$50 EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT ENDS FRIDAY, 3/7!

PHIT StudentThe last of the winter session classes takes place this week and Spring classes are hot on its heels. Below you’ll find some highlights of the Spring 2014 Session as well as some more great news for students!

Early discount period ends Friday, 3/7! Sign up before then to save $50 off the full registration price!



CORE CLASSES GROWING!
For you beginners we have several Improv 101 classes starting, so hopefully one of them fits your schedule. Great new instructors like Mayor Karen’s Rob Gentile are joining the instructor ranks and PHIT favorites like Jessica Snow return after a session off. Hopefully there’s a class that fits your schedule. Sign up before Friday and you’ll save $50 off the full enrollment cost!

Our Winter 2014 Session students have been super eager to continue and we, of course, are happy to oblige! We love knowledge hungry students. We’ve had to add a daytime Improv 201 to our three already sold-out 201 classes as well as added another Improv 301 due to demand. The talent coming up through the PHIT training center right now is fantastic.

New sketch instructor, Sean Landis, received a great welcome for his first class: It’s SOLD OUT! Have no fear prospective sketch writing students, there are still spots available in two sketch writing classes. One taught by Dog Mountain Head Writer, Joe Moore and one with PHIT Sketch Producer Brian Kelly.

STAND-UP COMEDY WORKSHOP IS BACK!
Comedian, Aaron Hertzog will be leading this workshop that will help you get started in the world of stand-up comedy from absolute beginner advice on stage presence to helping you craft your act. If you’ve been looking to get into stand-up, or already do it and are looking to hone your craft a bit more, this workshop is for you.

IMPROVISED SCENE STUDY AND AN INTRO TO THEATRICAL CLOWNING
Two fantastic electives with two of the best improvisers in Philadelphia! Jess Ross will go through many different scene techniques and help you loosen up and have more fun on stage in her Improvised Scene Study elective. Kristen Schier’s Clowning elective has been talked about for a while, so I’m bumping it up to the Spring session. As she puts it, “It is not essential to have previous experience of this particular way of working but it is necessary to come prepared to fail, make mistakes and laugh at yourself…for it is only by accepting our ridiculousness that we will find and enjoy performing our clowns! All students will receive a complimentary red nose.” A red nose!

KevinMcDonaldsmallKEVIN MCDONALD RETURNS TO PHIT!
On May 10th-11th Kevin McDonald of Kids In the Hall fame will return to PHIT to teach his very popular Improv to Sketch Master Class. The class will be run over two days and will teach you the process through which he and his KITH brethren created the iconic show. Another bit of good news- the aforementioned payment plan is available for this weekend workshop! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!


With the special guest just announced (and the possibility of more), returning workshops, new electives, practice groups and of course comedy shows now happening at the theater 5 days a week(!) there really is something for everyone at PHIT this Spring. Head on over to our enroll now page and see all that we have to offer. Hope to see you around the theater soon!

http://phillyimprovtheater.com/classes/enroll-now/

Have questions? Send an email to classes@phillyimprovtheater.com

Mike Marbach
PHIT Education Director

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A Fond Farewell To Davenger

DavengerGroupIt’s always sad when a team comes to the end of their run, and after 2 years of spectacular performances, the time has come to say goodbye to one of our Improv House Teams – Davenger. Ever since they formed, this ensemble has consistently showed their prowess on stage with engaging scene work that has raised the bar for other teams in Philly.

As we reach their final performance, we’ve asked a few of the people involved since Davenger’s inception to share their thoughts about this great team.

“Davenger was a great team because they were also great friends and it showed on stage in the way they were so in tune with each other.

