A FOND FAREWELL TO DIRTY LAUNDRY

After two years of following the lives of the Pinwright family, we sadly must bid farewell to Dirty Laundry. The show premiered in September of 2014 as a part of the Dynamite Series and was created and directed by Steve Kleindeler. Every month we peeked into what was happening with Connie (Kelly Jo Little), Bob (Rick Horner), their two kids Haley (Molly Scullion) and Marcus (David Donnella), and Connie’s sisters Elaine (Susan LaPalombara), Peg (Mary Eklund).

Since the show is coming to its close, we asked the cast what being a part of Dirty Laundry meant to them.

Dirty Laundry
Kelly Jo Little
Being in the cast of Dirty Laundry has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had during my improv career. We had a unique form that allowed us to explore our characters, growing and changing them over time.  We built a nice audience base that came month after month to see what was going to happen next. I want to thank the rest of the Pinwright/Connelly family, and Steve, who brought us on this journey together. I’ve grown as an improviser through this production, and will cherish the experiences I had on Dirty Laundry.

David Donnella
There are many things I will miss about Dirty Laundry, but the thing I will miss the most is the tenderness we had for each other. That tenderness took time to build and we cherished it both on and off stage. I hope the audiences saw and felt it, too.

Dirty Laundry

Susan LaPalombara
Imagine, if you can, that you’re one of those perplexingly giving/insane people who eagerly brings into your home an adorable puppy in a service dog training program, agreeing to raise and love her for a year and then hand her off at year’s end, agreeing never to see her again because it would be confusing for the dog? Now imagine that the program makes a mistake and forgets to come collect the dog until two and a half years later, well after the bond between dog and human has grown into a deep, loving, sometimes complicated, but always fulfilling relationship. Each of you has grown into your potential as individuals and you know, in your heart, that you are truly a family. But the reality is that that dog needs to move on, and if you’re being completely honest with yourself, you know what you signed up for: you knew this day was going to come. And, really, there is great joy that comes along with the sadness in letting her go, because you are truly proud of the work you have done with her. You have made each other better and stronger and you have brought joy to the lives of others who have watched you cavort and support each other; revel in each other’s successes; and laugh at each other’s crazy antics. Let’s call that dog Dirty Laundry. Let’s face it, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. This is not a hypothetical situation. This is my life. And the truth is that when I went to pick up that dog, two and a half years ago, I fell in love with the whole damn litter and ended up taking all 5 puppies and their trainer home. When they arrived, they had puppy names, but my puppy trainer, Steve, suggested that everyone rename themselves in the spirit of creating a new family. Rick became Bob; Kelly Jo, Connie; Mary, Peg; David, Marcus; Molly, Haley; and I changed my name from Susan to Elaine. Bob, in a rare alpha dog moment (because we all realized early on that Connie was the alpha dog), decided that Pinwright would be our family name. And so, a family was born. But our two and a half years are up, and it’s time to let you go. I love you, my crazy, galumphing puppy. God speed.

Dirty Laundry

Molly Scullion
It’s a weird feeling to be cast into a family and then actually feel like a family, but that’s what Dirty Laundry is to me. It’s been an honor to not only play with these talented performers, but also to feel so loved and taken care of on and off stage. I’m grateful for every second I spend with my family, and I’m going to miss them dearly. PS: I am still waiting for them to ask about Haley’s road trip.

Mary Eklund
Wow, what a gift to be asked to join the cast of Dirty Laundry!! I am the newbie with the least experience. It’s been an honor to be part of this. Glad I did not know how much experience everyone had-I would have been intimidated! Steve made it so easy to begin rehearsing and learning about the characters. What a great time in the summer of 2014 practicing and rehearsing. PHIT was very gracious to welcome the concept and host the show. Many thanks to everyone who supported the show and came out each month. We had great audiences.
Peg: My sisters hate my best friend (poor Madge!) IT’S SOOO UNFAIR! She’s the MOST fun to be with. Who else would I want to be in a jail cell in New Mexico with?
As the oldest sister, I see my job as looking out for everyone, BUT Bob and Connie’s latest discord has been wearing even for me. Who knew that I would HATE overseeing a household after Connie left. I just thought of myself as someone who gives and gives…But, really, these people do not have it together. Bob asking Elaine out; is he insane???? I really thought Connie would kill him.
Dirty LaundryHaley is growing into an independent young woman-good for her! She overcame her postal anxieties. The trip, though it’s still a bit unclear what happened to her while on the road, did her good.
Marcus is a great guy-he is also coming into his own with a job and lots of thoughtful ponderings about the world. Still love that he regularly asks me about my own dear Charlie. Charlie was full of opinions and interesting takes on the world. Still miss him every day, but Marcus helps to keep him alive with his questions.
Bob is really a great guy and I’m happy Connie realizes this-though she’s sometimes slow to wake up to the obvious! Bob is patient, a hard worker and a great dad. He does have his quirks: he cannot be without a tool in his hands, his glove collection is unrivaled and he obsesses over his special funds. If I could change one thing about Bob—no way would he have dated Elaine first. On the other hand, if he had fallen for Connie first, I guess Marcus would have been born a LOT earlier. That would have killed Mom, so I guess maybe dating Elaine first was better after all.
Elaine is always going to be rehashing the same issues-I want her to move on from dating the boss and moving in and out of employment too quickly. She has a good heart and does not realize how much she brings to everyone in her family. Until she finds herself and is happy, she won’t find the world a comfortable place to be. Being attracted to a priest is not a good first step to finding herself.
Connie is truly magical. She has this intuitive understanding of her kids and her husband. Yes, she is domineering; really, making a date to meet Marcus’ secret Irish pen pal in Dublin without his knowledge was a bit much (!). But she is always wanting the best for her family and I am always surprised at how she is dead on about what is best for each one. At other times, it is clear how much she needs them to be near for her own well-being.
What a great family!

