PHIT will once again be looking for Philly’s best and brighest improvisers in the new year, as we expand our performance opportunities in the PHIT House Team program by adding two new ensembles of 8-10 players each. Further details on auditions will be available in January, but our dates are set. First round auditions will take place during the morning and afternoon of Saturday, February 4, 2012. Callbacks will be held on Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 8, 2012 in the evenings. Please hold all of these dates if you are interested in being cast!
PHIT’s tribute to trashy daytime talk TV, hosted by Alex Gross, is returning in January 2012 for a second year and plans to tweak the show’s format slightly for Season Two by taking on a staff of writer/performers to generate themes for each month and create the segments in the same style as those that entertained (and sometimes shocked) audiences in it’s first year. Full details on applying for a position with the show are available on the The Gross Show Writer Submission Info page.
This is the second straight year an alternate weekly paper has included PHIT on their “Best of” list and we couldn’t be more excited for the continued recognition of everything comedic that’s happening on our stage. If you still haven’t been down to the theater for a PHIT House Team Night and then stuck around for the jam you’ve been missing out… but the good news is you can easily correct the problem this coming Saturday!
Greg Maughan, PHIT’s founder and Executive Director, has been named a “creative connector” by Leadership Philadelphia, a list which sought to highlight “entrepreneurial professionals with an agenda for action” in Philadelphia’s art, culture, and design communities. The was developed starting this past summer when Leadership Philadelphia, the premier leadership development organization in Philadelphia, partnered with the Mayor’s Office on Creative Economy, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and WHYY/NewsWorks to identify the city’s “Creative Connectors” – people in the region’s cultural scene who seem to know everyone, connect for the common good, and had a track record of getting things done. After a broad effort to solicit nominations that included an online citizen survey, the 76 people (from over 1,500 nominations) most often cited by their peers for using art, culture, and design to build community and economic vitality were announced last Friday.
We are super thrilled to announce our third year in a row with Kevin Allison teaching “How to Write a Sketch Comedy Show” and “Storytelling for Stage” at the PHIT Training Center. Most people will recognize Kevin from MTV’s The State, but many of you will also know him as a creator of the podcast RISK! – where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share. This is an incredible opportunity for Philadelphians to work with an incredibly talented and nice guy who also has a wealth of real experience to draw on. Don’t delay – sign up by 6pm Friday or before the spots are all gone!
The Cambridge Footlights’ 2011 Tour Show – ‘Pretty Little Panic’ – has already played a string of prestigious London venues and granted much-coveted ‘sold-out’ status in its month-long run at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival. Thanks to this overwhelming success the Tour is transferring to America in Footlights’ first major tour of the States since the early 1960s. In addition to playing venues like The Second City, and UCB Theatre NY, Pretty Little Panic will be at PHIT for one night only on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available now!
Comedy nerds will appreciate that almost anyone famous in English comedy (including Mitchell & Webb, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, half of Monty Python, David Frost, Peter Cook, and Sacha Baron Cohen among others) has come from Cambridge Footlights – the comedy troupe at the famous University. Now, for the first time since the early 1960s, Footlights are publicly touring the United States and among stops at such historic venues at iO West, The Second City Chicago, and UCB New York… they will also be in Philadelphia with PHIT on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
After The Bully Pulpit host Luke Giordano was hired as the newest writer for CBS’ Two and Half Men last month and moved to the west coast we’re excited to bring a new Panel Comedy show to our schedule starting tonight with the incredibly talented Jim Grammond’s take on comedians shouting at each other while they try to discuss the news. We expect Jim will be hired to write the reboot of How I Met Your Mother by early next summer.
Thanks from the Duofest 2011 producing team (Rick A. Rick H.,Greg, Mike, Amie & Kristen) to all the performers who traveled from 13 cities to entertain on our stage, drink at O’Neals Pub, and teach our army of students. Extra special thanks to Susan Messing & Christina Gausas for a headline performance so crazy that they have requested we not post it online. All told, the second Duofest drew over 1,000 participants – which is astonishing and humbling. We’ll see you again next year!
Due to the greater than expected demand for workshops at this year’s fest, we’re excited to add a second workshop with Austin, Texas duo Rachel and Dave focused on relationship work in scenes. If anyone understands this, it’s probably a real-life husband and wife duo who are both Second City alums! Enrollment is already open over in the Workshops section of the Duofest site and is also available via www.phitcomedy.com as well. Duofest Performers will receive an email with a link to their secret discounted registration page shortly.
