THE DECOY PRESENTS “PRESUMPTION OF LOVE”

14079838_10153882127186279_4550366285159845284_nPHIT’s brand new live sketch house team The Decoy (formally known as Codename Athena) debuted their first show “Presumption of Love” this past week and continues their run of shows this Thursday and Friday at 9:00 P.M.!

PHIT cast The Decoy this spring with Brian Rumble as director, Molly Scullion as head writer, and Carolyn Beatty, Tyler Bonner, Jolie Darrow, Dan McClory, Annie Paradis, and Nicole Yates as writers and actors. Shortly after, PHIT cast these additional glorious actors: Shannon Fahey, Pat Reber, Kelly Conrad, Christopher Esperance, Chris Berg, and Emily Kinslow to join the team.

Members of The Decoy will now share with you all their thoughts on LOVE:14068472_10101144742339019_7836758652127655125_o

“Love is like wearing clothes, because if you don’t do it, you’d just kinda feel embarrassed.” – Tyler Bonner

“Love is like an Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel: twisty, salty, and chewy, and sweeter than you’d expect, but not unpleasantly so.” – Dan McClory

“Love is like going to the mall in your hometown – there’s always a hot and sexy new frozen yogurt spot, but as an entity you find the whole thing pretty depressing.” – Annie Paradis

“Love is like a rocket ship, fast and cool to see from a distance or in a museum.” – Chris Berg

“Love is like sushi, everybody’s real into it and I pretend like I’ve had it even though I never have.” – Molly Scullion

“Love is like a Wawa classic with extra cheese and meat. You know you wanted it normally, but the extras make you sleep sounder afterwards.” – Nicole Yates

“Love is like a hermit crab– it’s fun when you find it one summer on the boardwalk, but eventually you realize it’s gross.” – Jolie Darrow

14053868_10101144743416859_8102169215538894778_o“Love is like cheese, sometimes it’s really stinky and sometimes it’s good on bagels!” –  Shannon Fahey

“Love is like Beanboozled Jellybeans; sometimes you get pineapple and sometimes you get moldy cheese.” – Kelly Conrad

“Love is a movie, two boxes of gushers, and no one to share it with.” – Christopher Esperance

“Love is a fire truck; it can’t be stopped, not even by traffic lights. Also it’s very loud and bright red or yellow.” – Pat Reber

“Love is like a grandfather clock, it wakes you up in the middle of the night and you think there is a burglar but then you realize it is just what you knew was there all along and that is comforting to you.” – Carolyn Beatty

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love is 5′ 5”, love is a wizard. It’s Daniel Radcliffe, love is Dan Radcliffe and I think that’s something we can all agree on, okay?” – Emily Kinslow

THURSDAY AUGUST 25TH 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY AUGUST 26TH 9:00 P.M.

Photos posted above are by Michael Marotta!

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INTRODUCING NEW PHIT HOUSE TEAM: METROPOLIS

13892301_1300303143322364_8737041021245700915_nIn Metropolis, a mysterious city of perpetual rain, it seems like everyone has a secret. And no one has more secrets than the nine improvisers who gather together every Wednesday night under the auspices of Mayor Erin Pitts to participate in the ancient ritual of the Harold. These strange citizens come from all walks of life and include:

CARA MCGUFFIN, a kind-hearted schoolteacher with a dark past.
CHRISTOPHER ESPERANCE, a newspaper reporter who will follow a story anywhere it leads.
TOM HANNIGAN, a small-town sheriff who won’t give up on the truth.
JIMMY WYATT, a high-school basketball star who isn’t as “All –American” as he seems.
ANGELINA MEEHAN, a debutante who will go to any lengths to find her missing son.
DERRICK HOUK, an amateur mathematicians whose equations are leading him into danger.
EMMA NEEDLEMAN, the town archivist who knows more than she dares reveal.
CHRISTOPHER GORY, a logging industry tycoon who isn’t afraid to “chop down” the competition.
And MEREDITH MCDONALD, a madwoman whose macaroni collage art hides wondrous secrets.

What’s in store for these strange citizens? Who are they and what are their secrets? Find out every Wednesday at the Philly Improv Theater!

PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THEIR AUGUST SHOWS BELOW!
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17TH 9:00 P.M.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24TH 7:30 P.M.

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NEW PHIT HOUSE TEAMS DEBUT THIS WEDNESDAY!

HaroldNight4x6FrontThe time has finally arrived! It is now! Sound the alarm! Groundhogs emerge! This Wednesday, August 10th, marks the debut of PHIT’s brand new improv House Teams PLUS the reveal of each team’s name that they have chosen for themselves.

This past spring over 100 improvisers came out to audition for new improv House Teams at Philly Improv Theater. Our three directors, David Donnella (Codename Hamilton), Erin Pitts (Codename Istanbul), and Hunter Steffes (Codename Johannesburg) had quite a challenge in casting these teams from the incredible talent seen over those two days.

Over the last few months each team has been working with their director and teammates to find their own voice in the form of a Harold. We are incredibly excited to see the work of these new ensembles in the coming months. For now, check them out every Wednesday in the 7:30 P.M. and 9:00 P.M. blocks and stay tuned for upcoming feature posts on each team!

PURCHASE TICKETS THE GLORIOUS DEBUT OF THESE NEW TEAMS:

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH, 7:30 P.M.
(CODENAME HAMILTON + LAUNCH PAD TEAM HOTLINE)

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH 9:00 P.M.

(CODENAME ISTANBUL + CODENAME JOHANNESBURG)

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SPOTLIGHT: AUGUST LAUNCH PAD TEAM HOTLINE

13603255_548582842011487_476487092937127963_oAs part of PHIT’s Launch Pad program, PHIT stage will be the proud home of independent team HOTLINE every Wednesday night in August at 7:30 P.M.! The Launch Pad program is an opportunity for local independent improv teams to participate in a three-month intensive development, coaching, and performance period with PHIT. HOTLINE is currently coached by Whitney Harris of PHIT House Team Hoffman.

We have put together a very hot hot hot Q&A to help you get to know the enigmatic team that is HOTLINE. They also requested we post this “internet video” directed by Jon Plester. They also requested that we call it specifically an “internet video”.

What brought you all together as a team?
Physically – Classes at PHIT.
Spiritually – Kristen Schier.
Professionally – Whitney Harris.
Emotionally – Butts.
Politically – Brunch!!!1111!!1

What have you all most enjoyed about the Launch Pad experience?
Getting to work with Whitney. Have you met Whitney? Are you familiar with that moment right before it snows and all day leading up to that snow everyone is like “hey it is going to snow today” and even on TV you see images of what that snow will look like because the people that run TV want you to know that they also think it’s going to snow tonight and they want you to remember that snow before this specific snow has happened? Whitney comes into this metaphor much later. She is later on in the evening when you are making that Swiss Miss and you’re like “wow I feel safe!!!”

What sort of themes often find their way into a HOTLINE performance?
Divacups.

12670331_486122028257569_8229503761554686808_nWho does HOTLINE wish would pick up the phone?
“Eddy Vedder.” – Annie
“Lord of the Rings.” – Katie
“Literature.” – Emma
“Hugs.” – Cara
“Cats.” – Jamie
“My biceps.” – Stef


How does HOTLINE “get in the zone” for a show?
Ginuwine’s “Pony”.

What makes HOTLINE laugh so hard that they feel like throwing up, but they won’t?
When someone brings up the fact that everything is impermanent.

What would you all like to hear an audience member sa13568977_547858915417213_4319034895576278731_oy after seeing a HOTLINE show?
“I wonder if they do weddings, or funerals…heck I would sure like to have them do a set at the next ‘difficult conversation’ I’m a part of!”