Rick Horner
Dirty Laundry is totally unique, and never will happen again. Thanks to Steve, Mary, Susan, K Jo, David and Molly for regularly exploring the world Pinwright. Cheers!

Dirty Laundry

You can see Dirty Laundry in their final show this Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm.

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Page One Returns to PHIT’s Dynamite Series in 2017

Page OneA unique collaboration between talented improvisers and local playwrights, each Page One performance begins with the opening pages of a new script in development, which is then completed by the cast creating unscripted, original one-act plays in the moment.

Local playwrights are now welcome to submit the opening of original plays on which they’re working to the Artistic Director. The cast 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!

Steve Kleinedler directed Philadelphia’s original iteration of Page One based on a concept developed by Will Luera during his long tenure as Artistic Director of ImprovBoston. Lizzie Spellman, a member of PHIT’s first Page One cast, will direct this time around. David Donnella, who also performed in the original run, will return working with new cast members Gab Bottoni, Robyn Cartlidge, Rob Cutler, Shannon Fahey, Jamie Glasheen and Cecilia Watson.

Congratulations to everyone cast on this new team! And a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to come out and audition for this project. We’re excited to team-up with Philadelphia’s inspiring, diverse and talented playwrights on the return of this beloved show.

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ONLY 4 DAYS UNTIL BLACK FRIDAY COMEDY MARATHON 2016

BFCM_2016The Black Friday Comedy Marathon is back at PHIT Comedy! This Friday the 25th at 9:00am the fun begins. There are over 150 shows for you to see in these two comedy packed days. Comedy goers can purchase a wristband for $10 to get into any show they desire.

But wait! There is also a way you can get a wristband for free! Go shopping at a local small business in the Rittenhouse Square area around PHIT starting on November 21st through the marathon. Get your family and friends their holiday gifts and then bring your receipt of $10 or more to the theater. The local businesses eligible are located from Front Street to 30th Street and between Market Street and South Street.

The 40-hour marathon is hosted by local cool kids comedy group, Hey, We’re Cool. In addition, they will be hosting a live stream through Facebook Live during the entirety of the marathon.

So on Friday after you’ve recovered from all the turkey and shopped and shopped until you have to stop, come to PHIT for some laughs.

You can check out the show schedule for BFCM here!

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PHIT Comedy Training Center’s Conservatory Classes Are Expanding!

For several years, we’ve been offering a special Conservatory class for graduates of our improv program as way for them to do more intensive work and have the experience of performing a run of several shows. Our Conservatory classes have typically been offered a few times and year and those performances have taken place on weekend afternoons at the same time as Training Center class shows.

During the course of this year, we’ve noticed a surge in the number of students trying to get into the very limited number of spots in Conservatory classes and have also been getting requests from students for more higher level elective courses and more shows for those courses. As a result we’ve spent the last few months figuring out how we can offer more Conservatory opportunities to graduates of our training center.

Today we’re excited to announce we will begin offering more conservatory classes for graduates of the core curriculum immediately. A new conservatory application is now live for a class to start in December with veteran performer and director of Untitled, Rachel Semigran! We intend to offer conservatory classes as often as demand and space in our classrooms allows. Conservatory classes will now fall outside of the standard five sessions we offer each year with most beginning toward the start of a month.

The newly expanded conservatory classes will come in several varieties: in addition to continuing to offer our traditional conservatory class which focused students working with their instructor on creating an original form or style, we’ll now be offering classes that experiment with established forms and styles, taught by all of our amazing faculty (and occasionally veteran performers from PHIT’s stage). As 2017 progresses we hope to include a sketch conservatory class once we’ve completed the roll out of our new sketch curriculum, and we may have other experimental conservatory class types as well.

The main differences that distinguish the conservatory classes from classes in our core curriculum will be the expanded performance opportunity of a month-long run at the theater, a prerequisite of having completed the core curriculum, and the requirement of all conservatory students to apply for and be accepted into each conservatory class they take.

As another addition to the new Conservatory, workshops we previously labeled as having a prerequisite of completing the core curriculum and our Master Classes will now fall under the umbrella of the conservatory as well.

Students can also take conservatory classes multiple times and have a new experience each time since the form, style, focus, instructor, students, etc will always be changing. If you’ve completed the core improv program or have already done a conservatory class and have wondered what’s next- here it is!

Hope to see you in a class soon!

Mike Marbach
Education Director

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ROCKET PODCAST NETWORK IS READY FOR TAKE OFF!

The Rocket Podcast Network is ready to take off with the premiere of its pilot podcast episodes this week! In April of this year, it was announced that a new podcast network was in the works at PHIT Comedy. The network’s Podcast Coordinator is Hunter Steffes, who is also a performer on the improv house team Big Baby and the director of Hackett Park. Hunter had the task of picking eight pilot episodes out of more than 85 pitches that were submitted to be recorded and produced.

We asked Hunter some questions to get more intel on the new podcast network.

Sarah and Andrea Should Smile

Why did you want to start the Rocket Podcast Network at PHIT?
We wanted to give our talented community another platform to create something, and share it with both Philadelphia and also the entire internet.

What is your goal with the network?
We just want to continue to help people make their voices heard. Hopefully there will be a great mix of long-running shows and exciting new ones, all with unique, interesting and funny voices.

What do you love about podcasts? 
I like the more personal nature of podcasts, the format allows listeners to feel more connected to and invested in the hosts of their favorite shows. My favorite show is Comedy Bang Bang.

What do you want people to know about the Rocket Podcast Network? 
We have 8 great pilots, all covering different interests and with great, unique voices and points of view. Please listen to them all! You might find your new favorite show!


