In the lifespan of every PHIT house team there comes a bittersweet time in which we must say farewell as the team members embark on new and exciting opportunities. 

Outside Voices has grown into a glorious ensemble of bombastic, talented, supportive and extremely creative players that have graced the PHIT stage with some of the most energetic, surprising, and hilarious shows.

In honor of Outside Voices FINAL show on Saturday May 28th at 9:00 P.M we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about their time on the PHIT stage in a wonderfully long, but gloriously emotional post.

Outside Voices ran a consistently great Harold that people could watch and learn from. They also have that slight element of unpredictability to their shows that made them always a joy to watch.
Also I was always jealous of their pyramid warm up. – Kristen Schier (PHIT’s Improv Producer)

Outside Voices was the most fun thing in the world to be a part of. It was an honor to get a chance to be on this team of people who loved to be silly and make bad puns and do jump kicks. I remember the first time we met as a team and feeling like these weirdos might be fun. Now, two and a half years later, I know that they’re fun, caring, and great people.

We had a good run but it’s nice to go out with a little mystery still intact. Like, does everyone in Rob A’s England speak with a cockney accent or just most people? Would Erin ever have finished that meal she was preparing? Would Tom or McGair have perfected the Philly lifer character first? How bitter would we have gotten about Tyler and Corin’s inevitable out-of-town success? When would Rob O and I have fallen in love for real? Also, Ronnie?

Thanks for the ride Caitlin, it was a fun trip. – Adam Siry

Tom Hannigan is a wizard.  His wit is so quick and honest that it makes my characters angry sometimes.

Erin Pitts plays with so much heart that you can’t help but love what she does on stage.  To play with Erin is to play with emotion and love.

Rob O’Neill’s brain is like a deep comfy cave where there’s nothing but old David Lynch movies and Are You Being Served episodes.  To be in a scene with him is to play without fear.

Tyler Garamella is just an incredible actor. I miss him greatly and I’m so glad to be able to play with him one last time.

Adam Siry is so god damn smart and funny that I don’t even know what else to say. He’s wonderful and I miss him too.

Corin Wells is a force of nature. Like some wonderful comedy god that I am blessed to call my teammate. She will be known far and wide.

Ronnie is, very simply, without parallel. I know no one like him and I will never know anyone like him. He is a perfect wild mad man and is a being of pure energy. He is a comedy buzzsaw.

McGair Valois is a warrior. He’s got your back in every single scene and every off stage situation.  You would be a very lucky person to count him as your friend.

Caitlin Weigel made us a family. She made us better. She made us who we are. I will love and respect her for all of my days.

#OVFS4E  – Rob Alesiani

Tom is pure sweetness and love in one human package. He’s a true blue friend that I’m so grateful to have. He plays some of my favorite characters because their sincerity always shines through and it makes them endearing and lovable. Playing with him is like lounging in a sturdy hammock on a spring afternoon. You feel completely supported, relaxed and totally at ease because you know he’s 100% present and ready to catch and cradle everything you send his way.

Rob A. is easily one of the best improvisers I’ll ever get to work with. No question about it. There’s absolutely nothing he can’t do. I feel like he’s destined for SNL, but that’s even selling him short. He has such incredible range as an actor and he’s whip-smart on top of it. I love playing with him – and it’s deceptively easy because there really isn’t much you have to do except pay attention, react and enjoy the ride. It’s exhilarating. I’m thankful we have the same name because I still get to play with him if we do a Rob-Prov show.

Ronnie blows my mind. I can’t even believe he’s real. He’s the most uniquely talented person I know. What you see on stage is just a tiny fraction of his abilities. Dude can put on a full one-man soul concert with just a chair! Seriously. Ask him to do it sometime…he will. He’s often misunderstood, (as are many great artists ahead of their time), but I’m happy to say that I “speak proficient Ronnie” and understand him at least 90% of the time (unless he’s talking about Pokemon or something). I wish I could introduce him to everyone that I know just to share the magic (I will continue to try).

