2013 FRINGE Spotlight: Cart Before the Horse

All good things come in threes – Stooges, Back to the Futures, Circus Rings – and now Fringe2013Cart4x6FrontPhilly Improv Theater sketch house teams!  Goat Rodeo, PHIT’s third sketch comedy house team, will debut their show “Cart Before the Horse” during the 2013 Fringe Festival.  The new house team features The Feeko Brothers’ Christian Alsis as head writer and Secret Pants’ Samantha Russell as director.  The talented writing staff of Goat Rodeo includes a mix of Philadelphia sketch comedy veterans and some new to the scene.   Promising to be a highly energetic and fun experience, “Cart Before the Horse” is most definitely a show not to be missed!

Cart Before the Horse runs through the following dates:

Thursday, September 5 – 10:30 pm
Friday, September 6 – 10:30 pm
Saturday, September 7 – 10:30 pm
Sunday, September 8 – 5:00 pm

The Adrienne Mainstage, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Click here for ticket information and reservations.

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2013 FRINGE Spotlight: The Party

Philly Improv Theater invites you to The Party. Come see the inner workings of a fully Temp4x6 coimprovised celebration, as some of Philly’s most skilled comedians explore awkward social situations inspired by the audience’s suggestion with hilarious results.

PHIT continues a premiere Season that was kicked off by The Bat in May, with the exciting offering of The Party. The show is being directed by long time PHIT performer instructor and current Season Producer Kristen Schier. The cast of includes some of Philly Improv Theater’s talented house-team members as well as up and coming comedians making their debut on PHIT’s stage.

“The cast has such a wonderful way of finding the hilarity of awkward social gatherings. They create such fantastically rich characters. Everyone should see this show”  – Kristen Schier

The Party runs through the following dates:

Thursday, September 5 – 9:00 pm
Friday, September 6 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, September 7 – 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 8 – 3:00 pm
Friday, September 13 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, September 14 – 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 15 – 3:00 pm
Thursday, September 19 – 9:00 pm
Friday, September 20 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, September 21 – 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 22 – 3:00 pm

The Adrienne Mainstage, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Click here for ticket information and reservations.

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2013 FRINGE Spotlight: Page One

Fringe2013Page4x6FrontAs part of the Philadelpahia Fringe Festival, the Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) presents Page One, a series of four improvised full-length plays. Four local playwrights will submit outlines for an original play. PHIT house team Mayor Karen takes it from there, creating funny, wistful, and engaging theater based on the playwright’s thoughts and ideas. Each performance is a never-before-seen production — it’s new even to the playwright!

PHIT director Steve Kleinedler and the cast of Mayor Karen is excited about this production, because “Page One is unlike anything PHIT has done and it’s unlike Philadelphia audiences have ever seen. The Philadelphia area has a great deal of talent, and we’re proud to provide another venue for their works.”

Even though though the story will be improvised, each show will have the flavor of the playwright who inspired the piece. Page One is based on a concept developed by Will Luera during his long tenure as Artistic Director of ImprovBoston.

Page One runs through the following dates:

Thursday September 5 – 7:00 pm
Friday September 6 – 7:00 pm
Saturday September 7 – 7:00 pm
Sunday September 8 – 7:00 pm

The Adrienne Mainstage, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Click here for ticket information and reservations.

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Announcing The Writers Of Codename Method Man + Dog Mountain Adds New Writer!

BrianKellySmallWe heard the demand to add a third sketch house team at PHIT and were eager to make this a reality by opening up writer submissions this past May. Again, we were blown away by the amount of interest and quality in the submitted packets. In June, Codename Method Man director, Samantha Russell, and head writer, Christian Alsis, read through each submission packet with the assistance of PHIT’s sketch comedy writing instructors and the head writers and directors of our current sketch house teams. Both the director and head writer were selected in advance (by PHIT’s artistic director and sketch comedy producer) and ultimately chose the writers who will be working with them.

Codename Method Man
Christian Alsis – Head Writer
Dan Boldin – Writer
Martha Cooney – Writer
Bill Flynn – Writer
Aaron Hertzog – Writer
Chris McGrail – Writer
Justin Miller – Writer
Samantha Russell – Director
Aubrie Williams – Writer

We are also very proud to announce that ManiPedi’s own Briana Kelly will be joining the Dog Mountain writing team!