It’s great to know that so many of them are already staying involved at PHIT: Nick Gillette, Jessi, and Kevin as instructors for our spring session, and Nick Mirra as the director for This Is Your Captain, Alex Newman with The SHAM. It’s exciting to see other members striking out with their own projects as well. And it’s cool to know that former Davengers will be living in NYC and LA  soon – spreading Philly comedy scene talent throughout the country.”
-Greg Maughan, Philly Improv Theater Executive Director

Davenger is a special team. I think you can see that both on-stage and whenever you see two or more of them gathered together. They just enjoy each other. In thinking back to when I first cast them one of my major goals with Davenger was that aside from teaching them the Harold and helping them grow as individual performers I wanted them come away from this experience knowing what it felt like to be part of a team so that in future creative experiences they would know what good creative collaboration feels like.  And I think that’s what you see when they are on-stage. A group of talented, funny, intelligent, committed, good-hearted people who enjoy working together and making each other laugh. They care about each other and the work they do together. And that’s what makes their work so strong. And why it was a real honor to be their coach. I look forward to tonight and to their next steps as artists. It will be exciting to watch.
- Maggy Keegan, Davenger director and Artistic Director of Figment Theater

Davenger is the most robust ensemble I’ve ever seen. I came to them to coach six months ago, and this is the first thing I noticed. Beyond the commitment to the craft in rehearsals, beyond the countless hilarious moments of support on stage, I noticed that this team had taken the time to become a team. They became more than cast mates, they became friends. Today, on the day of their final show, I’d like to point this out to other improvisers, young and old, here in Philadelphia. The cast of Davenger all have astounding talent, they have the finest training, but I believe the simple secret of their success after two years of brave and humble improv is seen in their moments of play together off stage. This is a group that risked giving a damn about one another as people. I’ll miss the team, and particularly those whose lives are taking them elsewhere, but the bonds they formed aren’t going anywhere.
- Nick Gillette, Davenger director

From the entire PHIT family, we wish all of these great performers well and look forward to their continued success!

Davenger’s final show will be Saturday, Feb 22 @ 9:00PM. Tickets available online.

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Because We Love You: A Valentine’s Weekend Discount On Classes!

We’re not quite sure how to say this. I know that it may feel like we don’t hang out that much, or you haven’t seen us around a lot lately, but well… the thing is – we get nervous around you sometimes and we really want you to like us.

No! No!, Not, like, *LIKE US* like us. Unless you do? Do you? Oh heck, this is getting pretty awkward now, isn’t it? Sorry…

I guess we should just come out and ask: Will you be our Valentine? We got you a PRESENT!(Although maybe you want to share it with someone else).

 

OUR GIFT TO YOU:

We love comedy so much that seeing it and sharing it isn’t enough. We want to teach you to how do it too! So for the next 72 hours – from 12:00 p.m. Friday, February 14th (that’s right now!) until 12:00 p.m. Monday, February 17th – we are offering you the chance to fall in love with us even more by taking an introductory class at the nostalgic *original* PHIT class price of $199… just visit our ENROLL NOW page to see what’s being offered in the Spring Session starting March 17th!

That’s $50 extra dollars on top of the early registration discount for a total of $100 savings (30% off) of the current regular registration price. We’re also offering a small gift to returning students. If you enroll in a 201 class or higher during the same time period we’ll have a fancy PHIT t-shirt for you on the first day of class that you can show off to all the other students.

Maybe you know a friend or have a special someone you’d love to have start classes at the theater? Sign them up and just indicate their name as the student name in the appropriate field when you are making your payment.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these deals if you were planning to sign up for another class. We do have 10 different 101 classes starting in March, and a similar number of higher level classes – so there should be something that fits your schedule. Remember, the full schedule of upcoming classes is available right on the ENROLL NOW page of our website.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, maybe come catch a show!

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PHIT is Closed Due to Snow Thursday, February 13th!

Due to the snowstorm affecting the Philadelphia region, all performances, classes and rehearsals at PHIT are cancelled for the evening of Thursday, February 13, 2014. Stay safe and warm everyone!

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“Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn” Cast Annuonced!

PHIT is excited to announce the cast of our Spring Theatrical Run, Millennium Quest: KristenSchier_smallWarp Jawn. A send up of classic sci-fi tropes from movies and television, Warp Jawn is a spontaneously created comedy performance in the vain of the original Star Trek television series. With original sets, costumes and make-up, and audio and video elements, this will definitely be a show not to be missed.