Erin is beautiful in every way imaginable. My whole world brightens up when she walks in the room. She’s one of my favorite people to watch perform because she always delivers such weird little specifics that you weren’t expecting. She’s the O.V. member most likely to give me the unshakeable giggles. She’s also completely present and supportive on stage and never afraid to go deep in scenes. I feel like many of my most sensitive and emotionally satisfying work has been with her. I’m so glad she’s directing a new team because I can’t wait to see her sensibilities come through in a 9-person group.

McGair Valois has the coolest name I’ve ever heard in my life and he’s also one of the coolest dudes (ditto that for his new wife Kimberly – a.k.a. “McGirl” – who has probably seen more Outside Voices shows than anyone else). He finds the fun in every scene and makes it fun for his scene partner. Also, watching him play a sensitive female office worker– or similar ladies – is one of my favorite things in the world, which I tell him at least once a month.

I remember seeing Adam perform at the audition and thinking “I hope I don’t end up on a team with this guy because he’s intimidating and I already have a schoolboy crush on him.” Then I met him and he was the nicest guy ever and complimented me on my work and it meant the world to me and gave me an immeasurable confidence boost. He’s such an intelligent, clever, stealthy performer. I get an adrenaline rush when I step out on stage with him.

Corin is a class act. Like Rob, I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do on stage. I had my first round of auditions with her and she blew me away. When I found out I was on a team with her, I thought “Oh man…I better really step up my game.” She was also really encouraging of me in the beginning, which I truly appreciate. I was more excited than sad when she moved to New York because I have no doubt that she’s going to have phenomenal success. And, once she’s super famous, I’ll pop out of the woodwork trying to reprise “O’Wells,” our little-seen, though highly respected duo.

Aww, Baby Ty-Ty! Tyler is the cutest ever, you guys. I want him on a keychain so I can keep him in my pocket and take him out anytime I’m feeling blue. He’s a great actor and the energy he brings to scenes is incredible. He loves to make himself the butt of the joke, which is always hilarious to me. He’s also great at doing this annoying, high-pitched screechy voice thing and pretending to hit his head on things – both of which delight me to no end. I was bummed when he told us he was moving to Chicago, but I’m also really excited for him and can’t wait to see where life takes him. Little bird’s gotta fly.

I am a die-hard Caitlin Weigel fan. I send her House of Solitude and Sketchier videos to my best friend at work and we quote them all the time. Being directed by her is like being directed by one of your comedy heroes (even if she’s a real-life friend). It’s so much fun to make her laugh during practice – usually because we’re making complete fools of ourselves and she loves it. She has been out biggest cheerleader since the very beginning and has stuck with us the entire time. I’m so grateful for her unfailing support and for everything that she has done to make me a better player.

Derek is a piece of sh*t. He’s the worst child ever. I’ve never liked him. Nobody does. He’s always getting into trouble and touching things he shouldn’t be touching and messing things up and challenging our authority. I don’t know why Caitlin keeps bringing him to practice. Seriously: F*ck that kid. – Rob O’Neill

I want to open a candy store called Outside Voices, because that would combine two of my favorite things. – Erin Pitts

One of the weirdest things that comes to mind about my time as a member of the OVfsquad was just how close I came to not actually ever being on Outside Voices. A day before the house team auditions I made a last minute decision to cancel a trip that I had been planning to take for months. I’m both happy and relieved to say that canceling that dumb weekend warrior trip hanging out with my old frat bros will probably go down as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Going through the audition phase makes you realize just how many incredibly talented people exist in this ever growing community of ours. I’m not afraid to admit that starting out I was…how you say… a big scared baby. Not just at the idea of being a regular performer, but being expected to perform with a group of people that were all so good, like really freakin’ good. Each member of the squad is a stone cold killer and brings something that no one else on the team can provide. When you’ve worked week in and week out with such a diversely talented crew you couldn’t help but feel yourself getting better. That hard work bred a track record that each of us can be proud of-  over 100 shows,1 Wit Out nomination, 3 appearances at the Del Close Marathon, 1 fully produced and written sketch show, countless human pyramids, at least 4 different entrance songs, 1 steadfast and ever-inspiring coach, and 9 people who will always have a special place in each other’s hearts.
Moving on is bittersweet. I’m sad that we have to say goodbye to the PHIT audiences. It bums me out knowing that I won’t get to see or play with this sweet group of oddballs every week. I’m excited though knowing that each one of us is moving onto bigger projects and comedic avenues. The magic that we created with OV is now going to get the full opportunity to spread itself out all over this weirdly beautiful city of ours and to cities across the country. So whether you take a class at PHIT, attend a show that’s written or produced by a squad member or see one of us perform, if you pay close enough attention you’ll feel a little bit of OV coming through. We’ve definitely rubbed off on each other and made each other better skilled comedians.
Thank you to everyone who came to our shows and laughed. Thank you PHIT for the incredible opportunity. Most of all thank you Erin, Rob O., Adam, Tom, Ronnie, Corin, Tyler, Rob A., and Coach.
O.V. Forever  McGair Valois