The podcast pilots debuting include: improveverythinggraphic

Improv Everything with John Hanson and Rob Alesiani

Andrew Makes The Case with Andrew Nealis and Tom Hannigan

Geek Girl Rants with Anita Nicholson

SHOULD HAVE GONE HOME with Sean Sullivan and Robyn Cartlidge

Should Have Gone HomeKid-Goggles with Matt Garren, Jeremy Keys, and Stacie Lyons

Oddventures with Brendan Kingston and Mo Manklang

Sketch Comedy Shop Talk (working title) with Matt Schmid

Sarah & Andrea Should Smile

Look out for these podcasts and more to come from the Rocket Podcast Network!

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SPOTLIGHT: PHIT HOUSE TEAM PG-13

PG-13 is one of PHIT’s improv house teams that was cast in May of this year. David Donella, who is the theater’s Diversity Coordinator and an improviser on The Future, cast the team. When improv teams are cast they begin performing shows on Wednesday nights. They use a form called The Harold, which students are taught in Improv 401. Since PG-13 has been together for a few months now, we decided to ask them a few questions and learned a few interesting facts about this team.

pg-13-1

How is performing now different from PG-13’s first show?
We like each other enough now to get really riled up about the dumbest stuff before our shows. Like cartwheels and juggling and shoe bits.

Why did you pick the name PG-13?
It’s not a good story, actually. Please don’t ask.

What movie would you sneak into? pg-13
Casey: Ghost
Sue: Ghost
Soumya: Ghost
Stacie: Ghost
Matt: Ghost
Nicole: Ghost
Kilo: Ghost
AJ: Ghost
Nick: Ghost

Does PG-13 have any rituals before a show?
Both before and after our shows, we do the chant from Coach Reilly’s team in the hit movie The Mighty Ducks: “It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big!” It gets us hyped. We also do something with our hands to remind us to “get messy” (a favorite coaching tip from our leader, David Donnella).

What are your favorite things about your teammates?
The sexual tension.

What would you all like to hear an audience member say after seeing a PG-13 show?
We already got the best audience comment we could have hoped for. “You did a Harold.”- Mike Marbach (PHIT Comedy’s Education Director)

What would you say to people who have recently started taking improv classes?
It’s not worth winning, if you can’t win big.

You can see PG-13 every Wednesday night at PHIT Comedy!
Get tickets here!

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The Family Friendly Improv Show Is Cast

PHIT Comedy’s Kids & Teens Program is excited to be one step closer to the premiere of family friendly shows created for grade school-aged children. We can’t wait to offer a show specifically designed for our littlest students to enjoy with their parents and families!

PHITKidsTeensPostcardFront-01

JoeTuzziSmall2014The Family Friendly Show, directed by Joe Tuzzi, will feature many of the instructors in the Kids & Teens program along with some other experienced Company Members and some new faces. The cast will include Sam Abrams, Neil Bardhan, Sarah Clemency, Mary Collins, Kate Fruhman, Nick Gillette, Kyle Hancock, Geoff Hartmann, Kris Hodge, Derrick Houck, Sue Jay, Danielle Klaiman, Susan LaPalombara, Courtney Painter, Brett Rader, Kristen Schier, Rachel Semigran, Sue Taney, Melissa Widhson and Renna Wirchin.

Congratulations to everyone cast on this new team! And a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to come out and audition for this project. The talent in Philadelphia is growing larger and stronger each year, as is the number of opportunities to perform improv, sketch, stand-up or in a variety show at PHIT and throughout the city.

Kids, we’ll see you early in 2017 with programming created just for you!

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SPOTLIGHT: PHIT HOUSE TEAM HACKETT PARK

Hackett Park is an improv house team at PHIT that was cast by Hunter Steffes in May of this year. Since their debut show in August we’ve seen them grow as a team. We asked Hackett Park a few questions to get to know them better and find out what performing on PHIT’s stage has been like for them so far.

Hackett Park

Now that you’ve been performing on the PHIT stage for a few months, what is something that you’ve learned?
There’s a lesson you learn over and over in improv, namely that anything can be fun and funny if you have your teammates’ backs. Whether it’s been a catcalling moon, some hand holding or the many explorations of pirate psyche, it’s been great for us to revisit that together.

What are the best parks?
We have our individual favorites but Insider Louisville makes a VERY compelling case the 120 Metro Parks inside of Louisville.Hackett Park

Where did the name Hackett Park come from?
It is a translation from the Latin on our family crest.

What are your favorite things about your teammates?
How weird we are and how everybody’s own particular strange-musk compliments each other to make the eau de toilette you’ll recognize hanging in the air of any Hackett Park show.

Do you have any advice for aspiring improvisers?
Learn as much as you can and play with people you like.

 

See Hackett Park every Wednesday night at PHIT Comedy!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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PHIT Hiring Tech Operators

Ever wondered how all of our shows look and sound so cool? Wanted to know what kind of magic makes fog appear on stage sometimes or understand how the lighting can add to the atmosphere of our sketch and variety performances? You’re in luck! PHIT Comedy is once again hiring Tech Operators for our shows – looking for people who want the answers to these questions (or already know them) and would like to help keep our performances looking and sounding like the most professional comedy shows in the city.

Production Coordinator Molly Scullion is looking to hire and train several techs in the coming weeks. Teching is a very flexible commitment, but it’s also a really valuable skill set to develop because once you know what the theater has and is capable of doing with tech you are a valuable asset as a team member or director who can imagine effective, exciting, and unexpected ways to stage performances at PHIT.

Full details of the Tech Operator job posting are on our Volunteering/Jobs page and we welcome applications from anyone with an interest in helping make Philadelphia a funnier place. We are especially interested in receiving applications from applicants from diverse backgrounds. Even if you aren’t interested in serving a tech we are still accepting applications for several other positions – please check out the postings, which include volunteer, occasional, and part-time positions with detailed directions about how to apply for each opening.