PHIT had a pool of very talented performers audition making the casting process a difficult one. The end result is a cast of PHIT regulars, up-and-comers and even a few “where-did-they-come-from?” surprises:

Quinton Alexander
Jim Burns
Andrew Coppola
Stuart Draper
Jimi Haak
Katrina Halkidis
Sofya Piro
Raja Rajanathan
Vito Salerno
Andrew Sigwart

Directed by Michael Hochman and produced by Kristen Schier, Millenium Quest: Warp Jawn runs from Thursday, April 17th through Saturday, May 3rd. Congrats to the cast!

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Philly Improv Theater Launches the “Dynamite Series @ PHIT”

PHIT is proud to announce the Dynamite Series @ PHIT. Curated by Ralph Andracchio, RalphSmallPHIT’s Artistic Director, this ambitious new series provides an open, creative platform that showcases both proven and brand new projects. Shows in this series will encompass many comedic disciplines, strengthen our connections to other communities in Philadelphia, and demonstrate boundary pushing comedy.

“This project will expand ideas, connections, and conversations. We’re creating this wonderful opportunity where performers can ask ‘What is Comedy?’ and ‘How can it connect us to the larger Philadelphia community?’” says Andracchio. “Our goal is to pair comedy with different disciplines, such as the academic and the playwrighting communities to create engaging  productions that will ignite conversations and reach new audiences. Hence the tagline for the series: “Connect. Ignite. Explode.”

Two successful 2013 FRINGE projects are being relaunched as part of this series: Page One directed by Steve Kleinedler, and Study Hall directed by Mike Marbach. In the pipeline are completely new conceptual shows that will debut later this year. Dynamite Series @ PHIT shows run Saturdays at 7:30PM. Tickets for these shows can be purchased online at the PHIT website or through their Facebook page.

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SPRING CLASSES NOW ENROLLING! SPECIAL GUEST! PAYMENT PLANS!

MarbachSmallIt is official: The Philly Improv Theater now has a home! Not only is this great for performers and the comedy loving public, but it’s great for students! Students enrolled in winter session classes will be able to see more shows than they can probably squeeze into their schedule. All within feet of where their class takes place. Thank you to anyone and everyone that came out to our opening weekend or helped out in any way. Also a huge thank you to all students enrolled in winter session classes. You’re already proving to be such a great bunch of people. I’ve enjoyed getting to meet many of you both in person and through the PHIT Training Center Facebook group.

The last of the winter session classes just started Sunday and already it’s time to look ahead to the Spring. With a foot of snow still on the ground that’s not something I mind doing. Just like any sequel there is more of your old favorites as well as some new characters to change things up a bit. Below you’ll find some highlights of the Spring 2014 Session as well as some more great news for students!

PHIT NOW OFFERING PAYMENT PLAN!
We know that putting out money for a class is not an easy thing for everyone to do, so we’re looking to help you out. Starting with the Spring 2014 Session core classes and select electives and workshops will be eligible for a split payments. You will be able to hold a spot in a class during the first several weeks of enrollment with a non-refundable 50% deposit, then you’ll have several more weeks to pay the balance of the regular registration price and secure your space.

When split payments are available this will be indicated next to the price on the class description page and you will see a drop-down menu before the PayPal “Buy Now” button where you’ll have have the option of choosing to pay the full early registration price (saving $50) or making a split payment for the regular registration price for the class. For Spring 2014 classes the payment plan option will only be available until 2/7/2014 and the 2nd payment must be made by 3/7/2014 (once your deposit is received you will be emailed an invoice for your balance that you can pay anytime before the 2nd payment deadline). Please remember, if you choose the split-payment option the first payment is non-refundable should you fail to make the second payment – we will be holding that spot for you and turning other students away should a class become sold-out when we include spots which are being held.

KevinMcDonaldsmallKEVIN MCDONALD RETURNS TO PHIT!
On May 10th-11th Kevin McDonald of Kids In the Hall fame will return to PHIT to teach his very popular Improv to Sketch Master Class. The class will be run over two days and will teach you the process through which he and his KITH brethren created the iconic show. Another bit of good news- the aforementioned payment plan is available for this weekend workshop! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!


CORE CLASSES GROWING!

Several classes in the winter session had wait lists, so we’re trying to accommodate people by adding a date to Improv 101, Sketch 101, Improv 201 and Improv 301. And yes, that payment plan option is available for core classes! This will most likely ensure that the Dean’s List Student ID bowl will need to be upgraded.