Outside Voices was a bunch of jabronie chumps who’ve never busted cheeks in their life. – Tom Hannigan

Being cast as a member of Outside Voices, I can honestly say, has changed my life forever. Through comedy, I’ve been given opportunities in life that many people wouldn’t even dream of. By being a part of PHIT, I’ve been given new friends, experiences, and memories that will last me a lifetime. Sure, it’s all coming to an end, but all things sadly have an ending (Life Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies). Love though? That’s forever. Believe you me, when everything is said and done, that’s one thing that will always remain between us, and that’s what made being a part of this team so special.

Coach – I cannot thank you enough. You pulled a total Ash Ketchum and chose me, and in doing so, I evolved into something greater than I ever thought possible. By you believing in me, you’ve given me a chance to make my dreams come true. Being coached by you was an absolute pleasure, I wouldn’t want to imagine what my life’d be like had I been a part of any other team. You did it, Coach! You brought together a bunch of “turkeys”, turned them into a family, and showed them a different way to Love. You will forever be appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Corin – Corin is the kind of person you’d sum up as if you were looking at short quotes from movies reviews. “Brilliant!” “Seriously funny!” “****” “The year’s best film!” Corin’s genius works on a different level, one I’d hope to be on one day. I’m anxiously waiting to see what her future has in store for her, because I know it’s going to be incredible.

Tyler – There was a time when I thought, “No, seriously, if we just killed him, nobody else can ever love him.” Why? Because every time Tyler was around, it was an absolute joy. I kinda felt that no one else deserved him like we do, and I’m sticking to it. Gosh, I loved that freakin’ guy.Adam – Adam “The Button” Siry, a genius of comedic timing. I would always tell myself, “Welp, if Adam laughed, it was funny.” That’s always going to be the case, because when you get right down it, you just have to respect the man for his brilliance. Not going to lie though, I’ll miss making up stupid words and/or names and hearing you not like the fact that you enjoyed them.

Erin – My buddy in 101, my friend for life. You’ve literally always been there for me, and I you, and I know you know that because you know I know that. Always smart, specific, and eating imaginary food with a slight Southern drawl, I’m going to miss being around you week in and week out. Your smile alone is enough to make me smile, so I’m going to miss being a part of that energy.

McGair – I remember watching McGair in auditions and thinking, “Oh gosh, this guy is good… This guy is reallllll good.” That is still true to this day, and honestly, it’s just never going to change. He’s the kind of guy that, although he looks as if he could kill you with a swift punch to the neck, is one that you always feel you just need to hug. An infectious laugh, a great pair of gams, and the coolest name out? Yeah, that’s McGair Valous, and if anyone asks, that’s my baby boy right there. I’m going to miss slapping your calves hello.

Rob A. – All in. That’s how you describe this man. With everything in life, with everything he loves, with every cool new thing he just discovered by chance on a Tuesday, he is all in… and it is damn inspiring. I loved being able to make him laugh, because when he did, it was always genuine. I’m going to miss the scent of that sweet, sweet vape in the basement. That’s not what I’ll miss the most, though. I’m going to miss being around his eagerness and his willingness to be greater, because it inspired me to want to be greater.