We look forward to the Codename Method Man premiere at this year’s 2013 Fringe Festival. We also send our appreciation and thanks to all of those who submitted, making a third sketch house team possible.

Don’t forget that it is not too late to still be a part of these shows – we are currently casting actors for Codename Method Man (the announcement of auditions is on PHIT’s home page).

 

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PHIT Announces New Sketch House Team Actor Auditions!

BrianKellySmallPHIT will be holding open-call auditions in search of actors for our newest Sketch House Team on Sunday, July 28 from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.. Auditions will be held in the PHIT Office, now located on the 3rd floor of The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Auditioners do not need to have prior improv, sketch or even acting experience (although none of these things will hurt!), and 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.

Actors in our new Sketch House Team will need to be available for all rehearsals and all shows in the Fringe Festival run (rehearsals will be at least once a week; times and dates TBD leading up to the Fringe Festival run Thursday, September 5, through Sunday, September 6). Actors will be expected to learn their lines outside of rehearsal.
You must be available for the audition times to be considered. No other audition times are available.

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). At the time you are sent your audition confirmation you will also receive a packet of brief sketch excerpts that we will ask you to read from (off-book if possible, though this is NOT required) during your audition slot.

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.

ON THE DAY OF THE AUDITION:
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. 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 is fine).

Auditioners will be seen individually for 10-15 minutes each. You will be seen by some of the writers for the show as well as the director or head writer. Each auditioner will have 3 minutes at the top of the audition to do anything they would like. (This could be delivering a monologue, offering the writers a briefcase full of money, or something like this guy). After this you’ll read/perform some of the material that was sent to you in advance along with a writer from the show.

CASTING DECISIONS:
Will be made immediately after auditions end. You should hear from us about your status within 48 hours of your audition time. Everyone who auditions will receive a reply letting them know whether or not they have been cast.

Still have questions?
Send us an email (get our email address from the contact page of the site).

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PHIT’s “Movie Scrapple” Accepting Writer/Performer Submissions

KristenSchier_color(small)PHIT is now casting for another 2013 Fringe Festival production titled Movie Scrapple. Produced by Kristen Schier and directed by Joe Coughlin, Movie Scrapple is another unique offering during the upcoming Fringe Festival that has a slightly different submission process than our earlier Sketch House Team Writer submissions or our recent 2013 Fringe Festival Improv auditions.

Ever watched a movie so bad you just had to say something? Your favorite Philly comedians endured hours of the worst films ever made, then created the commentary track you wish came with the DVD: one filled with humor. Hollywood released the bombs; Movie Scrapple fires back with jokes.

Movie Scrapple will be directed by Joe Coughlin. Rehearsals will be held on a schedule that works for the selected group of writer/performers. Performances will be on Friday night/Saturday morning’s during the 2013 Fringe Festival at midnight and run September 7th, 14th, and 21st.

To be considered for the show, please complete this online form. PHIT will accept submissions until July 7th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Selected writer/performers, as well as all who submit a form, will be notified of their selection or rejection by July 12th.

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2013 FRINGE FESTIVAL IMPROV AUDITIONS – JUNE 22ND!

KristenSchier_color(small)PHIT is excited to hold auditions for our fall theatrical run, an original improvised piece titled The Party which will premiere during the 2013 Fringe Festival, and another of our Fringe shows – an improvised parody of crime procedurals titled Reasonable Doubt.

The Party is a simple character driven monoscene format that takes place all at the same party, the type of which will be suggested by the audience at the top of the show. We will explore all manner of awkward, touching and hilarious, exchanges on display against the backdrop of a celebration.

The Party will be directed by Kristen Schier and will be PHIT’s fall theatrical run production in the new theatrical run programming being produced by Kristen Schier. Rehearsals will be held Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons beginning July 10th, and a technical rehearsal will be held on Wednesday, September 4th. Performances will begin Thursday, September 5th at 9:00 p.m. and then run September 6th through September 22nd on Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 9:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Performers will receive a stipend.

Reasonable Doubt – Crime is afoot! Watch as our cast plans, perpetrates, and prosecutes a felony chosen by the audience. The performers will be judges, attorneys, defendants, and more as they improvise a trial while simultaneously exploring the scene of the crime. Will justice be served or will the guilty walk free?