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THE WIZARD OF OOZE

wizard-of-oozeThere’s no better way to celebrate the spookiest time of the year then by creating a sketch show with your friends. With Halloween around the corner, a couple of pals Joe Tuzzi (Fjörd, Two Late) and Gab Thom (The Worst Generation) decided to make The Wizard of Ooze.

We asked them some questions to get to know what makes their show the ooziest.

How did the Wizard of Ooze come to life and what inspired you to create this show?
We have been dying to work on a project together for months now. We both love Halloween and decided there would be no better time! With help from our great friends who are great writers and great performers, we were able to put it together.

Are there any writing techniques or games that you use to generate material?
A lot of it was finding our favorite parts of Halloween and twisting it. But not candy corn, because gross, we aren’t monsters.

If this show was a Magic 8-Ball and had only one phrase it kept telling you every time you shook it what would it be?
Probably “lol ok.” Real vague but not directly negative.

What makes the best kind of ooze?
Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers certainly makes the best kind of ooze. He is our daily inspiration.

What would you like to hear people say after seeing your show?
We’d be fine with a gentle “that wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” But mainly, we’re just looking to get our audience in the spooky Halloween spirit! *insert evil laugh*

What advice does the Wizard of Ooze have for aspiring sketch writers?
Just do it (Nike). If you have an idea, don’t let it go. Keep thinking about and keep working on it until it’s what you want it to be.

Will the show be spooky?
THE SPOOKIEST! You won’t sleep after seeing it. (You will likely be able to sleep after seeing it, so still come please.)

PURCHASE TICKETS
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016

 

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Announcing Fall Improv Auditions: Musical Improv Show + Dynamite Series Show Casting Now!

Auditions for our new family friendly improv show took place this past weekend, but we’re not stopping there! This fall PHIT Comedy is also casting a musical improv show and a remount of the popular Dynamite Series show Page One, both of which will premiere early next year.

We’re excited to announce that PHIT’s first ever musical improv show will be directed by our own Dave Sucharski (Channel 77, Trash Island, Detention, The Sham), who has an MFA in Musical Theatre from University of Central Florida, with assistance from musical director Kevin Mucchetti (most recently heard in Deep Blue Theatre Collective’s A Streetcar Named Desire for the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe). The musical improv show will premiere early in 2017 on PHIT’s Mainstage.

In addition, we’re thrilled to have director Lizzie Spellman – Swan Year, Hey Rube, Mayor Karen, Page One (original cast) – helping us remount Page One. In this popular Dynamite Series show, which ended it’s original run in 2014, performers improvise a one act play on the spot- using only the first page of an actual play currently in development as their inspiration.

If you are interested in auditioning for either – or both! – of our new shows, read on for the details of each separate audition.

PAGE ONE AUDITIONS – 11/5/16 & 11/6/16

PHIT Comedy’s remount of Page One will premiere in 2017, running monthly on the 4th Saturday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The cast will rehearse weekly on Sunday mornings starting this fall and continuing until the premiere (with rehearsals scheduled as needed after the show has begun performances).

Initial auditions for Page One will take place Saturday, November 5th. Callbacks (if necessary) will be held on Sunday, November 6th. There are no other auditions times – you must be available on these dates in order to audition.

Auditioners must have completed PHIT’s improv curriculum, currently be enrolled in Improv 401, or have the approval of the Artistic Director. Some work in scripted theater (acting, writing or behind the scenes) is also strongly preferred. If you’d like to audition, please use the link below to let us know of your interest:

Click Here to Complete The Page One Audition Request Form!

MUSICAL IMPROV – 11/13/16 & 11/14/16

PHIT’s Musical Improv Show will take place on first and third Fridays of the month at 7:30 p.m. starting early in 2017. The group will rehearse weekly on Monday or Tuesday evenings until it’s premiere and then the rehearsal schedule may alter slightly as the director and musical director see fit.

First round auditions for the Musical Improv Show cast will take place Sunday, November 13th with callbacks the following evening, Monday, November 14th. There are no other auditions times – you must be available on these dates in order to audition.

Auditioners must have completed PHIT’s improv curriculum, be currently enrolled in Improv 401, or have the approval of the Artistic Director. Experience in musical theater, choruses or playing a musical instrument is strongly encouraged. If you’d like to audition, please use the link below to let us know of your interest:

Click Here to Complete The Musical Improv Show Audition Request Form!

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STAY DEAD! IS BACK FROM THE GRAVE

stay-d3ad-fb-profile-01In the season of spook and pumpkin spice lattes, one show comes back from the dead to get us all into the Halloween groove. Stay Dead! is an improv show inspired by a variety of horror films. The cast has been studying spooky films to create this one of a kind horror comedy. Stay Dead! is directed by Mike Marbach and the spooky cast includes Andrew Coppola, Lali Gill, Tom Hannigan, Brendan Kingston, Kevin Ruth, Molly Scullion, Gabriella Bottoni, Randie Welles, Shannon Fahey, and AJ de Leon.

To learn a little about the cast, we asked them the creepiest questions we had to know the answers to.