We can also now welcome to the Improv Instructor team, Rob Gentile and to the sketch instructor team, Sean Landis! Rob has been active with PHIT for years now on Mayor Karen and has directed Dr. Sleepover, which you can now catch on Saturday Nights. Sean Landis can be seen on sketch team American Breakfast as well as a writer/performer on PHIT Sketch House Team, The Flat Earth. Whether you are an improv or sketch person you’re in for a treat with either of these guys. Welcome, Rob & Sean!

STAND-UP COMEDY WORKSHOP IS BACK!
Comedian, Aaron Hertzog will be leading this workshop that will help you get started in the world of stand-up comedy from absolute beginner advice on stage presence to helping you craft your act. If you’ve been looking to get into stand-up, or already do it and are looking to hone your craft a bit more, this workshop is for you.

IMPROVISED SCENE STUDY AND AN INTRO TO THEATRICAL CLOWNING
Two fantastic electives with two of the best improvisers in Philadelphia! Jess Ross will go through many different scene techniques and help you loosen up and have more fun on stage in her Improvised Scene Study elective. Kristen Schier’s Clowning elective has been talked about for a while, so I’m bumping it up to the Spring session. As she puts it, “It is not essential to have previous experience of this particular way of working but it is necessary to come prepared to fail, make mistakes and laugh at yourself…for it is only by accepting our ridiculousness that we will find and enjoy performing our clowns! All students will receive a complimentary red nose.” A red nose!

With the special guest just announced (and the possibility of more), returning workshops, new electives, practice groups and of course comedy shows now happening at the theater 5 days a week(!) there really is something for everyone at PHIT this Spring. Head on over to our enroll now page and see all that we have to offer. Hope to see you around the theater soon!

Have questions? Send an email to classes@phillyimprovtheater.com

Mike Marbach
PHIT Education Director

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Classes and Rehearsals Cancelled for Tuesday, 1/21/2014

Due to the snowstorm affecting the Philadelphia region, all classes and rehearsals at PHIT are cancelled for the evening of Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Stay safe and warm everyone!

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PHIT Announces Auditions for our Upcoming Spring Theatrical Run – “Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn”

KristenSchier_small

PHIT is excited to hold auditions for our spring theatrical run show, Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn. This improvised show will simultaneously pay homage to and gleefully mock the original Star Trek – complete with low-budget effects, aliens that look suspiciously like people in different colored tunics, and no noticeable plot.

Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn will be directed by Michael Hochman and will run as PHIT’s spring theatrical run show being produced by Kristen Schier. Rehearsals will be held Sunday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Monday evenings from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. beginning February 16th. Performances will begin with a preview on Wednesday, April 16th at 7:30 p.m. and then run April 17th through May 3rd on Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.. Performers will receive a stipend. More information on compensation will be provided to those offered spots in the cast before they make their final decision to accept or decline an offer to be part of the production.

MillenniumQuestWarpJawnMeme

AUDITION TIMES & PREREQUISITES
PHIT will be holding auditions for Millennium Quest: Warp Jawn on Saturday February 1st, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on our stage at 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Auditioners should have previously completed PHIT’s Improv 201 course or will need to detail their previous training and receive permission from the theater’s Season Producer to attend (in general, having taken an equivalent “201″ or “intermediate” course with another established improv school will meet the requirement). Auditioners who have taken classes at PHIT will not be given special preference over those who have studied elsewhere – although we will have had more time to see you perform,  which may help. You must be available for the posted audition times to be considered. No other audition times are available.

HOW TO SECURE AN AUDITION
Sign-ups for audition times begin immediately. To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, a preferred time (if any), and details of your past improv training (theatre, level, instructor) to contact@phillyimprovtheater.com. Philly Improv Theater supports equal opportunity and actively seeks diversity – we encourage all auditioners regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age.

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 timeslots, we will not be taking walk-in auditioners.