Reasonable Doubt will be directed by Meredith Weir and Adam Siry. Rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. beginning on June 26th, and Sundays beginning in August. Performances will begin Thursday, September 12th at 10:00 p.m. and run Friday the 13th at 10:00 p.m., Saturday the 14th at 10:00 p.m., and Sunday the 15th at 5:00 p.m.

 

AUDITION TIMES & PRE-REQUISITES

PHIT will be holding auditions for both of these productions on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at The Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

 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 (if you have not completed PHIT’s Improv 201) to contact@phillyimprovtheater.com. You will receive a confirmation message within one (1) business days – for example, if you contact us on Monday you’ll hear from us by Tuesday.We will accept sign-ups until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 21st or 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 do not need to prepare anything in advance, as the audition will be entirely improvised. You will be asked to participate in a few short group exercises and will then perform a short improvised scene. The directors and members of PHIT’s Artistic Team will be in attendance. PHIT Instructors are also invited and may watch auditions. Anyone who is not a member of this group or is an auditioner will be required to wait outside the audition space during auditions.

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Send an email to the theater, our information is on the contact page.

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PHIT SEEKS WRITERS FOR NEW SKETCH HOUSE TEAM!

BrianKellySmallSubmit by Monday, May 27th, 2012 at 5:00 P.M. EST!

PHIT will once again be producing an all-new sketch revue show for the 2013 FringeArts Festival. Working together during the summer months under the supervision of a Head Writer and Director a group of writers and performers will put together a 40-45 minute sketch show of entirely original material that will debut Thursday, September 5th, 2013 and run nightly through September 8th. Writers and performers will not necessarily overlap, so if you only want to create sketches and don’t want to appear on stage you’ll be able to do that. PHIT seeks only writers at this time (auditions for performers will occur later, during the summer) and encourages all submissions regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual preference, religion, disability or age. Depending on the success of the FringeArts Festival show, the team may be given the opportunity to continue mounting further shows with support from PHIT.

Some things to consider before submitting:

  • Writers will be expected to attend a weekly meeting with the Head Writer and consistently generate new material while also working on re-writes.
  • Writers are in no way guaranteed performance opportunities in the show. The actors for the show will be selected through a separate audition process later, during the summer at a time and date TBA.
  • Being part of a PHIT Sketch House Team will involve a large time commitment, so writers should view their involvement with the team as their first priority when it comes to sketch comedy. Some great writers may not be part of this project because their priority is to other shows or groups, or because they’d rather use the time to focus on performance opportunities. If you feel like your sketch priorities lie elsewhere, please don’t submit.

HOW TO SUBMIT
Anyone is eligible to submit, we welcome entries from anyone who believes they have talent and has considered the factors we listed above, thought about them, and decided they are down to be involved.

 To be considered for a writing spot you will submit a packet consisting of:

  1. A brief cover letter (1-page maximum – single spaced, size 10 font) explaining what you will bring to the writing team.
  2. Three (3) different original sketches you’ve written without a writing partner. Please arrange these sketches in order with what you feel is your strongest sketch first.
  3. Three (3) additional 1-2 sentence pitches of other sketch ideas you have.

Include the material you feel best represents you as a writer and shows us your sense of humor. Sketches can be intended either for stage or for video, although we would suggest including no more than one video script per packet (while video may be incorporated into the show at the discretion of the head writer and director, the show will predominantly feature live sketch material). Your entire packet – cover letter, pitch page, and three sketches cannot exceed 17 pages total. Again, please note that we cannot consider material you have co-written – please only include sketches you’ve written solo. Your name should only appear on your cover letter. All submissions will be read “blind” by the review group and it saves us considerable time and resources if we do not need to remove your name from submitted files.

Packet submissions will be handled via email. Please make note of the following submission rules. Your submission will not be considered if it not sent correctly. Email your completed submission to: sketchsubmissions@phillyimprovtheater.com. In the body of your email, include the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • The best phone number at which to reach you
  • Names of any past sketch teachers (at PHIT or elsewhere)
  • Any people/groups with whom you frequently collaborate (if applicable)
  • A list of the titles for the three sketches in your packet
  • Attach your submission packet to your email as a single file. In other words, combine all 3 of your sketches into one file. Acceptable file formats are: .pdf, .odf, .rtf or .doc (PDF strongly preferred).