What is HOTLINE’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
See lots of shows! Take classes! Do some breathing exercises! Find an improvisor that you think is cosmically inspiring and ask that they lead you and your friends into the sweet sweet void. Once you are near the sweet sweet void, but not technically within the sweet sweet void do an extremely butt-oriented improv set.

PURCHASE TICKETS BELOW:
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3RD @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24TH @ 7:30 P.M.

STAY UP TO DATE WITH HOTLINE:
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

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Changes to Booking A Show at PHIT!

Hello Indie Improv Teams!

Starting in August, PHIT will begin using a new process to book and schedule indie teams on our stages. This process is meant to streamline booking, listing, and promoting Independent Teams – guaranteeing the highest quality shows and the better marketing of those shows so they can play for larger crowds on our stages.

The submission process will happen via a Google Form posted at the beginning of each month in the PHIT Company Members Page, PHIT Training Center page, The Philly Comedy Network Page, on our website blog, and on other relevant improv and performance opportunity outlets as we identify them. The form will accept information for booking two months in the future (i.e. in August, we will book for October; in September, we will book for November; etc.). The deadline to submit the form will be on the 7th of each month, giving teams a full week to get their requests in while still allowing PHIT’s artistic staff plenty of time to review submissions and send/confirm performance offers so that the theater will have a minimum of one month to promote the shows we book.

Here is the Booking Request Form for October: PHIT October Booking Request Jawn

It is my sincere hope that this form is helpful to Independent Improv Teams as it will allow us to collect information about your show so we may more effectively market it. The form asks teams to provide a cast list, specific promotional materials, and links to their social media outlets. This information will then be used as a way of doing a more specific event listing for the shows that get selected to perform on PHIT’s stage.

Thanks everyone – now get those booking requests in! (We have put the first form live a week early, along with this announcement, so people have time to review it and start collecting the materials/answers they will need to complete booking requests).

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A FOND FAREWELL TO MASHER

13708158_634263016728647_8426884878695838647_o

It is always difficult when PHIT must say goodbye to a dedicated, talented, and incredibly present team such as Masher as changes at the theater occur and members embark on new and exciting opportunities.

During their run as a PHIT house team, Masher has grown into a collage of extremely supportive creating truly unique and simply enjoyable shows. In honor of Masher’s FINAL show on Wednesday July 27th at 9:00 P.M we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about their time on the PHIT stage.


There will never be another Masher, and I don’t mean that in the “every team is a unique snowflake” sort of way. I mean this team was a group of purposeful weirdos. We played the characters who were endearing but awkward, the well meaning but oblivious, the tragic braggarts, idiots, and liars of the world. We celebrated the best and worst parts of a person and showed how they were inseparable. We made a mess. We played dirty. We almost did a Harold once. We could bring the heat or the chill in an instant to a packed room of astonished eyes. We played open. We got real. We shied from nothing. We revealed the broken parts of ourselves and played in that beautiful damage. We brought to the stage that beautiful human damage, every week, for years. I’ll miss Masher. – Nick Gillette 


In true Melyssa fashion, we decided to make a video. Thank you to every single person who has supported us over the past year and a half. Whether it was coming to one of our shows, watching our Launchpad parody videos, liking/sharing a post on Facebook or accepting us into a festival – we thank you. You are all an important part of the Masher family and we love you all. Glory be to Megatron now and forever. K, byeeeeeee…..


Since the night I saw my first show at PHIT in 2012 I knew I wanted to be on a house team. I auditioned and I was rejected many times for teams. It was beginning to feel like I would never make it. However, I decided to give it one more try and sure enough Nick [Gillette] gave me the call and I was in. I had to make a lot of a sacrifices in my schedule but it was worth it. Even though it was shorter lived than a lot of other teams I wouldn’t trade my time with Masher for anything in the world. I quickly realized why it didn’t work out with getting on those other teams. I had finally found my team, a team with people on it that I have the right chemistry with, a team with people I trust absolutely, and a team I intend to continue working and growing with even when the lights go out on July 27.

Alyssa, you are one of the greatest actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing the stage with. Your level of commitment and ability to not only be vulnerable but your ability to make your scene partner vulnerable in scenes has resulted in some of the highest tension scenes I’ve ever been a part of.

Sue, you have this ability to always get the audience on your side. You aren’t afraid to be vulnerable on stage but you also aren’t afraid to take scenes on a darker path.

Melinda, I know it took some time for us to begin playing in scenes together but I’m so happy because I’ve always admired how smart and how witty of a player you are. You’re also not afraid of looking foolish or playing characters that can be a little scary.

Remi, you take to the stage in such a confident way that there is never a question that you belong there. We play well when we’re doing peas in a pod but admittedly I absolutely love throwing you an occasional curveball to try and make you break character.

Mike, you are truly the strength of this team. I never shared the stage with someone with more intensity than you. You’re not afraid to “go there” and take the scene in a crazy or unexpected direction. I know you departed from the team when you heard the news of the end of our PHIT run and it hurt to see you go, but I hope you can find some time to play with us in the aftermath.

Pim, you’re a superstar. You love improv so much and it really shows on stage. You’re not afraid to play the fool in the scene and you’re one of the most supportive players I’ve ever seen.

Andrew, I never know what I’m going to get with you but I know whatever it is it will be funny. Whether you’re playing the straight man or the crazy person in the scene you commit fully and completely. Its always a pleasure to see you and be with you on stage.

Nick, you are the best director we could have hoped for. You took this team of people, many of whom had never worked together previously and turned us not only into viscous improvising machines but a family. Your kindness and your patience molded us into top tier performers. You pushed us to experiment with forms rarely attempted and made us ready for any possibility. We have always been proud to have you as our director and we are eternally grateful for all that you have given us.

These are only a few reasons why my experience with Masher has been such an important part of my life. If I could say anything to someone who has not yet made it onto a house team I would say don’t let it discourage you. Keep auditioning, keep trying new things with a bunch of different people. Eventually the right team will come along and when it does you’ll be at home. – Quinton Alexander


Being a part of Masher has been a great experience. From working with the very well-respected coach and performer Nick Gillette, to performing on PHIT’s stage weekly and being a part of this growing, amazing community, to performing with some of the most talented improvisers I know, being a part of Masher been amazing, exciting, and fun. I remember clearly the day I received the email stating I was on the team, I couldn’t have been happier or more excited. The audition was stressful and fun; to hear I made a team after was absolutely amazing. I have learned so much about being on a team and improv in general, I thank PHIT, Nick, my teammates and Tommy Wiseau. Exploring the city, warming up in the dark, lifting rocks, and Pac-Man, Masher was my weekly adventure. Lots of love Masher. Best of luck to the new house teams! – Remi Dhillon


I don’t think I’ll ever have words to describe what Masher means to me. I remember before auditions how people already on teams said they wished they could be on Nick Gillette’s team. I remember after callbacks realizing how badly I wanted this and how it might not happen. I remember getting the email saying I was on Dresden and crying because I’d just moved to the city and was feeling very unsure about it, but knowing at that moment that I made the right choice.

I remember the first Harold we ever did and how it just felt right. I remember feeling intensely intimidated being on a team with some of my improv heroes, people that I’d watched since I started and people who had been around for years. I think everyone has the feeling of ‘how did I end up on this team’ but for me it was almost paralyzing. And then to watch these people become my teammates, my friends, is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Thank you to Melinda for being our heart and for always putting your all into everything. For always remembering our birthdays and applying to every festival for us. You’re the reason we have so many amazing memories and the reason we figured out we are an away team. You’re an improv machine and I know that if I look at you in a show and say something, anything, you will know what to do and will take us somewhere great.