ON THE DAY OF THE AUDITION
BE SURE TO 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 audition. Resumes are not required but will gladly be accepted. Please bring a headshot with you if you have one. If you don’t have headshots, a recent snapshot will suffice. Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Auditioners will be seen every 30 minutes in groups of 6-10. Auditioners should be prepared to demonstrate three characters, at least one of which is directly inspired by Star Trek. The audition will consist of exercises and improvised scene work. The director and members of PHIT’s artistic team will be in attendance. Select PHIT instructors may also invited to watch auditions. Anyone who is not providing artistic input or not an auditioner will be required to wait outside during auditions.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Send an email to contact@phillyimprovtheater.com.

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Classes and Rehearsals Cancelled for Thursday, 1/2/2014

Due to the impending snowstorm, all classes and rehearsals at PHIT are cancelled for the evening of Thursday, January 2, 2014. Stay safe and warm everyone!

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New weekday daytime class added and several FREE intro to improv workshops!

Do you want to take an improv class at PHIT, but your night time work or performance schedule keeps that from happening? Not anymore! Starting in the Winter 2014 class session, PHIT will offer its first weekday class! Aimed at people who operate outside the 9-5 life, the class will start on Monday, January 13, 2014 from 12:30-2:30pm. Longform improv is of particular use to actors as it will help you create unique characters for new shows or discover deeper levels for roles you may be taking on. Improv will also help you build up your confidence to stand in front of a crowd whether it’s for a performance on stage or a lecture at work. You’ll also meet great people!

There will also be a FREE Intro to Improv Workshop offered during the day! Monday, 12/23/13 from 12:30pm-2:30pm. So if you’d like to see what this whole improv thing is about and you couldn’t make our weekend or weeknight workshops- here’s your chance!

And for those of you with more flexible schedules we also have 3 more FREE Intro to Improv Workshop weeknight options. Each one is taught by one of our Winter session Improv 101 instructors. Each is ready for you to register!

If you already know that you’re interested in taking a class then you can enroll now! Our Winter 101 classes start the week of January 12th. If you enroll on or before 1/3/2014 you’ll save $50!

Any questions, please email classes@phillyimprovtheater.com.

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Save money on PHIT classes this weekend!

Asteroid_Production_001With PHIT’s Black Friday deal you don’t need to risk injury or even leave the house! Today, Friday, November 29th until 11:59pm we’ll be offering spots in our Improv 101 and Sketch 101 classes for our original price: $199! That’s $50 extra dollars on top of the early registration discount for a total of $100 savings (30% off) of the current regular registration price. Give the gift of laughter to yourself or someone you love!

We’re also offering a small gift to returning students. If you enroll in a 201 class or higher on Friday or Saturday we’ll send you a PHIT t-shirt in the mail, just in time for the holidays!

For Small Business Saturday and continuing through Cyber Monday we have one last deal – 10% off ALL classes ($225) and $5 off workshops!

I hope you’ll take advantage of these deals if you were planning to sign up for another class. We have several 101 classes starting in January, and a similar number of higher level classes – so there should be something that fits your schedule.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Weekend!

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Big PHIT Training Center Announcement!

MarbachSmallIn just over two months the Philly Improv Theater will have a permanent home in the Adrienne Theater. With the performance space now moving to the Adrienne it means that for the first time all classes and shows will be in the same building! For me this is especially exciting because students will be able to finish a class and see a show just feet away. That’s a great thing it’s not even the biggest thing I’m looking forward to for the Training Center in the coming year. This move brings many changes – including some for students that take classes. If you’re a student or potential student at PHIT I want to encourage you to keep reading…

Starting in January 2014 the Training Center will move to a system of sessions for all our classes. What this means is that all classes at the theater will start and end in roughly the one-week period, five times a year. Our five sessions will be:

Winter (starting mid-January)
Spring (starting mid-March)
Early-Summer (starting late May)
Late-Summer (starting early-August)
Fall (starting early-October)

Each session will have class shows that all take place in the same weekend, and PHIT will be able to have special activities for all students in a given session together (like end of session parties, field trips, etc.).

We will be offering more classes, electives, and workshops each session. There will be multiple sections for most classes (for example, we will offer five sections of Improv 101 and two sections of Sketch 101 in our Winter Session). This will make it easier for students to find a class that works for them because they’ll have more choices. It will also be easier to continue without a break from one level to the next, because the next Session will start a week or two after the prior session ends.