Non-submission emails sent to sketchsubmissions@phillyimprovtheater.com will not be read. You will receive an email from PHIT staff confirming that your submission was received and we could open your files. Again, the deadline to submit is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 27th.

You should hear something about the status of your submission from PHIT during the week of June 11th.

Still have questions?
Send us an email! Our contact info is at: http://www.phillyimprovtheater.com/about/contact/

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Cast for “The Bat” Announced!

PHIT is excited to announce the cast of our Spring Theatrical Run, The Bat. A critical and audience hit at the 2011 Philly Fringe Festival under the title “Dark Comedy”, The Bat is an improv show unlike any other – a spontaneously created comedy performance in pitch blackness. Without the benefit of lights The Bat unfolds similarly to a radio play, allowing the audiences’ imagination to run wild.

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

Joe Coughlin
AJ Horan
Sue Jahani
Molly Pace
Marc Reber
Rachel Semigran
Adam Siry
Lizzie Spellman
Becca Trabin
Corin Wells

 

Directed by Jason Grimley and produced by Kristen Schier, The Bat runs from on Tuesday, April 30th through Sunday, May 19th. For a full schedule and tickets please check the PHIT website show calendar or visit our TicketLeap page for the run.

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PHIT Accepting Show Submissions For Our 2013 FringeArts Run!

KristenSchier_color(small)Over the years Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) has been a major force in the Philadelphia Live Arts & Philly Fringe Festival – now rebranded as the FringeArts Festival – producing dozens of distinct shows and hundreds of performances: everything from original musical comedies to storytelling showcases and full-fledged variety shows (complete with dancers and a live bands) to live podcast recordings… all alongside our regular high quality improv and sketch house ensembles.

This year we are looking to build on this level of quality and find shows that are original, groundbreaking, and just plain awesome. We are officially opening up the submission process today! PHIT seeks the best ideas you have to become part of our FringeArts run on The Adrienne Theatre Mainstage. Selected shows will have the full backing and support of PHIT: including a budget, supervision from our Season Producer Kristen Schier and additional support from the rest of PHIT’s artistic team. We can be as helpful as you need us to be bringing your show to life!

We will be accepting submissions now through Monday May 6, 2013. Please visit the Philly Improv Theater FringeArts 2013 Show Idea Submission Form to fill out a survey outlining your idea and answer other important questions about your project that will help us understand your needs. Chosen submissions will be announced Friday May 10, 2013.

It’s time to move those ideas in your brain onto the stage. Submit your ideas here and now!

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PHIT Is Hiring!

PHIT is growing rapidly and is now seeking front-of-house staff for our venue to help ensure the smooth running of the theater on performance nights. If you’re a fan of comedy with a cheerful, friendly, and helpful disposition who has some free time in the evenings or during the day on the weekend and wouldn’t mind a little extra money coming in each month (in some cases) we want to hear from you.

At present we are hiring for two different positions, both of which are hourly wage jobs:

  • House Manager: our House Managers are responsible for opening/closing our venues in a timely manner, checking the cleanliness of the public and performer only areas of the venue to guarantee that they are ready for shows, ensuring volunteers and performers arrive on or before their call time and contacting those who do not, handling any customer service issues that arise after the building opens to the public, and making sure performances run on time and according to the schedule. They work with a team that includes the Executive Director, Artistic Director, Producers, and other front-of-house and tech staff.  House Managers work three (3) shifts of between 6-8 hours during the weeks PHIT has performances – approx. two (2) weeks each month (with a possible expansion to every week of the year in the future). PHIT currently seeks 4 House Managers (two primary staff and two “alternates” to work occasional shifts) for these paid positions.