Thank you to Remi for always being our straight man and for telling it like it is. Thank you for always being down to hang and for being the one that pushed us to become closer as friends and as teammates. Thank you for always caring and checking up on people if they were having a bad day and for prioritizing Masher even when your life was crazy busy.

Thank you to Alyssa for always being our voice of reason, for logically walking us through to the solutions that you always saw. Thank you for always listening and being there for everyone. For being the one that everyone could always go to to hear us and let us know that we were cared for (and for being our reality check when we were wrong). Your relentless support and caring has made us who we are.

Thank you Mike for being our driving force. Thank you for always running out when the rest of us were scared or worried or unsure. Thank you for pushing us and for encouraging us and for making us better by playing hard and making us play hard too. Thank you for being yourself and for teaching us all so much both on and offstage.

Thank you to Quinton for always supporting any dumb idea any of us had to the fullest. You’re one of the most supportive and kind people I’ve ever met and thank you for always jumping on anything we did no matter what. Thank you for being selfless and enthusiastic and always down for anything. Thank you for being fearless and honest and teaching us to do the same.

Thank you to Andrew for always saying the thing all of us were afraid to both on and offstage. Thank you for always seeing every situation as a whole and for making us realize things we may have missed. Thank you for letting us be there for you like you are there for us. Thank you for messing with us, for your intelligence and for never letting us rest on what’s easy. Thank you for guiding us and being exactly what we needed when we needed it.

Thank you to Pimmy baby for caring so much about us as a team. Thank you for encouraging us and especially me in the beginning, it meant more than I can say. Thank you for your enthusiasm for improv as an art form. Thank you for grounding everything in emotional reality and for making us all look great. Thank you for your dedication and for sticking with us through it all.

It’s been a privilege to be on this team and I can never be anything but thankful for everything. This hurts so badly because I love you all so much. Thank you all for being there for me. These past two or so years have been some of the hardest for me, personally and professionally, and I could not have done it without every one of you. I care about you all so much.

Thank you to Kristen, Jess, and Greg for this opportunity. It’s been an incredible experience and one I am so grateful for. Masher has done 68 shows at PHIT and I am so thankful for each and every one. We would never have ever had the chance to do all of this without you, so thank you.

Thank you to everyone that came to a show, for spending your time with us. Thank you to Steve and Frank for workshopping with us. Thank you to Hunter for letting me talk through every show and practice in painstaking detail and for your love, patience, and support through it all.

Lastly, thank you to Nick for putting us together, for your immense foresight and for your passion and energy always. Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader and for caring so much about all of us. I can only hope that we accomplished some of what you set out to do. Thank you for your vision and for encouraging us. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you are the one who has held us together and held us up all this time. We could never have done any of this without you. You are our rock.

And last, but never least, glory be to Megatron. – Sue Nelson


To be honest, I am not interested in writing any thoughts about my experience with Masher.

I would much rather sing them to the tune of “Father of Mine” by Everclear. Please listen along and hear these words as urgently as Art Alexakis might have sung them.

Masher the team
We have become such great friends
You know we just did improv
And that was nice and fun.

Remi the guy
Tall and friendly and kind
He has got a way of saying things,
Understated. Also his mom.

I remember the bow ties, Quinton would wear
I loved it when he said funny stuff
It was helpful for us.
I remember our good scenes.
I remember our great scenes
I remember our scenes that were just ok but ok is still good.

Pim pim pim pim
Pim pim pim pim pim pim
Pim pim the world pim pim his hand
Pim pim pim pim pim pim pim

Alyssa my pal
Is a big fan of snacks.
She’s great at singing, acting, and driving and putting stuff together
She’s really smart
I like her a lot.
Holy cow there’s a pretty racist line in this Everclear song.

Melinda would send me a birthday card
She was good at that
She’s also good at improv and smart as a tack.

Butler knows krav maga
Mike B knows krav maga
Then he punched a groin
Butler knows krav maga
Then he improvised well
Butler knows krav maga.

Sue the Nelson
Is talented too.
Her wit is good, yup
That’s an asset. Good for us!

Director named Nick
Was a mentor to us
He’s patient and insightful
And he can do great mime stuff

I am happy for this
I am happy for that
I will miss these guys very much
Another thing about this:
Now I am a grown man
With a new thing to do.
And I swear I’m going to do reunion shows, so,
acoppolalypse at gmail dot com

Becca is great too
But she moved away
Becca is so talented
But she moved away
Becca is really swell
But she moved away

Now that you are done singing, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Nick, PHIT, my weirdo Masher friends, all the interviewees who shared their experiences with us so we could turn them into really great fart jokes, and the kind audiences who enjoyed our fart jokes. See you all around, I hope! – Andrew Coppola 


PURCHASE TICKETS FOR MASHER’S FINAL SHOW HERE!

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Introducing The Codename: Athena Actors!

In the ongoing travel down the road to the premiere of PHIT’s latest sketch team, we’re very happy to announce that Codename: Athena has picked up some incredible onstage talent to help bring their sketches to life. After seeing over 50 people – making up some of Philly’s best comedic talent – in auditions, director Brian Rumble has chosen six individuals to join Codename: Athena with a focus on bringing the sketches cooked up in the writer’s room to the stage.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to come out and audition. We saw a wide variety of performers with different styles and levels of experience, and can confidently say that we were consistently impressed by the dedication and creativity we saw in the audition room. We hope to see all these talented people, and others interested in performing in sketch comedy, get involved by bringing material to PHIT’s sketch open-mic Sketch Up or Shut Up, performing on a show like Theme Show and Monologues, showcasing a video at Brought To You By, participating in Up All Night (our Improv-to-Sketch 24-Hour Cram), or producing their own independent sketch show at PHIT. Opportunities to grow as a comedian are on the rise in Philadelphia: we look forward to seeing what talented people will assemble the next time we hold performer auditions. Thank you, everyone, for everything you do for this community.

– Jack O’Keeffe, Sketch Producer

ATHENACODENAME: ATHENA ACTORS

Shannon Fahey

Pat Reber

Kelly Conrad

Christopher Esperance

Chris Berg

Emily Kinslow

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NEW TWO LATE WITH ROB AND JOE ON JULY 22ND!

TWO LATE 1It’s a new month which means a new show from the late night comedy talk show “Two Late With Rob and Joe”! Co-hosts Rob Alesiani and Joe Tuzzi have sat behind the hosting desk together since August 2014. The monthly show combines humorous scripted commentary on current events both national and local, live sketches, audience games, and interviews with local guests. The hosts have built their rapport as improv comedy duo Roomies. Each has played on PHIT house improv teams and taken on roles with numerous independent comedy projects.

“Rob and Joe” are fiercely loyal to Philadelphia. The Alesiani family has been in the region for four generations. When asked about the show’s regional connections, Joe Tuzzi said he loves “…that we focus on something local. We have had Dr. Timaree Schmit, Tom Henneman of Federal Donuts, and Pierre Robert. Our list of dream guests keeps growing.” Alesiani added “We chose to put this show on in Philly because we woke up one day and realized that Philly was the city that we were in.”

tooooo lateRob and Joe host Brittany Rafalak as a guest this month. The local filmmaker recently released a trailer on Vimeo for her new film “Try Try Again.” The film focuses on Pilar, who travels back in time to pursue her love interest. The film’s cast will also be on hand for Two Late. Rafalak graduated from University of the Arts in 2010 and received a Small But Mighty Arts grant. Local duo The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (Matthew Schmid and Jacquie Baker) are scheduled to perform their character-driven “Best Friend Sketch Comedy” pieces during the course of the show. Stand-up comedian Chanel Ali, who performs around in New York and Philadelphia, will close the evening with a set. Her stage presence and story-teller style make her a crowd favorite as she covers current topics, her upbringing and her worldview. Ali was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Philly’s Phunniest Competition.

