mayor Karen is the only team that I will do actual improvised stage combat with, and not have to worry that I might get mortally wounded.”

Nathan: “One time Hochman almost killed Alan.”

Michael Hochman (cast, 2010-2014): “I once almost killed Alan Kaufmann. We were doing the Philly Improv Festival, playing a scene in which I was Alan’s ballet director at a company for large performers. When he insisted he wasn’t too puny for the company, I challenged him to catch me, and we went right into an committed attempt at a jump / lift. When we hit the ground instead, (half off the edge of the stage) the crowd audibly gasped in concern for Alan’s well being. Then Alan bounced back up, and continued the scene without missing a beat.”

Becca Trabin (cast, 2010-2014): “Some of my all-time favorite scenes where when Hochman put his arm between Nora’s legs as an improv dick and she didn’t  bat an eye, she played a guy with a hand on the end of his penis amazingly for the whole show. Tomasetti initiated actual making-out in a few scenes. Jen Curcio has told several monologues that BEGIN with someone from her home town dying mysteriously. When we first put on Page One at the Fringe Festival, I was astounded by all of my teammate’s abilities to create and sustain grounded, hilarious characters who you root for even though they’re terrible. Those shows were on fire.”

Rob Gentile (cast, 2011-2014): “There was a time Jason told us that we shouldn’t be afraid to be blunt. Becca steps out mid show and to the crowd says, ‘ORIGIN STORY’ and we see a scene from a character’s history, genius. I love that move. It was so simple and I was dying on the side of the stage.  Also, birds. With out Mayor Karen I would not have realized that birds are the funniest animal on the planet. Thank guys!”

Nathan: “At one point we thought Greg was going to kill all of us.”

Nick Gillette (cast, 2010-2012): “It’s the moments between shows I remember most. Burgers at the POPE making dirty jokes with Tomasetti. The after party of Alan’s wedding. We raffled Mayor Nutter’s Phillies box seat tickets to support our trip to the Chicago Improv Festival in 2011 and toasted MK in the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. I submit this photo instead of 1000 words.”

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You can catch Mayor Karen’s last show Saturday, May 3 2014 at 10:30PM. Tickets available online.

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Save the Date: PHIT Improv House Team Auditions May 17, 2014!

RalphSmallPHIT is once again looking for Philly’s best and brightest improvisers for our newest house teams! House teams are ensembles cast and managed by the theater who are given regular rehearsal and performance times along with a bunch of other cool benefits.

First round auditions will take place on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 between 10am – 5pm. Callbacks will be held on Monday, May 19th from 7pm – 10pm. Please hold both of these dates if you are interested in being cast!

Auditions will be held at Philly Improv Theater @ The Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Auditioners should have taken and completed at least Improv Level 201 in the PHIT curriculum within the last calendar year. Those auditioning who have completed PHIT Improv Level 201 longer than a calendar year ago will be considered on an individual basis.

You must be available for the audition times to be considered. No other audition times are available.

 ON THE DAY OF THE AUDITION:
Auditioners will be seen every 30 minutes in groups of 6-10. Auditioners do not need to prepare anything in advance. The audition will be entirely improvised. You will be asked to participate in a few short group exercises and will then perform two short scenes.

Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Resumes are not required but will gladly be accepted. Please bring a headshot with you. If you don’t have headshots, a recent snapshot will suffice.

PLEASE ARRIVE AT LEAST FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES PRIOR TO YOUR SCHEDULED AUDITION TIME. There will be a short questionnaire for you to complete prior to your scheduled audition time.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR AN AUDITION:
Sign-ups begin immediately. To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, prior class experience and instructors, along with any preferred time (if available) to:
contact@phillyimprovtheater.com

You will receive a confirmation message within two (2) business days – for example, if you contact us on Monday you’ll hear from us by Wednesday, or if you contact us on Friday, you’ll hear from us by the following Tuesday). We will accept sign-ups until no audition times remain. All specific audition times are first-come-first-served.