  • Box Office Manager: The Box Office Manager/Group Sales Coordinator will oversee the entirety of PHIT’s box office operations. In the PHIT Office on non-performance weeks, these duties will include ensuring all events are accurately listed and tickets are made available for sale at the correct prices via TicketLeap as performances are confirmed. At the performance venue these duties include the day-to-day responsibilities of making sure there is a staff member from your team (including yourself) scheduled to be present at the box office for every PHIT performance, insuring the cash drawer is stocked with change, the ticketing system is set up and running correctly, and all paper tickets and ticket selling paraphernalia are fully stocked for each evening. Additionally, the Box Office Manager/Group Sales Coordinator will be responsible for handling request for tickets from any large groups hoping to see a PHIT performance at a reduced rate. The Box Office Manager will work approximately 5 hours per week in the PHIT Office during non-performance weeks and may schedule themselves for three (3) shifts of between 6-8 hours during the weeks PHIT has performances – approx. two (2) weeks each month (with a possible expansion to every week of the year in the future). PHIT currently seeks one (1) Box Office Manager for this paid position.

  • Box Office Staffer: The Box Office Staffer will work PHIT’s box office on the days and evenings of performances – selling tickets to the current performances – and serving as a greeter to arriving patrons. They will arrive in time to prepare the box office before the house opens to patrons, manage and reset the cash drawer between performances (if applicable) and reconcile the box office at the end of their shift. This will require the Box Office Staffer to be trained on PHIT’s ticketing system (TicketLeap), and to be knowledgeable about PHIT’s general ticket policies, and lists of patrons and performers entitled to complimentary or discounted tickets.  Box Office Staffers are scheduled for 2-3 shifts of between 6-8 hours during the weeks PHIT has performances – approx. two (2) weeks each month (with a possible expansion to every week of the year in the future). PHIT currently seeks three (3) Box Office Staffers (two primary staff and one “alternate” to work occasional shifts).

If you think one of these positions is just the thing you want, please send an email with your cover letter in the body of the message and a resume attached (.pdf preferred, .doc/docx, .rtf, .txt, or .odt accepted) to jobs@phillyimprovtheater.com. You will receive a reply confirming receipt of your letter and resume within two business days.


Applicants will be notified only if they have been selected for a phone interview. Please, no calls. Just send us your cover letter and resume. If we see a fit, we’ll call you. Promise.

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PHIT SWEEPS WEEKS: Show Selections Announced!

JessRoss_color(small)PHIT challanged you to come up with the next big Variety Show for Philadelphia and you answered. We recived 21 submissions and selected 8 finalists. Each finalist will perform a 30-minute “pilot” paired with another sweeps week show in May. The audience will then rate the shows to determine which will go on to a semi-final round May 29th. The four semi-finalists will perform again before PHIT’s Artistic Team winnows the field down to just two finalists, whose shows will perform one last time June 5th. The winning show will be decided by a panel of judges the receive a run at PHIT. Runners up may also be offered other chances to perform.

Wanna keep tabs on your favorite finalist? Get on Facebook and Like Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) to get the events right there on your feed, or timeline or whatever they are calling it now.

HERE ARE YOUR SWEEPS WEEKS SHOWS:

Re-Dub-a-Dub-Dub (hosted by Michael Hochman)
Crappy Movies, Made Less Crappy! Mike and guests provide the complete soundtrack to a movie or TV show, live and improvised!

Your News, Philadelphia (hosted by Dave Metter)
It’s not fake news about Philly, if you believe it! A fake news show dealing in unreal, Philly-centric news!

The Hopper’s Holiday Hoopla (hosted by Mike Connor & Brandon Libby)
Family friendly fun for fun with your family and friends! Benny andMartin Hopper– two brothers who are too dumb to realize how askewtheir outlook is– host this send-up of traditional holidaycelebrations.

DTF (hosted by Darryl Charles & Timaree Leigh)
A real, actual sexuality educator (Dr. Timaree) and a real, actual comedian (Darryl Charles) discuss current events and topics pertaining to sexuality, gender, porn, love, and relationships.

Chip and Steve’s Designing Women (hosted by Chip Chantry & Steve Swan)
Four strong, sassy and sexy Southern women… played by Chip and Steve. An homage to one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, comedians Chip Chantry and Steve Swan will perform an entire episode of Designing Women live onstage. Watch as they expertly re-create the moments you know and love and bring these four strong, sassy and sexy Southern women to life right in front of your eyes.

People of Interest (hosted by Ryan Barlow)
In the style of an NPR interview, Ryan interviews different interesting characters portrayed by local improv talent.