What is your favorite scary (or Halloween) movie?
The Craft. I, too, was a braless teenage witch that went to catholic high school, so I really relate to this one. –  Gabriella Bottoni
The Thing and the episode of The X-Files that’s like The Thing – Andrew Coppola

What king size candy bar would be in your pillowcase?
Reese’s and all of my sibling’s almond joy’s – Shannon Fahey
Reece’s cups stuffed with Reese’s pieces (pronounced pee-seize) – Brendan Kingston

If you turned into a zombie, who would you eat first?
Whoever’s closest. I’d be a very practical zombie. – Tom Hannigan
Terrell Owens. He’s just got one of those faces. – Molly Scullion

What has been your favorite thing about being a part of Stay Dead?
Long answer: I was a part of the original Stay Dead cast two years ago and it was honestly one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had onstage. It’s a really great group with really fun people — some of which I haven’t played with before. That’s exciting to me. Plus, having an hour onstage to discover the character(s) I’ve created while being completely narrative is something I don’t get to do too often in improv. My background is screenwriting so I really get off on blending those worlds and forcing those two parts of my brain to work together. Short answer: Andrew Coppola. – Gab
Watching it turn into the show it’ll be. This is my third year doing it and it’s been a little different every time and I’m really excited for this year. – Tom
Makes it look like I’m a creep on purpose. – Andrew
I love the entire cast. They’re incredibly talented and 100% alive humans. None of them have ever been not alive or not human. – Brendan

What was your best Halloween costume ever?
Sexy Guy Fieri… fishnets and all. – Shannon
One Halloween when I was a kid, my cousin Mike let me borrow the homemade Godzilla costume my aunt made him that he wore the year before. I just looked like a big green lizard but it felt really badass and scary at the time. Never topped that. – Gab
A couple years ago my Halloween costume was a slightly oversized suit coat, and I held salad forks shaped like little skeleton hands where my real hands would be. Like many of my costumes, it wasn’t really of anything it was just an excuse to do bits where I picked up beer cans with those tiny metal hands. – Brendan
Sarah Palin in ’08. Killed it. – Molly

Everyone will die… not everyone will Stay Dead!

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Thu, Oct 20, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 21, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct 22, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sun, Oct 23, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thu, Oct 27, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Fri, Oct 28, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct 29, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sun, Oct 30, 2016 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mon, Oct 31, 2016 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

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Seeking Writers For Live Sketch House Team! Submit Packets Now!

Since the beginning of 2016, PHIT Comedy has cast two new sketch teams to join its ranks – producing new, hilarious content for PHIT’s stage and for the internet. Both The Decoy and The Worst Generation have premiered and we couldn’t be more proud of the work they’re doing. And now, we’re doing it all again! We are happy to announce that we are accepting submissions now for a new live sketch team to premiere in Spring of 2017.

Sketch house team writers meet weekly with a director and head writer working to create new shows at a consistent rate. Teams get a two-week headlining sketch slot at PHIT – a total of four performances for each show – every four months. PHIT is looking for writers who can think outside the box, surprise the audience, and (most importantly) make our audiences laugh.

The theater is excited to announce Kathryn Amrhein as the director for our new house team. Kathryn has a bevy of sketch experience: as a performer and writer of musical comedy as part of duo Kathryn + Sarah, as co-director of the improv-to-sketch project Saucy Sally And The Jean Gals, and as a founding member of all-female sketch collective Barbara Bush. Kathryn has performed across North America, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, and we’re happy to have her talents at work putting together PHIT’s newest group of sharp and silly scribes.

To be considered for a writer position on the new sketch house team you must complete two steps. First, complete the Fall 2016 Sketch House Team Packet Submission Form. Then, submit a Writing Packet by email which adheres to the guidelines below:

  • Your submission packet must be no more than 11 pages.
  • The first page of the packet should contain 15 sketch pitches (1-2 sentence descriptions of sketch ideas).
  • After your page of sketch pitches you can include up to three sketches (10 pages maximum) that demonstrate your best comedy writing.
  • Your submission packet must be a single file, saved in PDF format.
  • Your submissions packet must not contain your name or any identifying information.
  • Your submission packet must be emailed to sketchpackets@phitcomedy.com with the subject line “Sketch Submission Packet – [FULL NAME]” no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 31st, 2016.

We ask that all writers submitting packets are either enrolled in or have completed Sketch 101 at the PHIT Comedy Training Center. Writers who do not meet this per-requisite can still apply with permission of the Artistic Director.

If you are interested in acting for the new sketch team but not writing, keep an eye out for sketch house team actor auditions in early 2017!

With so many skilled writers in the Philadelphia comedy community, we are excited to create another opportunity to showcase their talents. We look forward to reading your submissions and adding another new group to the growing PHIT House Team roster!

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SPOTLIGHT: OCTOBER LAUNCH PAD TEAM KID HANDSOME

kidhandsomeTaking the PHIT stage every Wednesday night in October is Kid Handsome! These devilishly handsome kids are part of the Launch Pad program. Here independent improv teams have the opportunity to participate in a three-month intensive development, coaching, and performance run at PHIT. Kid Handsome is coached by Melinda Messina who is a performer on the PHIT Dynamite Series, Study Hall.

Find yourself wanting to know more about Kid Handsome? We certainly did! So we asked them a few questions to get to know them better and find out what really makes them so handsome.

What brought you all together as a team?
Remember that scene in Disney’s 1997’s hit film Hercules when the planets aligned and then Hades released the Titans from their prison (spoiler alert)? And they all started stomping around and unleashing chaos on both the world and the heavens? Sometimes it feels like that was how we were brought together. In reality, some of us were in Steve Kleinedler’s 201 class and decided to start an independent team, and it kind of branched out from there.

What have you all most enjoyed about the Launch Pad experience?
Melinda brings us treats every time we practice. Also, we’ve been hitting game really hard and have been very focused on finding the fun in things, which we think suits us well and lets us be the weird little monsters that we are.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Kid Handsome performance?
Complete absurdity. Finding the fun in historically not-fun things. We sing a lot. We’d probably be a really good show for someone who is battling some serious demons. Like, just for our edification, if someone out there who is suffering emotionally can let us know if this is true, that’d be great.

How does Kid Handsome “get in the zone” for a show?
Big booty, Mind-Meld, and Five Things. Sometimes Jeremy sings Cotton Eyed Joe and we play the accompanying instruments. It’s just such a jam, you know? We also talk about Juggalos and chant “fam-il-y”. We’re not Juggalos. Yet.