Two Late with Rob & Joe is Friday, July 22 at 11:55pm. Purchase tickets here!

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PHIT Seeking Kids & Teens Program Coordinator

PHIT is excited to announce our search for a new PHIT Kids & Teens Coordinator to join our amazing team. The Kids & Teens Coordinator reports to Greg Maughan, PHIT’s Executive Director and supervises all of the Kids & Teens program within PHIT’s Training Center.

The Kids & Teens Coordinator is responsible for managing and supporting Kids & Teens faculty; developing class and workshop curricula; communicating with PHIT staff, Kids & Teens faculty, and parents; scheduling of classes, open houses, and shows; and maintaining a safe space for learning during program hours. The Kids & Teens coordinator works closely with instructors and teaching assistants to provide the very best in improv comedy education for students in grades K-12. A more detailed explanation of the position is available in the Kids & Teens Coordinator Job Description.

Submissions for the new Kids & Teens Coordinator are being accepted beginning immediately through Sunday, July 17th, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. We ask that any interested applicants send the following in an email to contact<at>phillyimprovtheater.com with the subject line “Kids & Teens Coordinator”:

  • a resume
  • a one-page letter explaining your prior experience with children, teaching philosophy, how you believe improv education can be of benefit to kids and teens.

Interviews for qualified candidates will take place during the weekend of July 18th-22nd, 2016. A final decision will be announced by August 1st.

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Early Registration Discount Ends on Sunday, 7/17!

PHIT Session 4 2016 Sale

If you’re on the fence about getting into an PHIT class, jump off now! Our Early Registration Discount is ending on Sunday, July 17th! Enroll in ANY Improv, Sketch or Acting class before Sunday and you’ll save $50 off the full enrollment cost! Our 101 classes are as low as $199 for the best training in the Philly area!

You’ll learn from the best, get a pass to see most PHIT shows for free, opportunities to perform as soon as your first week, meet lots of new people, and more! So what are you waiting for?? Click here to view our full list of classes enrolling now!

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THE FLAT EARTH PRESENTS…CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

13627083_1086907844735689_8765786308490651156_nThe Flat Earth Needs your help!

They’ve created a brand new sketch show where YOU decide how it ends!

ONE show.
TWENTY-EIGHT possible endings!

The Flat Earth presents…CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

Fresh off a tour of the great, white north (Toronto and Montreal Sketchfests; Runner-Up: Producer’s Pick & Best New Comers, respectively), The Flat Earth returns home to the PhIT stage to deliver their most ambitious show, yet!

Join Jacquie, Vincent, Rich, Matt & Molly for a night you won’t forget!

PURCHASE TICKETS BELOW!
THURSDAY JULY 14th @ 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY JULY 15th @ 9:00 P.M.
THURSDAY JULY 21st @ 9:00 P.M.
SATURDAY JULY 23rd @ 9:00 P.M.

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SPOTLIGHT: JULY LAUNCH PAD TEAM DADDY BULLDOG

32631219-b714-4d48-b4b2-5849636b56e8As part of PHIT’s Launch Pad program, PHIT stage will be the proud home of independent team Daddy Bulldog every Wednesday night in July at 7:30 P.M.! The Launch Pad program is an opportunity for local independent improv teams to participate in a three-month intensive development, coaching, and performance period with PHIT. As part of the Launch Pad program Daddy Bulldog is currently coached by Sarah Clemency of PHIT House Team Fjord.

We have put together a very kind and excited and cute and hungry Q&A to help you get to know the glorious team that is Daddy Bulldog.

What brought you all together as a team?
Various PHIT classes introduced us. We bonded over Beatles impersonations. We fell in love during craft nights and road trips. We certainly didn’t meet in a primordial bog where we lurked for millennia waiting to emerge from the slime.

What have you all most enjoyed about the Launch Pad experience?
Just getting to spend time with each other, and getting to work with Sarah!

What sort of themes often find their way into a Daddy Bulldog performance?
Love. Animals. Monsters. Butts.

How does Daddy Bulldog “get in the zone” for a show?
An in-depth conversation about Minions, followed by light physical violence and affirmations of self-worth.

What does Daddy Bulldog think about real dogs?
Daddy Bulldog is staunchly pro-dogs. All dogs. We met a dog in an Uber in Richmond, VA, and it was practically a religious experience. Dogs are the best.

What makes Daddy Bulldog laugh so hard that they feel like throwing up, but they won’t?
Telling each other stories of our own past social failures. Bizarre internet memes. Kids dabbing at church. Sports puns make Tim feel like throwing up and the rest of us laugh.

What would you all like to hear an audience member say after seeing a Daddy Bulldog show?
“They made us laugh, and they definitely weren’t bog monsters! A++ Would watch again.”

What is Daddy Bulldog’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
Find people you trust. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Become friends with Cara. Escape the bog.

DADDY BULLDOG SHOWTIMES: 
WEDNESDAY JULY 6TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 13TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 20TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 27TH @ 7:30 P.M.

 

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SKETCH TEAM “IT’S THE NEW’S” TOP 5 SODAS OF ALL TIME

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It’s summertime.
It’s your time.
It’s breakfast time.

IT’S THE NEW is bringing a brand new sketch show “it’s the new: soda friends, or it’s the DEW” this very week to the PHIT stage!

it’s the new decided to get real with us, to really and fully and wholly “let us in” the way one would see a dog in the rain and say hey come on in here, have some warmed biscuits, be my companion, and save me from a life of utter explicit loneliness, via providing us with their opinion of the TOP 5 SODAS OF ALL TIME in no particular order.

1. Mountain Dew
An old standby. A classic through-and-through. The perfect blend of lemon, lime, and Yellow #5. Yellow #5, or Tarzatine, has never been scientifically linked to the alleged drop in sperm count of urban legend; nor has any other component of the drink. We here at it’s the new. are all Dewboys and Dewgirls. All of us except for Erin. That’s not a problem any more though.

2. Mountain Dew Code Red
Go ahead, cut our veins. You’ll see that we bleed Code Red. Except for Erin, that is. She just bled regular ol’ blood. Mountain Dew Code Red is perhaps the most well-known of Dew’s many delicious variants, and for good reason! We dare you to come up with a better firetruck red-colored soft drink. Go on, we’ll wait.

3. Mountain Dew Baja Blast
Until recently, Baja Blast (or B. B.) was a delicacy sold only at Taco Bell locations. But, as the demand increased (mostly from this very sketch team) the Dew Gods began supplying this delicious variant to convenience stores near you. Baja Blast suggests the exotic flavor and excitement of sipping a soda south of the border. Not so coincidentally, it’s the new. recently drove south of the border to dispose of our dear, departed friend Erin!

4. Mountain Dew Pitch Black
The preferred soda of ghosts everywhere like Erin!

5. Mountain Dew Game Fuel
This Dew variant is the official drink of teamwork. If you’re a sketch comedy team that needs to quickly and discretely murder and dispose of a teammate who doesn’t like Mountain Dew, this is your new drink of choice! After all, killing close friends is thirsty work!

PURCHASE TICKETS FOR “it’s the new: soda friends, or it’s the DEW” BELOW:
THURSDAY JUNE 30th @ 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY JULY 1st @ 9:00 P.M.

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PHIT Sketch Team Actor Auditions Are Here! July 10th! Sign-Ups Open Now!