Tom – Ohhh Tom, AKA Saint Bloodlust. Yes, that’s Saint Bloodlust. The guy is a comedic powerhouse, one in which I find myself learning from every time he’s around and/or on the stage. When I think of the way he improvises, I think of freshly fallen snow. He’s just so pure, and we all wanna play with him. Not to mention, when the guy needs to get something done, he gets it done (sometimes early, sometimes eight seconds from the deadline). We can all learn from Tom, and we all have. Sure, I’ll miss him, but I can’t wait to see what he does next!

Rob O. – Not enough can be said about this brilliant individual right here. When you’re with him, you know everything will be okay. He’s always got your back, he’s always there to let you know he believes in you, he’s always there to make everything better. As both an improviser and a friend, he’s priceless. He’s got roughly 206 bones, but I don’t think there’s a bad one in his body. I’m honored to have him in my life, and that’ll always be the case.
Thank you to everybody that’s been a part of this wondrous journey. Thank you directors, thank you Improv community, and thank you fans!
Every laugh, every smile, every “great show!”, every tear, and every time I was able to walk off that stage with a sense of pride and accomplishment, I wouldn’t trade these past few years for anything.
Like I said, all good things come to and end, but you don’t have to worry… The Love is Forever.

#OVFUCKSQUAD4LIFE – Ronnie Spettacolare


Outside Voices is a glorious band of weirdos who never fail to make me laugh. They each bring some unique skill to the group, a la the Planeteers, and their power is greatest when their forces combine. I’m so proud of this group and their run together. I will miss worrying about everyone’s safety, especially Ronnie’s, as Ronnie Matrix karate chops his way across the stage while doing a soul-based step routine and naming everyone futuristic comic book neighbor names. I will miss Tom’s profound moments and Adam’s buttons, Rob giving info that contextualizes the whole scene, and McGair surprising you with insane specifics. I’ll miss Erin’s patient style and weirdo characters and Rob O’Neill’s insane ability to take everything thrown out him and create such real, bizarre details. I’ll miss watching Corin just OWN the stage like a volcano woman and Tyler’s alien brain. I will miss their group games, which, 1/10 times are just all of them acting like Hawaiian Elvises because they know it makes me laugh. This group has had each others backs for the past two and half years and it’s been an honor to coach them and watch them merge all their individual weird into something greater. OVFS / OV4E / fuck that kid, amen. – Caitlin Weigel


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Please Welcome PHIT’s New Sketch House Teams

When PHIT announced that submissions were open for new sketch house teams, we received close to 70 packets from many strong writers throughout the city. After a long and difficult process with an abundance of talent to choose from, Directors Brian Rumble and Jon Plester have assembled two teams that will be making big waves at PHIT. The former is the theater’s first new live sketch house team since Goat Rodeo’s creation in 2013, and the latter is PHIT’s first ever digital sketch team, dedicated to creating and releasing online content.

I would like to personally thank everyone who took the time to submit a sketch packet. The amount of talent in Philadelphia is almost immeasurable, and I look forward to seeing everyone who submitted a packet continue their relationship with sketch writing at PHIT – whether through our sketch open-mic Sketch Up or Shut Up, performance opportunities with Theme Show and Monologues, showcasing a video with 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. There have never been more opportunities for up-and-coming sketch comedians to grow their talents in Philadelphia, and it excites me that the next round of sketch writer submissions could have even more amazing talent in those packets. Thank you, everyone, for everything you do for this community.

– Jack


CODENAME: ATHENA – Live Sketch Team
Director: Brian Rumble
Head Writer: Molly Scullion
Carolyn Beatty
Tyler Bonner
Jolie Darrow
Dan McClory
Annie Paradis
Nicole Yates


CODENAME: ARAGORN –Digital Sketch Team
Director: Jon Plester
Rob Alesiani
Cassandra Dettmann
Max Sittenfield
Jessica Smith
Pat Szostak
Gab Thom

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e80933a7-e3d8-40cf-aa1e-5cc7a6c87bbf-1Düofest 2016 is coming June 1st through 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 weekend.