The John F. Kensil Show (hosted by John F. Kensil)
A takeoff parody of a 60’s variety show starring local improv, sketch, and stand-up comedians portraying various entertainers from the 60’s. And if that wasn’t enough – he’s thrown in a live piano player.

History in the Making with Jake Mattera (hosted by Jake Mattera)
An embellished retrospective of all things Philadelphia and some things America. A history-themed comedy show that depicts significant people, places and events from our history in a humorous light.

Congrats to all the selected shows! We cannot wait to see these up on stage in just a few short weeks!

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Auditions April 7th for PHIT’s Spring Theatrical Run: The Bat!

KristenSchier_color(small)PHIT is excited to hold auditions for our spring production theatrical run show, a remount of The Bat, a critical and audience hit at the 2011 Philly Fringe Festival. The Bat is an improv show unlike any other: a spontaneously created comedy performed in pitch blackness. Created by Joe Bill of Chicago’s Annoyance Theater, The Bat is a modified version of The Harold, in which characters and stories change and evolve organically during the course of three acts. Without the benefit of lights The Bat functions similarly to a radio play, allowing the imagination to run wild.

The Bat will be directed by Jason Grimley and will run as PHIT’s spring production in the new theatrical run programming being produced by Kristen Schier. Rehearsals will be held Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons beginning April 11th, and a technical rehearsal will be held on Monday, April 29th. Performances will begin with a preview on Tuesday, April 30th at 7:00 p.m. and then run May 2nd through May 19th on Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday night/Sunday morning at midnight. 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.

AUDITION TIMES & PRE-REQUISITES
PHIT will be holding auditions for the Bat on Sunday April 7th, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at The Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-1526.

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 (if you have not completed PHIT’s Improv 201) 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 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 do not need to prepare anything in advance as the audition will be entirely improvised. You will be asked to participate in a few short group exercises and will then perform a short version of The Bat (brief instruction on The Bat will be given during the auditions by the director). The director and members of PHIT’s Artistic Team will be in attendance. PHIT Instructors are also invited and may watch auditions. Anyone who is not a member of this groups or an auditioner will be required to wait outside The Shubin during auditions.

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

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New House Teams Announced!

RalphSmallAs many of you already know, PHIT recently hosted an audition process to cast for three new House Teams (two Tuesday Harold teams, and one Saturday team) that will premier in May. The response we received was overwhelming, and the talent that came out to audition was out of this world. All three directors were blown away by the caliber of performers who were fighting for spots on these teams. After much deliberation and thought, we are happy to announce our line ups for our three new PHIT House Teams. Please welcome Codename Mercutio, Codename Balthazar, and Codename Rosencrantz to the PHIT family! There will be a lot of hard work for them between now and their premiers in May, and we are all looking forward to the amazing shows I know these teams will put on. And, they will also be premiering their real names in May as well (we give all of our new teams code names until they can create an identity for themselves).

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. Thank you all, and continue to support comedy here in Philly!

Ralph Andracchio, Artistic Director

And here are the teams…

Codename Rosencrantz
(directed by Ralph Andracchio)
Fred Brown
Anthony Carter
Emily Davis
David Donnella
John Jensen
Kristen Schier
Molly Scullion
Andrew Stanton
Dave Sucharski

Codename Balthazar
(directed by Alex Newman)
Kate Banford
Frank Farrell
Alex Gross
Katrina Halkidis
Bob Moore
Hunter Steffes
Andrea Susnick
Joel Thomas
Meredith Weir

Codename Mercutio
(directed by Rob Gentile)
Ryan Barlow
Tara Demmy
Josh DePowell
Bobby Lang
R.J. Payne
Dave Piccinetti
Katie Skrzek
Joel Sumner
Addie Weyrich

Congrats again!

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Shows and Classes at PHIT are canceled for March 6, 2013

Happy snow day comedy fans! Due to the inclement weather forecast to sweep through town this evening we are canceling shows and classes at the theater. If you purchased a ticket for tonight’s show you will be issued a refund. If you had class, your session will now be extended one week.

Please be safe! Get home and enjoy all the funny stuff they keep telling us is on YouTube. (You could even watch The Flat Earth’s Fringe 2012 show on PHIT’s channel).

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2013 Improv Auditions – March 9th & 10th!