The writers of PHIT’s latest live sketch team, Codename: Athena, are currently in the process of constructing their debut show – but a sketch show without actors is just a script, which means it’s time for another round of Sketch House Team Actors Auditions!

PHIT will be holding open-call auditions in search of actors for our newest Sketch House Team on Sunday, July 10 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Auditions will be held in the PHIT’s Rehearsal Room B, located in the basement 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 shows in the debut run of Codename: Athena shows (These dates are: August 18th, 19th, 25th, and 26th), as well as as-of-yet-unscheduled rehearsals and read-throughs. 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 fill out PHIT’s “Codename: Athena” Acting Auditions Submission Form, linked here.

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:
PLEASE ARRIVE AT LEAST FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES PRIOR TO YOUR SCHEDULED AUDITION TIME. You will be handed scripts from pre-written sketches that you will be asked to read from. After you’ve checked in, we encourage you to take this time to go over the script. Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Resumes are not required but will gladly be accepted. Please bring a headshot with you.

Auditioners will be seen individually for 5 minutes each. You will be expected to perform a 2 – 2 1/2 minute comedic monologue. This can be something you’ve written, something someone else has written,  something that has never been written – it can be anything you would like, but we recommend doing something that showcases your strengths as a performer and brings plenty of laughs out of the present director and producers. After this, you’ll read/perform some of the material that you receive after you check in.

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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7 POINTERS FOR UCB’S DCM 2016

del_1275bJune 24th – 26th is the Upright Citizen’s Brigade annual Del Close Marathon the largest improv festival in the world! If you’re going duh we have some pointers!

1. PURCHASE TICKETS! That is the first step. It is very possible right HERE

2. Spread the great word of improv while you are on The Subway – which is what they call the transportation system in The Big Apple – and invite them to the marathon and then also tell them about the glory that is Philly Improv Theater here in sweet sweet Philadelphia. Also here is a map of The Subway.

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3. Research the performers so that you can can develop a greater connection and understanding and pathos and narrative of them while watching their sets! 

4. Go to Times Square!

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5. Just kidding. Don’t. Go to DCM.

6. Try some New York Pizza.

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7. Feeling homesick? Why not check out some of PHIT’s very own teams that will be performing in the festival!

FjORD – Fri. June 24th 10:30 P.M. @ TNC – Community
Swan Year
– Fri. June 24th 11:45 P.M. @ TNC – Cabaret

Big Baby – Sat. June 25th 12:45 A.M. @ TNC – Community
Hoffman – Sat. June 25th 1:40 A.M. @ TNC – Johnson
The Ultimate improv Entrance – Sat. June 25th @ 5:00 A.M. @ Magnet
1816 – Sat. June 25th 8:40 A.M. @ UCBT – East Village
Masher – Sat. June 25th 6:45 P.M. @ TNC Cabaret
Wilhelm – Sun. June 26th 3:30 P.M. @ TNC – Cabaret
Trash Island – Sun. June 26th 3:45 P.M. @ TNC – Community

Staying in Philadelphia for the weekend? Well then we will see you at our glorious weekend programing!

FRIDAY 06/24/16
SATURDAY 06/25/16
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Free Intro to Improv & Sketch Classes in June!

DavidDonnellaSmallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor: 
David Donnella
Day: 
Monday
Dates: 
6/13
Time: 
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
KevinPettit_smallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor: 
Kevin Pettit
Day: 
Sunday
Dates: 
6/19
Time: 
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
MeredithWeirSmallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor: 
Meredith Weir
Day:
 Wednesday
Dates: 
6/22
Time: 
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
robertONeillSmallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor:
 Rob O’Neill
Day: 
Thursday
Dates: 
6/23
Time: 
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
TaraDemmySmallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor: 
Tara Demmy
Day:
 Sunday
Dates: 
6/26
Time: 
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
KevinPettit_smallFREE INTRO TO IMPROV
Instructor:
 Kevin Pettit
Day: 
Monday
Dates: 
6/27
Time: 
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
MatthewSchmidSmallFREE INTRO TO SKETCH WRITING
Instructor: 
Matthew Schmid
Day:
 
Sunday
Dates: 
6/26
Time: 
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Status: REGISTER NOW!
Classes_2

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A FOND FAREWELL TO SABOTAGE

10929551_480768312070448_7874758177186488313_nIt is always bittersweet when PHIT must say goodbye to a talented, multifaceted, and delightfully boisterous team such as Sabotage as the members embark on new and exciting opportunities.

During their run as a PHIT house team, Sabotage has grown into a collection of extremely talented performers that clearly love and support one another in every single show and always bring an engaging and charismatic energy. 

In honor of Sabotage’s FINAL show on Saturday June 18th at 9:00 P.M we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about their time on the PHIT stage in a post that is gonna get you feeling some very real feelings.


I’ve got your back.

My fellow Saboteurs and I say this to each other before we go out on stage. It means that no matter what, we are in full support of each other’s choices. We pledge to make each other look like superheroes. Whatever our choices may be, we are made stronger by each team member’s swell of support. When we premiered, our first group game involved lifting and parading Derek across the stage. Through the shows in the years to come we’d continue lifting, carrying, piling, contorting, huddling, bracing or holding each other scene to scene.

It goes much deeper than that, though. Our love, trust, and support of each other is thorough and immersive off stage as well.

I’ve been fortunate to hear countless people say, “I can see that you love each other. It shows on stage.” It’s true. Early on, when we were musing about what kind of team we were going to be, Hannah said, “Let’s just be the team that loves each other.” It was already true. Even today, playing with my fellow Saboteurs at rehearsals and shows is a diamond-bright point in my week.

Sabotage is my improv family through and through. Each of us has had an immense milestone occur while we were a team. They’ve had my back celebrating my successes, been pillars of fortitude during my struggles and have always been there as sources of strength and joy in my life. I cannot say how thankful I am to have had such a courageous and loving family there to lift me up and remind me of my own strength. I’ve become a more experienced improvisor and more loving person because of it.

I’ve long used the analogy that Improv is a lot like the X-Men. If you’re Storm and I’m Wolverine, whatever you do I’m going to make you look ten times cooler. Imagine that a thousand fold with more wiggling, knife-hands, bird-hands and women named “Owl,” and you’ve got Sabotage.

Brendan – I’ll miss exploring creepy haunted mansions, castles and graveyards with you and just sharing our mutual love of horror. If I ever go ghost-hunting, you’re the first person I’m calling.

Danielle – You are the most supportive performer I’ve ever seen. I love seeing your filter drop and how honest and surprising you can be. I remember the best man speech I wrote for you and I meant every word. You’re the best.

Jimi – I still remember our first audition and callback scenes together. I knew immediately you were someone I wanted to create brilliant, hilarious scenes with. I’ll miss making music with ya. You get that get.

Adam Steiger – Instantly the most grounded, honest actor I’ve had the pleasure of improvising with. You carry a kindness in you that is illuminating. You are the best spaghetti man named Luigi.

Jeff – No one can deliver a deadpan line about how grandma, “really cleaned house at bingo,” and immediately make everyone on stage break. I’ll miss our scenes together and correcting how you play an improv flute.

Hannah – Perhaps the bravest improvisor I know. Your energy is contagious and I can’t count the times you’ve made me break on stage. Your courage is something I strive to match.

Derrick – I am continuously amazed by the exciting stories you casually bring out in your monologues. I can’t wait to be in your scenes and meet your characters. We’ll miss you when you’re a superstar in LA.

Rachel -The air itself changes when you walk on stage and you charge each scene with such emotion. I think we’ve all said it before, but you’re the heart of this team and you bring the best out in everyone.