Want to know a bit more about some of the duos that will be performing at this unique festival? We’ve listed 13 duos (in no particular order) that you don’t want to miss come June 1st!

1. Big Bang (Boston, MA / Sarasota, FL)
Boston style free-form that has been wowing New England audiences and at festivals around the world for years. The entire set moves seamlessly from one scene to the next following the group play philosophy of “follow the funny”. Big Bang’s shows build rapidly and culminate in a series of surprising and organic callbacks done through the unique editing styling and story telling of this duo. Big Bang consists of Will Luera and Dave Sawyer.
Performing on Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 9:00pm. Purchase tickets here!
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 11:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

2. Folk Lordz (Edmonton, AB – Rapid Fire Theatre)FolkLordz-300x200
Folk storytelling gets an electric-shock of physical improv comedy! Folk Lordz combines Indigenous oral tradition, Russian Chekhovian drama, and a third genre of the audience’s choosing in a theatrical and hilarious improv spectacle. Folk Lordz consists of Ben Gorodetsky and Todd Houseman.
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 9:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

3. Midy Zevlin (Boston, MA / New York, NY)
The Midy Zevlin is an exciting 2 person monoscene experience that explores a world created by multiple characters. Mike Zakarian and Andy Devlin put in a smart and fast paced performance that can be enjoyed by both improv nerds and first time viewers!
Performing on Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 8:00pm. Purchase tickets here!
Performing on Saturday, June 4rd 2016 at 11:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

4. SOPHIE: The Musical (Boston, MA – ImprovBoston)
SOPHIE: The Musical is a two man musical narrative. Taking one single suggestion from the audience, Pat Kearnan and Ian Dyer will create a hilarious musical that will often explore dark material and themes to explore philosophical issues. With musical director Steve Sarro on the keys, Pat and Ian explore any and all digressions, past histories, and whatever hilarious stuff they discover.
Performing on Wednesday, June 1st 2016 at 10:00pm. Purchase tickets here!
Performing on Thursday, June 2nd 2016 at 8:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

MattAndImprov-300x1925. Matt& (Philadelphia, PA)
Matt& stars Matt Holmes (Rare Bird Show, Philly Improv Theater) and a random stranger plucked from the audience.
Performing on Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 10:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

6. Juliet & Juliet (Minneapolis, MN – HUGE Theater)
Juliet & Juliet perform (highly condensed) never-before-seen plays in the style of William Shakespeare himself. Our two Juliets (Meghan Wolff and Sami Haeli) are drawn together by a mutual love of theater, classic literature, and convoluted sentences.
Performing on Thursday, June 2nd 2016 at 10:00pm. Purchase tickets here!
Performing on Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 8:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

7. Dallhaus (Minneapolis, MN – HUGE Theater)
Improv duo Michael DallaValle and Becky Wilkinson Hauser create fast-paced, engaging scenes, finding the beauty in the absurd and the humor in the mundane. They play by the philosophy, “everything matters!” and their scenes build quickly and emphasize strong, positive relationships in a quirky universe where there are no limits.
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 8:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

8puppies-300x200. #puppies (Pittsgrove, NJ / Washington, DC)
Puppies begin social play with play-biting, pawing, and barking. The intensity escalates and becomes more complex as the dog matures. The first play-eliciting gesture seen in puppies is the raised paw. The play bow, is the classic invitation for a canine romp and is used by older pups and adults, along with barking, leaping forward to nose-poke and then withdrawing, face pawing, and licking. #puppies is composed of Sue Taney and Rachel Garmon.
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 6:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

9. Elemenopee (Winter Park, FL – AdLib Theatre)
Founder of AdLib Theatre, Lauren Morris, and ensemble performer, MaryKate Rosack, are real live friends who love improv, challenges, and traveling! Together they perform a TWO person “Schmearold” (that’s a mix of forms including The Harold) in whatever city they are visiting!
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 7:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