Philly is incredibly lucky to have two master classes coming up during Duofest, and now spaces in those workshops are finally available for the general public. First, on Saturday 6/4 we’ll have a master class with nationally renowned instructor Susan Messing (from Chicago’s Second City Mainstage, the iO Theater, and The Annoyance Theater). Then on Sunday 6/5 New York’s Christina Gausas returns to PHIT for an afternoon workshop. Get spaces now – links to registration are down the right-hand side of this page.
We’re back for our second year of Duofest, PHIT’s improv festival dedicated to comedic pairs. The full line-up is listed on our shows and tickets pages as of now. If you’d like more information about individual acts, or want to purchase day/weekend passes – please visit the Duofest website atwww.duofest.com.
We’re kicking off April with The Gross Show (new night!) and we’ve got a ton of great improv for you over the next two weeks. Among the highlights: a special Saturday night edition of The Hopper Brothers’ Happy Magic Fun-Time Show on 4/30, Legendary Wid on Chip Chantry’s One-Man Show (w/ Special Guests) next Monday 5/2, and a performance of Momprov – Andy Moskowitz and his real life Mom! – on Mother’s Day, 5/8.
We’re super-excited to say that casting decisions have finally been made for PHIT’s new House Teams directed by Matt Holmes and Kristen Schier. The talent this year was really amazing, we had our largest group of auditioners ever and felt strongly that everyone who made callbacks should be performing in the city, but just couldn’t accomodate them (over 100 peope were NOT cast, sheesh). Here are your new House Teams:
House Team Brandybuck (temporary name) directed by Matt Holmes: Aaron Hertzog, Alex Gross, Dennis Trafny, Jen Curcio, Lizzie Spellman, Mark Leopold, Rob Cutler, Scott Sheppard, & Tara Demmy
House Team Shadowfax (temporary name) directed by Kristen Schier: AJ Ortiz, Billy Thompson, Brian Ratcliffe, Claire Halberstadt, Erin Pitts, Karen Coleman, Matt Akana, Nathan Edmondson, & Scott Hinners
This week’s issue of the Philadelphia Weekly – available for free all over town in yellow honor boxes – has an awesome cover featuring PHIT performers/instructors/directors Kristen Schier and Amie Roe, and an even more awesome feature story inside (“Philly Comedienne’s of Comedy”) that includes quotes from and sections about other great female comedians around Philadelphia who have also appeared on PHIT’s stage, including: Meg Favreau, Carolyn Busa, Mary Radzinski, Mary Carpenter, and Karen Getz. If you have time to pick up a copy of the paper, do it. If you want to read the article online, it’s right here.
PHIT is very exicted to hold our first ever “Scenic Improv Jam” tonight at 7:00 p.m. – a weeknight and an earlier time for students who have trouble improvising at 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. Plus, if you catch the jam you can stick around for The Gross Show at it’s new time: Tuesdays from 8:30-9:30 p.m.!
All auditions from yesterday’s Open Call for House Teams will have heard from PHIT by 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, 3/29. If you haven’t received an email from us at that time, please get in touch and we’ll figure out what went wrong.
Last night PHIT bid a very fond farewell to Meg Favreau, who among others things was part of the sketch duo Meg & Rob, a member of original PHIT House Team Everything Must Go, creator of the show Sketch Up or Shut Up, the writer of our original sketch curriculum, and PHIT’s first Managing Director in 2009. It was an amazing roast with a packed dais, and we had to turn many people away. For those of you that missed it, we’re happy to say the entire roast is posted on PHIT’s YouTube Channel for you to enjoy.
Last year PHIT decided to have a small comedy festival dedicated to comedy duos and the response blew us away. Duofest is back for 2011 and moving from fall to summer – June 2-5th, 2011 to be exact. We’re super excited for our 2nd year (that’s an important one for duos) and hope that if you perform with a partner you’ll get an application in before the dealine on March 22nd! Duofest.com has complete details on the fest for the curious.
If you missed the presentation, it’s now available in .pdf format on the State of PHIT 2011page of this site! For anyone who is interested in where things stand with our space search, what the goals and plans for this year are, or how the theater has grown – check it out.