Some days and times of the week will offer classes in sequence across the entire year. So if you start an Improv 101 in the winter session on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., there will be a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 201 in the spring session, a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 301 in the early-summer session, and a Monday 7:00 p.m. Improv 401 in the late-summer session.

PHIT will now be offering weekly practice groups matched to your level of experience. These practice groups, called Improv 102, Improv 202 and Improv 302 will be two-hour drop-in classes that help reinforce the concepts you are learning in Improv 101, Improv 201 and Improv 301. And they won’t just be for students in the equivalent levels – anyone who is a current or former student in the matching level can take the classes, so you’ll be free to come back to Improv 102 for a week and brush up on basics if you’ve moved on. Our X02 classes will be free for students enrolled in any class or elective during the current session and students who are between classes will be able to come for a small fee – payable in cash at the door.

Making up classes will also be easier since we will now be able to offer you multiple make-up opportunities in the same week.

All of these changes are in addition to the updates we continuously make to our curriculum based on years of feedback from students, instructors and the many guests we host each year for workshops.

Along with these changes and all the new benefits they entail we are also going to be increasing class prices to $249 for early registration and $299 for late registration. This is the first time we have raised the prices for class at PHIT in 5 years and we will believe it’s a very good deal. A comparable class in town at The Walnut Street Theater (the only training center bigger than PHIT’s in Philadelphia) is $250. If you travel to Chicago for a class at The Second City or iO class prices are $280-$360, and in New York the classes range from $400-$475 at the UCB Theatre.

There’s a lot of work happening at the theater right now to prepare for the switch to sessions and I couldn’t be happier doing it. It’s all very good news for students and for the Philly comedy community overall. Thank you for continuing to come and play, audition and perform, and spread the word.

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Meet the New Hosts of “The Theme Show” – ManiPedi!

PHIT’s monthly “The Theme Show” pulls together sketches from local groups and creates one-of-a-kind shows that all relate to a specific theme, like this week’s upcoming show “Let’s Eat!” We asked the new hosts of the show, Philly super group ManiPedi, to answer a few questions about the show and what they’re bringing to the table. Here’s what they had to say for themselves…ManiPedi2013Big

PHIT: What attracted you to becoming the new hosts of The Theme Show?

ManiPedi: We were avid fans and regular performers on the show! Also, Brian Kelly asked us, and when Brian Kelly asks you to host Theme Show, you say “How high?” (Disclaimer: We are not actually high when we host the theme show, even though the next theme is “Let’s Eat!”)

PHIT: Are you hoping to change the show in any way or add new and exciting stuff?

ManiPedi: Any time we can eat stuff on stage, we will- so expect a lot of that! We also thought it’d be fun to make it more interactive, so we’ll involve the audience at times both during the show and hopefully in the near future with fun contests/games online!

PHIT: The Halloween edition of the show (The Rocky Horror Sketch Show) was a pretty awesome debut of your group as the new hosts. Will all of the shows be as over the top and crazy?

ManiPedi: Thank you! We love compliments! Everyone on the show brought their A-game, as they always do, and that has always made the show! And yes, there will be more over the top stuff- we wanted to make the RHTS especially interactive and campy for the movie, but we’ll keep up the production value and weirdness for all future Theme Shows!

PHIT: What are your thoughts about the sketch scene in Philly? Be brutal.

It’s the worst! SIKE! We love it- we are constantly inspired by all of the existing and new teams in the city, and all of us are even involved in other sketch endeavors (SHAMELESS PLUG TIME: Dog Mountain, The Flat Earth, Goat Rodeo, Local Holiday Miracle). Oh right, the people don’t want to hear that…so…dirt, dirt, garbage, disposal, truck. TRASH TALK!

PHIT: ManiPedi is like the first ladies of Philly sketch, and I’m sure you have a million fans. What’s the weirdest piece of fan mail you’ve ever received?

ManiPedi: Oooh, First Ladies! YES! That means we’re like the Bette Midler of Philly Sketch! Oh wait…that’s the First Wives Club…does Philly have a First Wives Club? If so, can we join without marrying people?

As for fan mail, we once received a mysterious statue that looked like all of us combined and it’s eyes glow red, and now none of us have souls.