There are no alternate times. If you are not available for these audition dates and times, please do not email or call to ask for an exception – you simply will not be able to audition. If you are interested in auditioning, you must sign-up for one of our announced time slots.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Send us an email (get our email address from the contact page of the site or the paragraphs above)

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A Few Questions for – Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn

PHIT’s all new upcoming Spring Theatrical Run – Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn – is WarpJawnV3gearing up for its April 16 premiere, and our AD Ralph Andracchio had a few questions for director Michael Hochman and producer Kristen Schier. Here’s what they had to say about the theater boldly going where the theater has never gone before.

Ralph Andracchio: So, where did the idea of mounting an improvised sci-fi show come from?
Kristen Schier: In case you haven’t noticed, and I mean this in the nicest way – there is a lot of overlap on the venn diagram that is nerds and improvisers. Trek was a natural fit.
Michael Hochman: When the theater first approach me about directing my first thought was a genre show. And I grew up watching and reading every bit of sci fi I could absorb, from Lucas and Roddenberry to Asimov and Heinlein. So it seemed the obvious choice.

RA: Why Star Trek? And specifically, The Original Series?
KS: The original series is camper making it more ripe with comedic opportunity.
MH: Star Trek: The Next Generation is what I grew up with. And I love it, but I feel like paying homage to TOS just feels right. Who knows, maybe at some point, we’ll do Warp Jawn: Next Gen.

RA: How did Mike come to be the project’s director?
KS: Mike is a talented performer and instructor at the theater, and has been for sometime. I had him in mind as a director for a project, and when I discovered his love of Star Trek we had the show.
MH: Kristen asked, and I’m an Improv addict who was excited by the chance to do something fin and unique.

RA: Tell us a little bit about the cast. Are they falling into the sci-fi vibe easily?
KS: Mike…?
MH: These guys get it. Some were more familiar with the source material than others. But they’ve all done their homework and have fully committed.

RA: What can the audience expect to see in the show? Will there be costumes, sets, alien worlds?
KS: All that and more, while the set and costumes will help bring the world of each episode to the fore it will really be the improvised nature of the piece that is likely to transport the audience more than anything else.
MH: You betcha. Light and sound design by Rob Caso. Video designed by rob Gentile. Costume design by Erin Pitts. Our logo and uniform and emblem designed by Chris Calletta. And set design by me. Its a full experience.

RA: Any final thoughts about the project?
KS: I am proud of the quality of work the design team the director and the cast have put into this show. Everyone is clearly talented. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew.
MH: Directing this show has been and is a blast, and I’m psyched for everyone to be able to see it.

RA: Final question: If you could go on a date with any character from Star Trek: The Original Series, which character would you go out with and why?
KS: Kirk. He’d be good in bed (to much?)
MH: I’m gonna cheat and say Dax from DS9′s “crossover” episode – “Trials and Tribble-ations”. Dax is one of my favorite characters on any of the series, plus that episode is such a great, playful homage to TOS.

Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn runs from April 16 through May 3 2014 at Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA 19103. Tickets are on sale now!

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April Fool’s Day Flash Sale is ON! (101 Classes Only $199)

April Fool’s Day is sort of like the comedy equivalent of New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, Hannukah, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one. It’s the day everyone wants to kid around, pull pranks and generally goof off. So we’re celebrating with a sale that we promise is no joke: all our introductory classes (101′s) are just $199 from now until the end of the day on April 6th! Get in there and grab one – we promise you won’t regret it. You can look at all our upcoming improv classes and sketch writing classes on their respective sections of the site!

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Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn Teaser Trailer is Here!

Check out the amazing teaser trailer for our upcoming Spring Theatrical Run – Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn! Big thanks to Rob Gentile for all of his hard work on the video. The show will run April 16 through May 3. Tickets are on sale now!

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