10. Miracle Pig (Houston, TX – Station Theater)
Roger Anderson and Laura Helmers combine their powers to form Miracle Pig. Best known as an esoteric trek through the whimsical wasteland of friendship. The two together explore the absurdities in life and in us all.
Performing on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at 6:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

creamy-300x30011. Creamy (Los Angeles, CA – iO West)
These two nice boys (Chad Westbrook and Nick Johnson) are the 5-week champions of the iO West Duo Cagematch in 2015 and the grand champions of the Duo Competition at 13th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival. They have trained and performed at The Second City Chicago, iO Chicago, Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles, One Group Mind, Brody Theater, The Liberators, and The Pack Theater.
Performing on Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 10:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

12. ChuTopp (Austin, TX)
ChuTopp (Topping Haggerty and Chuy Zarate) is a mayhem magnet. Disaster strikes in an amazingly innocuous, unexpected, and hilarious way, but not to worry, ChuTopp is here to save the day! Using their world weary job skills, some might call their clowder of useless expert-isms, ChuTopp will have just what is needed to disaster-fy the disaster.
Performing on Friday, June 3rd at 7:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

13. Sister, Brother (Philadelphia, PA / Washington, DC)
One’s a troublemaker, the other’s a valedictorian. Together they are kin. Join real-life brother and sister David Donnella (from Philly Improv Theater’s The Future) and Leah Donnella (NPR’s Code Switch) as they hash out their family history live on stage.
Performing on Wednesday, June 1st 2016 at 7:00pm. Purchase tickets here!

Why limit yourself to seeing just one of these duos? Purchase an all-access pass here and get to see all of the duos mentioned above and and more!

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tooooo lateThe May edition of Philly Improv Theater’s Two Late with Rob & Joe – the greatest live late night talk show of Philadelphia – is approaching this upcoming Friday May 27th!

In honor of this grand evening Two Late with Rob & Joe has provided us with a never-before-seen video where Rob and Joe sit down with Jon Dorenbos of the Philadelphia Eagles for magic tricks and a very special offer…

We also had a chance to chat with Two Late’s Publicity Guru, Writer of All Sorts, and Heartthrob, Neil Bardhan, who was able to really drop some knowledge for us about the creative organism that is Two Late with Rob & Joe:

Describe Two Late in three words:
Midnight madcap mashup.

What goes into making a show like Two Late run fluidly?
Two Trello boards, some Facebook threads, a pinch of saffron, and root beer. Also Dropbox. Basically just cloud services and root beer, I guess.

What are Two Late’s favorite methods to stay up late?
In no particular order: Ritz Crackers. Face paint. A mother’s love. Ritz Crackers. Monde Market.

What would Two Late most love to hear an audience member say after seeing one of their shows?
“I wish I could DVR these and binge-watch them at my convenience.”

CanTWO LATE 1 you give us a hint or a sneak peak about the guests or the theme of this months show?

Purchase tickets here to the May edition of Two Late with Rob & Joe on Friday May 27th at 11:55 P.M. !



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Dog Mountain is a sketch team like no other. Please read this Q&A and let their like-no-other-ness wash over you and provide the warmth that at this point the sun planet gods should have been providing since it’s like May and the plants need it and we need it and sun is just good and so on etc.

1. How does Dog Mountain go about choosing what sort of show you all want to create. Do you guys begin with a theme/focus and write toward it or do you create material and then look for the common thread after the fact?
We’ve never had much success in coming up with a theme, let alone writing to one. Even the names of our shows don’t get decided until we’re pretty much done with rehearsals and we’re like “Oh crap, we need to make a Facebook event for this show.” It probably has something to do with how different our writers’ voices are. Steve’s got “government job” and “awkward dad” sketches on lockdown, for example. I’ll let you wonder why. Joe and Trevor thrive on bizarre premises and sketches that go off the rails. Jim’s a joke writer above all else. And Courtney has this thing where she has to name all her sketches with wordz that end in z. I mean “Newz Jamz” is obviously one of the best sketches we’ve ever done, but what people don’t realize is that it’s nothing without those two z’s.