What makes Kid Handsome so handsome?
Dan’s mustachioed smile.
Matt G.’s Michael Caine impression.
Gab’s eyebrows.
George’s shirts.
Jeremy’s charisma.
Matt R.’s beard.
Jonathan’s eyes.
Stacie’s cat earrings.

What makes Kid Handsome laugh the most?
Impressions? Probably impressions. We make a lot of the same jokes when we hang out and laugh over and over again. We think we’re really funny.

Who is Kid Handsome’s celebrity crush?
Jeremy, when he becomes famous. Until then, Natalie Imbruglia.

What would you all like to hear an audience member say after seeing a Kid Handsome show?
An anonymous person told our coach that he “wished he loved anything as much as Kid Handsome loves each other.” It made us feel a lot of feelings. We hear from people that we seem like we’re best friends, and it’s because we are. Our improv comes from a place of love and support. We hope it shows. Other than that, we’d love it if someone would yell “BLAMMO!!” afterward. Out of happiness.

What is Kid Handsome’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
Don’t be afraid to be weird. Be really, really weird. Be a creature in someone’s nightmare. Be brave. Do improv with people who will support your choices and not judge you. Hang out a lot. Love and trust each other.

You can find Kid Handsome on Instagram @kidhandsome and on Facebook @kidhandsomecomedy. They host a semi-monthly show at Ortlieb’s.

See them every Wednesday night this month at 7:30pm!
You can purchase tickets below.

Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30pm

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New Hires & New Hiring at PHIT!

We are very excited to announce several new hires at PHIT today, and another round of job openings which we are looking to fill in the coming weeks as we continue to expand our role as a hub for the comedy community in Philadelphia.

Our first new hire is our Lead House Manager, Carolyn Beatty. Carolyn previously served as a House Manager at PHIT, so she will be familiar to regular patrons of the theater, students in our Training Center and performers. She’s a graduate of University of Delaware, who also has experience working on large scale productions – most notably Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We couldn’t be happier to have her stepping up into this role.

Our next new hire is Production Coordinator Molly Scullion. Molly has been with PHIT for several years in a variety of roles – first as a student, then performer, intern, tech operator, and for the last several months she has served as Interim Production Coordinator. We’re happy to drop the “interim” from that title today, in recognition of her amazing work as we transitioned over the summer from one to two stages. We are excited for the further changes she’ll implement this fall into the new year – which will help to guarantee that PHIT’s stages remain some of the best in the country for improv, sketch, stand-up, and variety performance.

Our third new hire is Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Nicole Zeits. Nicole comes to us as a recent college graduate from Temple University, who has several impressive pas internships under her belt doing exactly the type of work she will continue at PHIT. In addition Nicole is a talented writer and performer in the comedy community here in Philly and performs on PHIT improv house team 1816.

Finally, I’d like to welcome several new Teaching Assistants to our Kids & Teens program. Our Kids & Teens Coordinator, Susan LaPalombara, was overwhelmed by the incredible response to our posting for teaching artists to fill these positions for our fall session and after interviewing a large group of candidates has selected five new TA’s. They are: Kate Fruhman, Derrick Houck, Kilo Martin, Sue Taney, and Melissa Widhson. They are a wonderful group with a diverse set of backgrounds and life experience who are already making a difference for the next generation of great improvisers in their classrooms.

As you can see, things have been very busy here in our office – but we’re not done yet. Today we are posting another series of job openings and volunteer openings on our Volunteering/Jobs page and welcoming applications from anyone with an interest in helping making Philadelphia a funnier place. We are especially interested in receiving applications from applicants from diverse backgrounds. Please check out the postings, which include volunteer, occasional, and part-time positions with detailed directions about how to apply for each opening.

Our biggest hire at this time is for an Office Coordinator to replace our outgoing Office Coordinator, David Donnella (don’t worry, David isn’t going away completely – he will be remaining with us as a valued instructor, director, and the head of our Diversity Program)! We are looking to fill this position as soon as October 17th and it is a salaried, 20 hours/week job at PHIT with limited benefits.

In addition we are continuing to look for House Managers (we will be hiring a limited number of house managers to begin training in October) and have posted for resumes and cover letters for instructor positions with the PHIT Comedy Training Center. We will be hiring all instructors through a more formal process going forward, and this is the first public submission period we have ever held for instructors. We are currently hiring for a limited number of improv, sketch, stand-up and acting instructors.

Finally, we’re looking for a few key volunteers. Specifically, we are still accepting resumes and cover letters for a Social Coordinator, and a Properties & Costumes Master. In addition, we have a new posting up for Assistant Marathon Producers for the Black Friday Comedy Marathon and Assistant Festival Producers for Duofest – our two major annual comedy events. We’re excited to open new volunteer opportunities to the comedy community helping put on these special events, which put Philly on the map for the comedy scene around the United States.

Again, all these jobs and volunteer opportunities are available on the Volunteering/Jobs page of the website. Good luck to anyone applying!

 

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SPOTLIGHT: CORE

core-bannerCORE is one of PHIT’s newest initiations at the theatre to provide students involved in the current training center with more chances to perform on the PHIT stage and gain valuable experience with seasoned PHIT performers.

Each week a student from one of the particular class levels (101, 201, 301 or 401) is chosen along with their class buddy to play with the CORE ensemble for that week. Meredith Weir (Big Baby, 1816, Stipend for Life) the creator of CORE kindly answered a few questions to about this new show.