PHIT: Any final thoughts or words of wisdom you’d like to leave our readers with?

ManiPedi: Never leave home without snacks, and always keep a full sheet cake in your car, should the occasion arise!

Check out our next Theme Show presents… Let’s Eat! this Friday at 10PM!

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Announcing Our New Improv House Team Casts and Current Team Updates!

RalphSmallAfter a weekend filled with hours of auditions and great performances by talented players, lists have been culled, decisions made, and PHIT is now proud to announce the casts for our three new Improv House Teams! The new teams will be:

Codename Frostfangs – Directed by Nick Mirra
Lizzie Burrows, Andrew Coppola, AJ Horan, Nicole Labrecque, Kevin Quirk, Raja Rajanathan, Sam Scavuzzo, Joe Tuzzi, Zach Uzupis

Codename Nymeria – Directed by Jessica Ross
Hannah Datz, Joe Gates, Jimi Haak, Derrick Hackett, Brendan Kingston, Danielle Klaiman, Jeff Kremzier, Rachel Semigran, Adam Steiger

Codename Highgarden – Directed by Caitlin Weigel
Rob Alesiani, Ronnie Clarkson, Tyler Garamella, Tom Hannigan, Robert O’Neill, Erin Pitts, Adam Siry, McGair Valois, Corin Wells

Congratulations to everyone cast on teams this time around! I know I speak for the PHIT Artistic Team when I say I’m pretty excited to see these teams debut on our new stage in January!

Also, exciting news for one of our existing House Teams! Mike Marbach, PHIT’s Education Director and director of former PHIT House Team Asteroid! will now be the new director for PHIT House Team The Future. Along with Mike, The Future welcomes new cast member Caitlin Weigel. Congrats to The Future, and good luck with your new members!

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to come out and audition this past weekend. We continue to be blown away by the talent here in Philadelphia, and a lot of that talent was on display at auditions. Please keep learning, growing, and performing. We look forward to seeing you at future rounds of auditions!

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Big PHIT Improv House Team News!

If you missed our FREE Improv Jam last night, you missed being the first to hear the big announcement. Our Tuesday Night Harold teams, Big Baby and Dr. Sleepover, have grown over this year and become amazing teams that have done such a great job making Tuesday nights a hit with not only audiences, but students and fellow performers. In light of all this, beginning in January of 2014 PHIT has decided to officially move these teams  and make them our newest Saturday Improv House Teams! They will join our existing Saturday teams to make Saturdays even more mind-blowing at PHIT.

Now, you may be asking yourself “Well, what about Harold Night? What’s going to happen to Tuesdays? Won’t someone PLEASE think about HAROLD NIGHT!?” First, take a breath. Second, we didn’t forget about Harold Night! The auditions we are holding this weekend will create three (!) new teams which will perform on Harold Night, and they will take up the torch to continue our great Harold night programming.

Join us in congratulating Big Baby and Dr. Sleepover on their great success!

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Scientists Predict Asteroid! to Break Up in Spectacular Nighttime Show This Saturday

After 3.5 years of traversing the solar system, their orbit bringing them closer and closer to the Earth, Asteroid! will finally enter our atmosphere and break apart in a spectacular show set to happen this Saturday at 7pm at The Shubin Theater. Local director/amateur astronomer Mike Marbach had this to say about this weekend’s events:

“I’m not known for being of few words, so I’ll just say I’m going to miss this team. Tremendously. Like… a lot. The love they have for each other and the fun they have with each other is evident on stage. In improv you’re supposed to make each other look good. They’ve made me look good for years now. They’ve done nothing but make me proud time and time again. I’m their biggest fan and I want to thank them for all the good times we’ve had both on stage and off. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye.”

Tickets are now on sale for this once in a lifetime event. Please click here for more info and tickets. And enjoy this short video made by Asteroid! member Caitlin Weigel.

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Meet Our New Directors!

PHIT is excited for our upcoming auditions on October 26th to cast three brand new Improv House Teams, and we wanted to formally introduce the three directors that will be taking the helm! They are talented, experienced performers, and will bring three fresh and interesting points of view to our House Team family.