EmilyDavis_color(small)It’s that time of the year: PHIT is looking for the most talented improvisers in the City of Brotherly Love to fill our stage and join a company of over 100 performers who are members of our theatre managed improv & sketch teams or show hosts and writers.

This year we are casting three new improv teams of approximately 6-9 performers each. One team will be put into PHIT’s schedule on Saturday nights as part of PHIT House Team Night starting in May and will be directed by Ralph Andracchio, the other two teams will become PHIT’s first Harold teams and will perform every Tuesday the theater has a run in The Shubin (also starting in May). The Harold team directors are Rob Gentile and Alex Newman. Complete details are below!

 

AUDITION TIMES & PRE-REQUISITES:
PHIT will be holding open-call auditions for our House Teams on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.. Auditions will be held at The Adrienne Theatre Skybox, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

CALLBACKS will be held the following day, Sunday, March 10th, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. (noon) until 6:00 p.m. in the same location.

Auditioners should have previously completed PHIT’s Improv 201 course or will need to detail their previous training and receive permission from the theater 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 SIGN UP FOR AN AUDITION:
Sign-ups 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 (if you have not completed PHIT’s Improv 201 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 timeslots.

 

ON THE DAY OF THE AUDITION:
Auditioners will be seen every 30 minutes in groups of 7-10. Auditioners do not need to prepare anything in advance as 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 with a partner. The directors of the new teams, members of PHIT’s Artistic Team and PHIT Instructors will be in attendance to watch auditions. Anyone who is not a member of this groups or an auditioner will be required to wait outside The Skybox during auditions.

Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. 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.

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.

 

Still have questions?
Send us an email : contact@phillyimprovtheater.com

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PHIT Accepting Variety Show Applications for Sweeps Weeks!

Ever wanted to host your own show at PHIT? Have an original idea you’ve never seen at the theater before? Well we are looking for PHIT’s next big Variety Show and need your ideas!

May is going to host the first ever Sweeps Weeks at PHIT. If you have an original idea for a show you’d like to host on a monthly basis at the theater, let us know! What counts as a variety show? It can be anything you want: game show, talk show, something musical, something dancing, puppets, dressing up like baby penguins… anything you can think of (as long as it’s not strictly improv or sketch, cause we have a lot of that already)!

If you are interested in submitting, please send an email to jross@phillyimprovtheater.com with your name and email address and “Sweeps Weeks” in the subject line. You will then be sent a brief survey to answer some questions about your show idea. Make sure to be as detailed as possible in your description of the show – the more we know about your idea, the better! The deadline to submit is MARCH 10TH. All submissions will receive a reply by March 14th. We are accepting shows on a rolling basis, so the sooner you get your idea in the better!

Selected shows will perform a 30-minute “pilot” paired with another sweeps week show on one of the following dates: May 1st,8th,15th, or 22nd, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. and the audience will then rate the shows to determine which will go on to a semi-final round. The four semi-finalists will perform again on May 29th and two finalists will perform June 5th. The winning show will be decided by a panel of judges the receive a run at PHIT. Runners up may also be offered other chances to perform. If your show is not picked, you will have still have had the chance to workshop a show idea you could produce elsewhere and receive feedback to help improve it!

Need ideas to get inspired? Try checking out the great variety shows PHIT already offers: Guilty Pleasures, TV Party, Reasonable Discourse with Jerks, Fibber, and The Monthly Hour, just to name a few.

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Spring is in the Air at PHIT!

MarbachSmallSpring training is upon us. The time when the Phillies’ equipment truck is tracked as it travels down the I-95 corridor as if it’s Santa on Christmas Eve. Spring training of a different kind at PHIT is also upon us. In addition to the awesome core improv and sketch classes we have several amazing opportunities with different workshops and electives.

We can welcome back Christina Gausus! Christina will be teaching a one day workshop titled The Power of Authenticity. Reacting in the moment in an honest way. It’s talk that she walks every time that she performs. That will be March 2nd.

We can also welcome Maggy Keegan to the PHIT faculty! Maggy brings a wealth of experience and talent to the PHIT staff and will no doubt become a favorite in no time. Her first order of business will be teaching a 4-week Scene Study Elective starting April 14th.

Jason Grimley will be teaching an improv elective focused on the “The Bat” form. This is a form that takes place in complete darkness. You thought listening was important when you had all your senses. Wait till you see when it’s all you’ve got to work with!