Thanks to Jess Ross for bringing us together, providing us such a solid foundation and giving us the homework assignments to better inform us ( I still remember how to sing the Finnish anthem.) Brian Rumble, thank you for opening our eyes to our potential and arming us with tools for any scene. Fred Brown, thanks for the “this little light of mine,” speech, it’s exactly the reminder I needed.

Despite our last show rapidly approaching, remember that we’re still a family off stage. No matter where we go from here, whether it’s moving far away or the minute changes of life here in Philly, I hope you know I’ll still have your back no matter what.

I’ve got your back.

And you’ve got this. – Joe Gates


Being a part of Sabotage has made me a better human being. This team has been my second family for the last two and a half years and trying to imagine a world where I don’t get to see them and perform with them weekly is heartbreaking. I have learned and grown so much as a performer and a person. The love, trust and respect that we have for one another as not only performers but people is insurmountable. These people are a part of my life, and I am honored to call them my friends. Together, we have been through weddings, engagements, breakups, breakdowns, babies, new jobs, losses, etc. When audience members say, “It looks like you guys really love each other up there,” it’s because it’s true. We are a family.  – Yellie, out. 


I was having trouble coming to terms finding a proper level of detachment to hide my feelings, and putting off writing this. Thankfully, I discovered an email I sent myself from the far future, which along with dire warnings about global calamity, contained my reminiscences of my time with the wonderful people of Sabotage.

Danielle was one of the first people I met in Philly comedy, a true talent, and an amazing friend. She was also one of the last people I saw in Philly comedy, when the Atlantic ocean consumed Fishtown in a particularly ironic tidal wave.
 
Jimi either had a baby or turned into a baby. Either way, he made us laugh.
 
Hannah was a fearsome improvisor who surprised no one when she became the first female president of the War Republic, and surprised a few when she killed and ate her opponent to gain his strength.
 
Joe Gates brought enchantment and wonder wherever he went. No one’s seen him since the bad times started, unless you count the times he’s been spotted in the background of oil paintings riding unicorns.
 
Adam Steiger is both the calm and the storm. He still searches for the monster who left their toenail clippings in the practice room.
 
Jeff has and always be the master of specificity. If you walk near where the theater used to be, you can still hear a quiet voice asking for a sandwich “au juice”.
 
Derrick – I knew him before he was in so many acclaimed comedy films that everyone was like “jeez let someone else be in something you super smart jerk”.
 
Rachel was the heart of the team, and brought her all to the stage, and to taking care of her friends. She became an eagle forever.
 
That’s where the message ends. 
 
Also to the three directors we’ve had – Jess brought us together, Brian showed us how much we were capable of, and Fred focused us. We had more directors than most teams, and they all brought different, excellent skills to the table. I’m grateful for all of them.  – Brendan Kingston
 

I love these fools I got to see weekly and as we approach the end of our time on the PHIT stage I’d like to say thanks.

To our directors, thank you. Jess, Brian and Fred you each helped us grow both as a team and individuals. Your efforts were appreciated.

To my fellow Saboteurs, thank you. Joe, you’re a wellspring of esoteric knowledge. Brendan, the keeper of the wiggles. Hannah, you’re a fearless friend and incredibly dedicated to us. Danielle, you’re so supportive. Derrick, I couldn’t have asked for more stimulating conversation. Jimi, your levity was buoy when spirits were low. Jeff, I imagine you were a magician in another life ’cause you magical. And Rachel Semigran. If Sabotage were a person, she would simultaneously be our heart and brain. She’s always caring, generous and brilliant on and off stage. You all have a John-Travolta-salad sized place in my heart.

To PHIT, thank you. We were given an opportunity because of the incredible efforts of Greg, Ralph, Jess, Marby and Kristen on making our new home an amazing place to perform. The blood, sweat and tears you all put into PHIT is praiseworthy, though it should likely be cleaned up at some point.

It’s been a helluva run. – Adam Steigner


People are attracted to improv for a variety of reasons, and you see many of those reasons personified in the members of Sabotage. For me, Sabotage was a way to cool off, take a minute out of life and think creatively. What made our team so special is that we allowed each other to comfortably live within the motivations each of us had for doing improv – to use the time together as enjoyment versus getting caught up in the competitive or self-questioning nature of performance. We made a promise early on to love each other first, and that promise allowed us to change and grow without the pressure of outside factors. Everyone single person on Sabotage went through major life events during our run, and because we were about each other, we continued to laugh at each other on stage and give each other big hugs off stage.  

Sabotage was often told that we looked like we had a lot of fun together when we performed – that’s because we do.  The most fun times were when a performer would do something that would make the sidelines split over in laughter, even if the audience only chuckled.  These guys are the funniest people in the world, and it’s so amazing that after two and a half years and three coaches we all feel that way about each other.
 
A goodbye wouldn’t be complete without a class will, so as I move on to the next phase of my life, I leave the following to my Saboteurs:
– RS: We were destined friends before we were friends.  I leave you a gingerbread cookie that says “Pat” and all of my feminism.  
– DK: When we met I thought you were too cool and badass for me. I leave you a tattoo of three ladies touching their tatas.  
– BK: You’ve saved me in so many crazy scenes.  I leave you our spare key, in case you and Mo want to sleep in our guest bed.
– DH: I know you hate when I hug you, but I actually do think you like it.  I leave you a lunch lady sex partner.
– JK: Stop making me laugh on stage.  I leave you Jimi getting the get.
– JH: Doesn’t it feel like we are brother and sister? I leave you a bathrobe from the night we spent in a hotel room as two male cops.
– AS: You’ll always be my hottest nicest friend.  I leave you that rage face you do that makes me pee.
– JG: Everything you say makes me laugh so hard, but question if you are a human.  I leave you 5 spells.
 
Thank you to my best friends in improv that made two and a half really stressful years of my life a whole lot funnier.
 
Love,
Han
 

Before getting into this, I want everyone to picture me ugly crying while I write this…because I am.

The first night I met Sabotage, I laughed so hard that my sides ached and my cheeks hurt. We played games, ate pizza and let our freak flags (and spider chandeliers) fly on Jess Ross’ porch. I think that’s what has always been so special about this team. We’ve all embraced each other —all of our quirks and peculiarities—and joined in the weirdness.

When it comes to picking out my favorite moments with these beautiful freaks, it often has nothing to do with improv. Watching Hannah get married and getting the whole party to join us in a diamond dance…road tripping with Jimi at the wheel and Adam singing Taylor Swift…partying at the movies with contraband mini wine bottles with Hannah and Danielle…LARP-ing with Joe…having long talks with Derrick about music and relationships…Jeff coming to a Backstreet Boys concert with me and my screaming girlfriends (yup, he did)…watching Brendan (my improv husband) live his best life during a ghost tour…wiggling…taking over Bob and Barbara’s….eating 37 hot dogs at a Phillies game…getting yelled at by grumpy customers at brunch in New York…and singing ABBA at Derrick until his ears bleed.

As performers, Sabotage is stacked. I know I’m deeply biased, but you will rarely find a player who can lay out a premise and bring a scene together like Derrick; or have someone constantly surprise you like Danielle; fill you with whimsy like Joe; make you feel safe like Jimi; be so committed to emotion and absurdity like Brendan; be as grounded and unflinchingly supportive like Adam; make you break and revel in silliness like Jeff or be as brave and gangbusters as Hannah. I still can’t wrap my head around how I got so lucky. 

Thinking about shows and rehearsals—it’s all one fantastic blur of piling on top of each other. My favorite scenes are when the whole squad is so overjoyed by an idea that everyone dives in, head first. I like to think our legacy as a team is that we slayed group games and loved the shit out of every moment together.