What was the inspiration / goal behind creating CORE?
My inspiration came from multiple 101 classes I had taught. Basically, students would come in super excited having scene Saturday night teams, and/or Wednesday night teams and would be like “is that what our show will look like” or “when will we learn the tap out thing” etc…I realized there was no place for students to actually see what they were working toward. I wanted to create a show, where I could tell my students, ‘Hey do you want to see exactly what our end goal is, go to CORE after Dean’s List’ – because it cycles through, every class has two opportunities to see their class show before they get to perform it.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
Oh man, my favorite moment – that’s tough. I think each week watching the student, who is randomly selected, go from nervous and intimated to excited and full of energy in 60 minutes is so exciting to watch. The student is there to play alongside company members, so when they go back to their class not only is their buddy and teacher there to help other students, but students themselves can become sort of liaisons for the form.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
My favorite part about being in CORE is performing a variety of ‘forms’ each week. It’s fun to push yourself in 101 to only do two person scenes, no walkons, no tag-runs, 101 students don’t have that in their toolbelt so we can’t either. In 201 we work second beats hard, because thats what the curriculum teaches. So it’s fun to bounce around and play with some restrictions every now and again.

Any advice for aspiring improvisers?
To all the students who are performing for the first time with CORE, they just need to remember, they can’t do anything wrong. The CORE ensemble is made up of so many supportive players in the PHIT company who will work to make the students look like a geniuses, much like The Dean’s List. They should make choices left and right and the cast will help make those choices stick.

If your actual core as a human being was a dessert what would it be?
My actual core would be made up of Sweedish Fish.

We then asked the ensemble of CORE some questions and then compiled their glorious answers!

If each member of CORE’s actual core was a dessert what would it be?

Kilo: Churros.
Marcely: Cookies and Cream ice cream… cold at first but tasty when you get to know me…
Susan: My actual core is molten chocolate cake.
Andrea: Nalesniki. A Polish crepe filled with sweet cheese. I am Polish and sweet!
Adam: Molten Iron.
Rachel: A fancy cheese plate, duh!
Sarah: Key lime pie with meringue top.
Molly: Butter pecan ice cream.
Joe: Strawberry cheesecake.
Aaron: Funfetti cake.
Pim: Fudgey brownies.

What is your favorite part about being a part of CORE?
Having a new student each week forces us to keep us on our toes and energetic. Watching the student performer crush it. Playing with a fun, goofy, incredibly talented cast each week. The chance to welcome one student performer to join in our improv love-fest each and every week. Yes, it’s a love-fest because this team is full of Elmos, Pillsbury Doughboys, puppies and kittens. Performing with different improvisers and returning to the core class forms. Showing students what their show is going to look like so they will be more comfortable for their class show.

Any advice for aspiring improvisers?
Listen to Everything and Take Big Risks. Be yourself and listen to your parents, unless they tell you not to be yourself…Do not make improv your whole life. Make and nurture relationships outside of the comedy community and live a life that takes you into the wonderful, wide world so that you have rich, lived experiences to draw from when you hit the stage. Make your partner look good: this piece of advice has always stuck with me and I will stress it to any new improviser. If you are both taking care of each other, the scene will be so much easier and you will have more fun. Have fun. Stop worrying about having a “good” idea or making the “right” choice. This art is all about the people who create it. So go DO it. Love your scene partner. Love the scene. Follow the joy.

Check out CORE every Sunday @ 8:30 P.M. as part of PHIT’s SUPER FREE SUNDAYS!

 

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PHIT Comedy’s Rocket Comedy Network Announces Fall Podcast Pilots!

Rocket Comedy Network, PHIT Comedy’s new digital playground for the Philly comedy community, is excited to announce the launch of a first for Philly Comedy: a podcast network dedicated to developing and promoting Philadelphia comedy talent to a national audience. Heading up this exciting expansion of PHIT Comedy’s support for comedy in Philly is Hunter Steffes, our Podcast Coordinator.

Hunter actually started work this summer when we solicited and reviewed podcast pitches from across the comedy community in Philadelphia. We were so pleased with the amount of interest around our new podcast program – over 85 pitches! – and were faced with the good problem of having to choose from a ton of great ideas. We deliberated, and have ultimately chosen the eight great shows  below to debut pilot episodes in November.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, are the first Rocket Comedy Network Podcast Pilots…

Photo Credit: Tom Gralish

Photo Credit: Tom Gralish

An Improvable Approach with John Hanson and Rob Alesiani:
An Improvable Approach: Applying Improv Concepts to Business, Government, Education, and Community will take on the task of educating listeners on how different improv concepts and can be applied in the business world. Each episode a guest from the world of business, government or education will join co-hosts John Hanson (CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority) and Rob Alesiani (PHIT Comedy Instructor) for a lively discussion on the intersection of comedy, improv, and professional life – to lay out how improv concepts can be beneficial in professional leadership and personal growth.

Andrew Makes The Case with Andrew Nealis and Tom Hannigan:
For every episode of Andrew Makes the Case Andrew Nealis will watch whatever movie his listeners ask him to endure – then try to convince co-host Tom Hannigan and a guest that everyone else has it all wrong and they are missing out on a hidden gem of the silver screen! Will he succeed?

Geek Girl Rants with Anita Nicholson:
Geek Girl Rants is a monthly pop culture rant/rave/review round-up of the issues within popular culture (especially television) featuring female and minority perspectives with a humorous bent. From episode to episode you’ll get passionate rants, round table discussions, interviews with local female, minority, and transgender comedians, and spotlights on upcoming geek events.

I SHOULD HAVE GONE HOME with Sean Sullivan and Robyn Cartlidge:
Have you ever been out all night and watched the sunrise or ended up at a strangers apartment and had to make a great escape? Did you wind up in a jail cell or help apprehend a criminal yourself? Fall asleep on a train or bus with no phone or wallet stranding yourself far from home? Have you started a dance party at a WaWa? Did you do shots with Justin Beiber? Said I love you to someone at the worst possible time? Been beaten up by a senior citizen? Skinny dipped in shark infested waters? Sean and Robyn will be listening to all these stories and sharing their own similarly inspired drunken or misguided acts that were all in the pursuit of squeezing every ounce of juice out of seemingly doomed evenings. The focus in I SHOULD HAVE GONE HOME will be discussions of where guests’ stories went wrong or right, what was learned and applied to future escapades, or what ended up burned into their memories (or bodies) for life.