Nick-smallthumbNicholas Mirra

Nicholas Mirra was introduced to improv comedy at Haverford College when a UCB harold team came to campus. After that galvanizing experience, he joined Haverford’s The Throng and began learning the art of collaborative make-em-ups. After Haverford he moved to Philadelphia, where he co-founded (and performed in – otherwise that would be sad) two indie teams, Illegal Refill and Leo Callahan. Nicholas is currently a member of PHIT Improv House Team Davenger. Outside of improv, Nicholas is a freelance sports contributor for The Onion and maintains a long distance relationship with the Seattle Mariners.

JessRoss_color(small)Jessica Ross

Jessica Ross attended the Southern New Jersey Academy of Performing Arts at G.C.I.T in 2004 and received her B.A in Theater with a minor in Anthropology from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2009. In the summer of 2011 she graduated from the IO Summer Intensive Program in Chicago. Jessica performs regularly with the PHIT house team Asteroid!, voted Best Improv Team by the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy, and the improv duo Hot Dog with Luke Field. Past improv shows include Stage Fright: An Improvised Homage to Hitchcock, Twenty-four, Adrift, and Myths & Monsters. Jessica is also a member of PHIT’s first sketch house team, The Flat Earth and indie sketch team ManiPedi. Past festival appearances include the Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Fringe Festival, Duofest, F. Harold Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, Toronto International Improv Festival, The Del Close Marathon, the Chicago Improv Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and the Baltimore Improv Festival. She has studied with Rich Talarico, Barry Hite, Jet Eveleth, Susan Messing, Brett Lyons, Joe Bill, and Lyndsay Hailey and received the Best Female Improviser Award at the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. Offstage, Jessica likes to paint, travel, and work towards her life goal of becoming a cat lady by spending time with her kitties Black Betty Bam-a-Lam and JoJo. Jessica is currently Philly Improv Theater’s Variety Producer.

CaitlinWeigel_color(small)Caitlin Weigel

Caitlin is a proud member of the PHIT house team, Asteroid! A graduate of the Capital Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg, Caitlin began improvising with her college performance team, Fowl Play, in her sophomore year at Temple University as a way to curb her marathon napping habits. While at Temple, Caitlin was the headwriter for the student-run sketch show, Temple Smash, which airs on TUTV. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys hot gluing things to other things, planning theme parties, and incorporating goat cheese into every meal.

Please join us in welcoming these three great performers into their new roles! Click here to read more about our upcoming auditions.

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A Fond Farewell to Hot Dish and ZaoGao

It’s always sad when a team’s run comes to a close, and this weekend, two of PHIT’s Improv House Teams will be retiring with a final farewell show. Hot Dish (directed by Steve Kleinedler) and ZaoGao (directed by Kristen Schier) will be ending their runs, and we asked the directors for their thoughts about their teams. Here’s what they said…

HotDish_Production_001

“Working with Hot Dish has been a great joy: the cast is funny, fearless, and just the right amount of raunchy — they live up to their name, and there’s never been a dull moment. I’m immensely proud of all of them.”
- Steve Kleinedler

ZaoGao_Production_001

“I don’t have children but ZaoGao is as close as you can get without giving birth. I love them desperately. Each and everyone of them. They have really formed an ensemble out of such unique and talented performers and have truly grown into a team. I have a lot of favorite moments but the one I missed will haunt me – the cartwheel with Billy during their first fringe run was legendary. They have made me so proud, so immensely proud and I am happy we get to celebrate them.”

- Kristen Schier

The teams will perform one last time this Saturday night, October 12th at 10:00 p.m., followed at 11:00 p.m. by a farewell celebration at Bainbridge Street Barrel House (6th and Bainbridge street). Please come and say goodbye to two great teams! Tickets are on sale now.

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SAVE THE DATE: PHIT IMPROV HOUSE TEAM AUDITIONS OCTOBER 26, 2013!

RalphSmallPHIT will once again be looking for Philly’s best and brightest improvisers this fall, as we expand our performance opportunities in the PHIT House Team program by adding multiple new ensembles of 8-10 players each which will premiere in PHIT’s new permanent home in January 2014! Further details on auditions are below. First round auditions will take place on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10am – 5pm. Callbacks will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 1pm – 4pm. 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, and a preferred time (if any) 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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