Clowning with Kristen Schier! PHIT’s resident class clown will walk you through various exercises that help you get in touch with your inner rubber nose. And I’m pretty sure you’ll also get a real rubber nose. That will be April 14th and is always a popular workshop.

Mike Hochman will be teaching a workshop on March 16th that teaches you to screw around with your scene partner. Take care of them? Take care of yourself! Mike will show you how to play in a more “self-centered” way that will help get your out of your head and having fun again. That one is titled Screwing With Friends.

Free Improv Workshops every month! Been on the fence about taking a class? Jump in to one of the free workshops. You’ll get a taste of what to expect without committing to registering. Bring a friend!

This is just through April. There’s a lot of spring left after that and we have even more things planned. Be on the lookout for more awesome electives and workshops on movement, object and environment work and even stage combat!

As always, one of the best ways to supplement your knowledge in class is to see shows. So be sure to check out the PHIT website for all show information. You can’t spell improve, without improv. Yes, I just said that. Spring!

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PHIT Improv Conservatory Now Accepting Applications!

We at PHIT are very excited to announce the next round of the PHIT Improv Conservatory will be taking place this spring. Not only that, but the group is lucky enough to have Hot Dish Director, Steve Kleinedler as the instructor. The goal of the conservatory is simple: create an offering that furthers the commitment PHIT has always had to create amazing performers out of everyday people and grow the comedy scene in Philly. The conservatory class will take a small group chosen from among a larger pool of applicants and work with them to create an ensemble that has developed their own style of play.

After eight weeks of work with one of our top instructors they will enjoy a one month run (4 shows) at PHIT for a paying audience, during which time they will continue to work with their instructor turned director to improve their show, review tape of their performance, and grow through the experience of working in front of a crowd. The first conservatory class created a form called “Olympus” in which they portrayed gods influencing the lives of mere mortals. It was a really fun, ambitious show that went over very well. I can’t wait to see what this new group puts together.

It is our hope is that the Improv Conservatory will offer students a variety of different experiences and viewpoints each time they apply for and are accepted into a session (you can take as many conservatory classes as you can get accepted into), and that it will help bridge the gap between finishing our core curriculum and successfully auditioning for a spot in the cast of PHIT’s special projects or House Teams.

As stated above you must either have completed PHIT Improv levels 101, 201, 30 and 401, completed the core curriculum of a comparable improv theater or have special permission from the Education Director. If you feel you qualify, but do not meet the aforementioned qualifications you can email me to discuss your situation.

Applications will be accepted through end of day 2/28/13. Those chosen for this round of the conservatory will be notified by Monday, 3/4/13 with class starting Sunday 3/17 (6:30pm-9:30pm). Special payment arrangements are available to students accepted into the PHIT Improv Conservatory program. Application and full schedule details can be found in the improv classes section of the website.

With so many great performers graduating this program all the time, this will no doubt be a very tough decision. Best of luck to all!

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Philly Improv Theater Announces Artistic Team!

A full press release detailing the new Artistic Team will be available on this site tomorrow morning.

We are proud to announce appointments to the new Artistic Team for PHIT! After several years of rapid growth PHIT Executive Director Greg Maughan is handing day-to-day booking and talent management to five incredible comedians to allow increased theatrical offerings at PHIT and to develop more comedic stars for audiences in Philadelphia. The Artistic Team will be led by Ralph Andracchio as Artistic Director and will include; Emily Davis as Improv Producer, Brian Kelly as Sketch Producer, Jessica Ross as Variety Producer and Kristen Schier as Season Producer.

“I am incredibly excited by the potential of the new Artistic Team to really take our mission – giving Philly a top-notch comedy scene with quality shows to rival New York, LA and Chicago – to the next level,” says PHIT Executive Director (and founder) Greg Maughan. “The massive growth of PHIT has opened up a number of new opportunities like these to nurture the burgeoning comedy scene in Philadelphia and I think that with further guidance from all the members of team – who are a diverse and award winning bunch of performers – we can all look forward to a year of great alternative comedy shows… probably the best year this city has ever seen.”

The team has already met for the first time and their decisions on scheduling, booking and other artistic matters at the theater will begin to be reflected starting in late February!

 

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