Kid-Goggles with Matt Garren, Jeremy Keys, and Stacie Lyons:
Each episode of Kid-Goggles will aim to answer the question: did we like that thing as kids because it was good or because we were idiots? Hosts Matt Garren, Jeremy Keys, and Stacie Lyons will invite guests to bring a piece of entertainment from their childhood that they loved to the point of obsession – a movie, a musician, a toy, etc. –  then pass final judgement on it with the benefit of hindsight. Watch out nostalgia!

Oddventures with Brendan Kingston and Mo Manklang:
A show that has the goal of being just like This American Life – but creepy and focused in in Philadelphia. Each episode Brendan and Mo will explore areas of local significance, interview experts and comedians, and find interesting (and maybe creepy!) things to bring to your attention.

Photo Credit: Sam Abrams Photography

Photo Credit: Sam Abrams Photography

Sketch Comedy Shop Talk (working title) with Matt Schmid:
A podcast from PHIT Instructor Matt Schmid, focusing on sketch comedy and featuring interviews with comedians from across the country (those you know and those you *should* know) about their sketch comedy writing practices and philosophies.

Photo Credit: Andrea Duffy

Photo Credit: Andrea Duffy

Untitled Women in Comedy Podcast with Sarah Carter and Andrea Duffy:
Local radio personality Andrea Duffy and higher-ed diversity expert Sarah Carter bring you the latest from the ongoing discussion of lady comedians (of all types!) through interviews, games, and clips of the best comedy by or related to women. Featuring discussion of current hot topics around women in comedy like harassment, being one of the guys, etc., mixed with historic context from the stories of ground-breaking female comics, this podcast promises to inject these important conversations into Rocket Comedy Network’s offerings and the national conversation.

Work is already underway to bring these ideas to life in just a few short weeks – stay tuned for more news on when/where/how to listen to all these shows when they premiere online this fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW SKETCH COMEDY SHOW FROM PHIT HOUSE SKETCH TEAM DOG MOUNTAIN

DogMountainSmall

This week’s new Dog Mountain show is inspired by our real national past-time – channel surfing!* It will feature over a dozen brand new shows. Recent studies says people love shows, so we think people will love this show which is made entirely of shows.

Here are the names of 5 shows Dog Mountain dreamed up, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut:

1. Drug Priest – How about a TV show about a  priest? Got your attention? How about also this priest smokes cigarettes all the time, and lives by the philosophy “Drugs are good, and life is shitty.” Pretty edgy right? Maybe TOO edgy….

2. Moonwalking Renovations with Valarie Devlin – Valarie Devlin has a new spin on the hot craze – a home renovations show that turns fixer-uppers to walker-backerwardsers!

3. Painting with Mark Brode, Tortured Artist – Why does Bob Ross get to have his own TV show? There are tons of other great artists who could teach you how to paint. Why not one of those guys?

4. The Yawn Outbreak – You know how if you yawn, sometimes its contagious. I heard that is because yawning is your body’s way to changing the pressure in your immediate vacinity. That’s why your ears pop when you yawn. This sketch wasn’t about that, but sort of.

5. Unethical Police – From the creators of “Drug Priest”, Unethical Police is about some cops with real bad attitudes. They also always smoke cigarettes, drink liquor, and think drugs are good and life is shitty.

Can’t believe we left all those killer shows behind. Come see why this week (or next!)!

*Take a hike, Baseballl!

 PURCHASE TICKETS BELOW!
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2016 9:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23rd, 2016 9:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29th, 2016 9:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30th, 2016 9:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.

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PHIT’s New Family Friendly Show Seeking Improvisers!

Another announcement! With the re-opening of our performance space on Second Stage, PHIT is excited to announce the expansion of our Kids & Teens program to include  family friendly shows specifically created for grade school-aged children to enjoy with their parents. We are very excited to finally offer a show our littlest students can see without an adult having to cover their ears and eyes!

PHITKidsTeensPostcardFront-01

The initial cast for our family friendly show will feature current instructors in the Kids & Teens program, along with a few more performers – who we are looking for now! Interested improvisers who have completed Improv 301 at PHIT Comedy’s Training Center are encouraged to complete our Family Friendly Show Interest Form. Teachers, nannies, coaches, children’s theater performers, clowns, magicians, and parents with a flair for storytelling and improv experience should complete the form to let us know you are interested in being cast as performers for this exciting new show!

JoeTuzziSmall2014The Kids & Teens Family Friendly Show will be directed by Joe Tuzzi under the supervision of Kids & Teens Coordinator Susan LaPalombara and PHIT Artistic Director Jessica Snow. The theater will be announcing general fall auditions shortly, and if we would like you to audition for the family friendly show, we will be in touch to arrange a time for you in mid-October.

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Big Baby and The Future Coming to Tuesday Nights!

Baby FutureAs PHIT continues to expand its programming across days and stages, we are excited to announce that our two most veteran teams are getting their own block on Tuesday nights! Starting on Tuesday, September 13th at 9pm and every effin’ Tuesday at 9pm after that you’ll be able to see Big Baby and The Future!

The new Tuesday night show will cost only $5.00 and will, of course, still be free for students of the PHIT Training Center. If you’re not available on Tuesdays and sad that you won’t be able to see either team- fear not! Both teams will still have limited appearances on Saturday nights throughout the end of the year.  After that you might need to rearrange your life, but we promise it’s well worth it.

Big Baby and The Future are super excited about this new show and are cooking up lots of fun things to do with their new weekly slot. So eat your Tuesday tacos and then come down PHIT for some laughs!

Big Baby + The Future Tuesday Debut
September 13th @ 9pm
$5.00 / BYOB
Ticket Link
Facebook Link

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