Sabotage has made me a better performer. More importantly, they’ve been my safety net and a constant reminder that nothing is ever so bad that I can’t find the space to laugh. I love this team. If you ever have an opportunity to work with a Saboteur, or better yet, get a chance to know one, TAKE IT. I promise your life will be so much better for it.

Lastly, the thing that everyone has always said about our team is that it looks like we have so much fun being on stage and we really love each other… it’s all true. When we started, we set out to love each other. And we succeeded. The love and absolute joy you saw from the audience was tenfold on the inside.

I’m still ugly crying.

Sabomom out.  


(If you have access to Spotify and/or YouTube, please play “Exhale” by Whitney Houston while reading this)

I suck at writing stuff like this. I’m gonna keep it short and sweet. Thank you, Jess, Brian and Fred for controlling the chaos that is Sabotage. Thank you PHIT community for being so awesome. And special shout-out to Bill Parks for being the side chick to my baby mama. Continue to “Murder Dicks”. Now, some love for my fellow Saboteurs:
Joe is the most charismatic improviser in Philly. The audience loves everything he does.

Hannah is bold and fearless. She’s not afraid of going there or anywhere.

Danielle is unpredictable. She’s so much fun to play with when she cuts loose.

Jeff is an all around solid improviser. I don’t think we’ve ever done a bad scene together.

Jimi is making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me. Seriously, Jimi is a great guy, a great improviser and a great father.

Adam is a role model on and off the stage. We should all try to be a little more Adam

Brendan is a ball of pure improv energy that wants to kill everything. He’s also very funny.

Rachel is the truly the heart of Sabotage and one of the main reasons this team was such a love-fest.

As for me, I’m off to LA to eat In-and-Out Burger while stuck in traffic on the 405. – Derrick Hackett


PURCHASE TICKETS HERE FOR SABOTAGE’S FINAL SHOW JUNE 18TH 9:00 P.M. !

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SPOTLIGHT: JUNE LAUNCH PAD TEAM TOOTHBRUSH MONEY

toothbrushmoneypostcardAs part of PHIT’s Launch Pad program, PHIT stage will be the proud home of independent team Toothbrush Money every Wednesday night in June at 7:30 P.M.! The Launch Pad program is an opportunity for local indie improv teams to participate in a three-month intensive development, coaching, and performance period with PHIT. As part of the Launch Pad program Toothbrush Money is currently coached by Joe Tuzzi of PHIT House Team Fjord.

We have put together a very clean and rich Q&A to help you get to know the glorious team that is Toothbrush Money.

What brought you all together as a team?
A mutual hatred of capitalism, The Shawshank Redemption, and an unbreakable friendship attained through the occasional PHIT class (PHIT offers classes in improv, sketch, and sometimes stand up. Go to phitcomedy.com for more info).

What have you all most enjoyed about the Launch Pad experience?
Not worrying about stepping on Matt’s dog, Bella, in the middle of a set. Oh, and all of the baked goods our coach (Joe Tuzzi) brings to practice every week! He’s a saint.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Toothbrush Money performance?
Deep sadness, despair, and emotional turmoil. Also, sometimes instead of group games, we just sing. It’s not great comedy, but it’s entertaining.

How does Toothbrush Money “get in the zone” for a show?IMG_8973
As per Shannon’s request, we drag her across the ground, regardless of location (green room, alley behind a bar, etc.) It’s the only way we get focused.

In an ideal world what would Toothbrush Money’s ideal currency be?
We spent an entire set trying to figure out the conversation rate of the US dollar to Yen once. It didn’t go well. Scarred us for life. So, really, anything but the US dollar and Yen.

What makes Toothbrush Money laugh so hard that they feel like throwing up, but they won’t?
Anytime a teammate accidentally hurts themselves. We do feel bad for laughing at our friends, but boy is it funny. Or when a teammate weaves in a callback from a previous show, which happens all too frequently.

What would you all like to hear an audience member say after seeing a Toothbrush Money show?
“It sure does look like they’re having fun on stage!”

What is Toothbrush Money’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
If you love playing with certain people, start a team with them. Find a performer that your team loves watching and ask them to be your coach. Practice, practice, practice. Perform, perform, perform. Have fun, have fun, have fun.

TOOTHBRUSH MONEY SHOWTIMES: 
WEDNESDAY JUNE 8TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 15TH @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 22ND @ 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 29TH @ 7:30 P.M.

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GOAT RODEO TALKS ABOUT “THAT’S JUUUST PEACHY” + THE ORIGIN OF 5 EVERYDAY PHRASES

Just in time for summer, Goat Rodeo is back with a brand new show, “That’s Juuust Peachy!” Filled with scorching skits, blazing bits, and red-hot routines, “That’s Juuust Peachy!” is guaranteed to sate your unquenchable thirst for sketch comedy! Why, this show has everything: Action?  It’s got it!  Romance?  Check!  Chickens?  You bet your sweet bippy! Start your summer off right by grabbing an ice-cold beverage, your best gal/guy/goat, and a one-way ticket to Laughsville on the Goat Rodeo Chuckle Train.  We’re certain you’ll leave the theater thinking, “That’s Juuust Peachy!”

SHOW TIMES:13269271_1017930561620655_3129440324687317096_n
THURSDAY JUNE 9TH @ 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY JUNE 10TH @ 9:00 P.M.
THURSDAY JUNE 9TH @ 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY JUNE 9TH @ 9:00 P.M.

When us “thinkers” over here at PHIT heard that Goat Rodeo’s new show was called “That’s Juuust Peachy!” we couldn’t help, but conclude that Goat Rodeo must be a bubbling brook cornucopia book of knowledge that must share their all knowing knowledge with us. So of course we asked them to break down five everyday phrases so that we could live our lives more respectably, emotionally, and spiritually.

1. THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT
The idiom “The Ball is in Your Court,” understood to mean, “It’s your move. Everything now, depends solely upon you,” is a saying derived from the early attempts to establish a judicial system among the first American colonies. Often the Governing Officials, or “Governors,” would spend a great deal of their time tending to the spoils of their wealth. Therefore, it wasn’t uncommon for such officials to unload their judicial responsibilities onto a neighboring Governor through a playful rivalry known as the “Governor’s ball.” This “Governor’s ball” was in fact an actual ball of rolled dough, typically aged rye, prepared & left to rot specifically to be snuck into the court of an unsuspecting Governor. Records state, “Should a judicial figure enter his court house to find a rolled ball of dough in place of his gavel, his court will receive the gavels of its Neighbors, as it shall be burdened with the task of hearing all disputes from not only its own colony but all of its neighboring colonies as well. An official may only be alleviated of this fate by then agreeing to throw a really big party wherein he must eat said ball of dough in front of all the Governors of the adjacent colonies, without expelling it from his bodily system for the entirety of five minutes.” Eventually these high ranking officials learned to play tennis, which supplies the courts where their progeny adjudicate amongst themselves to this day.

2. THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE
The origin of “The grass is always greener on the other side” dates back to the popular English fairy tale “Jack and Jill.” You see, in the original story, there were a few key differences- one was that they actually went up the hill to fetch a “carafe” of water, and the other was that they simply traveled across a grassy knoll- these weren’t exciting enough and didn’t lead to much drama, so they replaced “carafe” with pail and “grassy knoll” to hill to make it more cutting edge. Also, the original was much more grim- they were eaten by one of those famous English “Hill Monsters” at the end, and Jack’s famous last words were “The grass is always greener on the other side.” If you trace it back to the original rock it was inscribed on, it also says that Jack’s eyes turned black like a shark’s when he said it, making it akin to one of those modern day horror movies with the possessed and terrifying children.

3. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL!
“Speak of the Devil” is the short form of the idiom “Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear” which is used when the object of a conversation suddenly becomes present during the discussion. The phase originated in 1748 in England when the prominent Dutch wig merchant Cyril “the rascal” McChigswell invented the novelty headband with devil horns attached to it (commonly seen today during Halloween and at electronic dance music festivals). McChigswell, convinced that this novelty would be wildly popular, contracted with a Chinese plastics manufacturer in Zhejiang to make an initial run of one million units. Due to an accounting error by McChigswell’s accountant, Herman “sweet thing” Cleantz, this large order wiped out McChigswell’s entire wig fortune and left no money for a proper marketing campaign. Not to be deterred, McChigswell decided that a guerilla marketing campaign was the best way to promote his product with a limited budget. He called his acquaintance, the Duke of Windschrist, Reginald “baby ape” Snaverentz and persuaded him to make an official proclamation which read “All he who speak of the novelty headband with devil horns in the next week will find that a free novelty headband with devil horns will appear in his mailbox at a later date.” Word spread quickly about McChigswell’s promotion and all of England was soon repeating the proclamation in order to get a free set of novelty devil horns. In addition to creating a centuries-long fad that, even today, shows no signs of abating, and amassing an astounding fortune for himself, McChigswell also created a linguistic phenomenon with his proclamation. Long after the one-week promotion ended, it was common to hear the phase “all he who speak of the novelty headband with devil horns in the next week will find that a free novelty headband with devil horns will appear in his mailbox at a later date” in any number of contexts in conversations and to see it in print in popular news outlets of the day including The Fort Street Thing and The Wellington Jesus. Eventually, in 1836, American novelist, Bernard “gravy boat” Robinsblat shortened the phase to today’s usage, “Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear” in his novel The Robot in the Glue Factory. According to Robinsblat, “while the world owes a lot to McChigswell’s novelty devil horns, that original proclamation is sort of long and I don’t really have time to type it in this book.” The resounding success of The Robot in the Glue Factory coupled with the general anti-English sentiment of the mid-1800s, provided the ideal conditions for the new version of the phase to be adopted by the American populace and, eventually, the world.

4. A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES
“What I said was : A PLAQUE on both your houses! One that tells people to keep their distance. ‘Beware, Chuckleheads Inside’ or ‘Danger! Hive of the Dumbbones!’. It would have to be big, and there would have to be two of them. One for each of the houses. If it’s not too expensive, the plaques should be cast in bronze. That might be too expensive. Maybe the plaque could be small and then there could be a much larger sign (cheaper) with an arrow that points to the plaque so people know it’s there. That’s what I was trying to say, basically. I don’t even remember why I said it. Something must have got up my butt. I think it was about taxes -which at the time were too high, and now… forget it. Property taxes. Now if people want to say it different? F-me, I don’ care! You know what I mean? What am I gonna do? It don’t mean nothing. Plague, plaque. ”

– Supposed originator of phrase -Wally “Mercutio” Hamlin, reached by phone in Naples, FL – courtesy of Goat Rodeo telephone research dept.

5. DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
It is a commonly held belief that the expression, “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone.” This implied meaning is so commonly held that it even made it into the first line of the phrase’s definition on the website Wikipedia.com. It is very similar to the expression “All that glitters is not gold.” That is both true in the figurative sense as well as the literal sense. (Seriously, try covering a candy necklace in cheap glitter and pawning it off as a gold necklace. The pawnbroker’s liable to throw you out of the shop on your ass, or at least give the side-eye to one of his shady associates and point his thumb at you while saying, “Can you believe dis guy,” in a thick Brooklyn accent.) The actual expression, however, started as a warning to readers, that while the cover of a book may be a pretty picture, it is not wise to assume that the rest of the book will be filled with pretty pictures. Most of them are filled with words, or as we in Goat Rodeo like to call them, the Devil’s pictures. So, the next time you find yourself being lured into a book by the pretty picture on the cover, don’t be so quick to judge it as something worth reading, or you may find yourself reading over four hundred pages of nonsense involving a group of British rabbits forced to flee their home because one of the British rabbits could see visions of the future or some dumb garbage or something. (FULL DISCLOSURE: several members of Goat Rodeo were tricked into reading Richard Adams’ Watership Down after seeing the pretty bunny pictures on the cover, and we’re still all pretty salty about it.)

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11 SURVIVAL TIPS FOR DÜOFEST 2016

e80933a7-e3d8-40cf-aa1e-5cc7a6c87bbf-1Düofest 2016 begins this Wednesday June 1st and continues through Saturday June 4th! For the seventh year PHIT welcomes the best comedy duos from North America (and around the world) to our stage for one astoundingly talented festival.

To prepare for this momentous week we have delved deeply into our mind brains and our body hearts to create for you a very crucial very beneficial list of 11 Survival Tips for Düofest 2016.

YOU SHOULD:
1. BUY AN ALL-ACCESS PASS.
This can happen right NOW right HERE. With an all-access pass you will be able to guarantee your wonderful self a seat to all the shows and a spot at all the after-hours parties. The passes go for just $49 – a savings of 80% off the price of buying individual tickets to all the shows!

2. WEAR COMFY CLOTHES SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK OF YOUR PHYSICAL SELF WHILE YOUR EMOTIONAL SELF TRANSCENDS MORTALITY VIA HUMOR.

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3. BYOBEVERAGE OF YOUR LIKING!
Beer! Fine wines! Pre-made Mint Juleps! Kombucha! Sodas from your youth! Seltzer water! Sparkling water! Water! Pineapple juice! Tears of your enemies! Tears of your friends!

4. BRING A CUTE PERSON THAT YOU WANT TO SMOOCH AND WHO ALSO WANTS TO SMOOCH YOU.
We encourage smooching. We love smooching. We think smooching’s great. We would just prefer you reserving the smooching for post show. Thank you so much.

5. HIT UP THE MONDE MARKET WHICH HAS EVERYTHING AND WILL HELP WITH #3.
Monde Market is located right around the corner from PHIT at 100S 21st Street. Don’t worry, for the non-believers we’ve provided the yelp page here.

6. CALL YOUR LOVED ONES AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM.
This is just a good thing to do on a regular basis.

7. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DUOS HERE BEFORE THEIR SHOWS SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THEM DURING THEIR PERFORMANCES LIKE A PROUD STAGE MOM*.
*A proud stage mom that encourages the craft of her talented children via being emotionally present and respectful of the needs and wants of said child as a functioning and magnificent organism during their shows. Along with coming to all of said child’s shows. AKA Düofest 2016.

8. BRING YOUR DREAM JOURNAL SO THAT YOU CAN TAKE NOTE THAT YOUR DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE BY SEEING DÜOFEST 2016. 

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9. OPEN UP AND LET THE LAUGHTER HEAL YOU.
THEY DO THIS IN LAUGHTER YOGA ALL THE TIME.

10. DRINK WATER.
What do all great novels have? A character. And when is a character most compelling? When they act independently according to their own free will. And how does a character possess this free will? Through a clear mind. How does a character have a clear mind? THROUGH STAYING HYDRATED YA’LL. It’s summer and your body is a glorious temple that needs to be taken care of. Water is so cool for this.

11. TELL EVERYONE EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY ON EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM YOU OWN THAT YOU WILL BE AT DÜOFEST 2016 AND THAT THEY SHOULD BE THERE TOO. SO INTERNET. SO EASY.
Be sure to holla at PHIT when you do this via:

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

We are so excited to see you at DÜOFEST 2016! Purchase individual show tickets here!

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