2. How does Dog Mountain feel about “upbeat subjects” in sketches?
Let’s put it this way: last year we named one of our shows “Nobody Dies In This One” because we were surprised that all the characters were still alive by the end of each sketch.

3. When is Dog Mountain having the most fun in the creation of a show?
As with any sketch group, we’re in a constant state of controlled chaos. But there’s always a point where as the director I can tell that the group is *really* having fun doing it. And it’s because they’re all making fun of me. Like literally. It’ll be in tech, or dress rehearsal, or (hopefully not, but sometimes) just before our first show and I’ll realize that no one is listening to me because they’re too busy roasting me like I’m some kind of sitcom dad. It’s kind of the best.

4. Are there any risks that you all seek to take when putting out a new show?
This sounds like an upbeat subject. Pass.

5. What is a favorite Dog Mountain sketch or show that you’ve created?
Each of our past three runs have included a sketch that involves a simple premise, lots of actors, “crowd work,” and a ton of lights and noise, and I think it’s safe to say that they’ve been everyone’s favorites. One was about a guy being challenged to fight the judge at a speeding ticket hearing. Another involved a one-cent price increase by Arizona Iced Tea. And the third is the aforementioned Newz Jamz, which is a parody of Lip Sync Battle but with iconic news broadcasts. Watching them come to life has been ridiculously fun. Or is that too upbeat to say?


THURSDAY, MAY 19TH 2016 9:00 P.M.
FRIDAY, MAY 20TH 2016 9:00 P.M.

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Once again over 100 improvisers came out this week to audition for new improv House Teams at Philly Improv Theater. Our three directors, David Donnella, Erin Pitts and Hunter Steffes had quite a challenge in casting these teams from the incredible talent seen over the two days. Today we announce the new teams Codename Hamilton, Codename Istanbul and Codename Johannesburg.  As always, we will find out the teams’ real names at their premieres in August.

I would like to thank all of the talented performers that came out to vie for a spot on the teams. There will be many more opportunities to enjoy the work of the performers that did not get cast this time through their participation in special short-run shows, in Dynamite series shows, on Launch Pad teams and through independent projects. 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.

Jessica Snow, Artistic Director

Directed by David Donnella, Codename HamiltonHamilton
AJ de Leon
Soumya Dhulekar
Nicholas Elmer
Matt Garren
Casey Hogan
Stacie Lyons
Kyle Martin
Sue Nelson
Nicole Sardella


istanbulDirected by Erin Pitts, Codename Istanbul
Christopher Esperance
Christopher Gory
Tom Hannigan
Derrick Houck
Meredith McDonald
Cara McGuffin
Angelina Meehan
Emma Needleman
Jimmy Wyatt


Directed by Hunter Steffes, Codename JohannesburgJohannesburg-Sunset
Samantha Auman
Linh Chia
Andrew Coppola
Gina Gennari
Geoff Hartmann
Courtney Painter
Adam Steiger
Cecilia Watson
Randie Welles

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Early Registration Deadline is Friday, 5/6! Enroll NOW To save $50!

Phit Class Apr Sale 2016-08

The Early Registration Deadline for Session 3 of 2016 is Friday May 6th, 2016! That means you have just two days left to save $50 off the full enrollment cost of an improv or sketch writing class. That discount is across ALL of our core classes. That means if you’re looking to get into a Sketch 101 or Improv 101 class you’ll pay just $199! After Friday the cost for all 101-401 classes will jump up to the full cost. Sure, our classes and the perks that come with them are worth the full cost, but we’d love to see you save $50 enrolling now. Any questions, just email us classes@phillyimprovtheater.com.

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Rocket Podcast Network Pitch Deadline May 13th!

Our submission window for the first round of Rocket Podcast Network pilots is coming to a close, so please get your pitches in by the end of the day on May 13th!

Our new podcast network offers you an opportunity to create a podcast with us! PHIT will provide the equipment, the space, the hosting, and a dedicated engineer who will record, edit and upload your show for you. All you need to do is provide us with an idea that gets our attention, and commit to a regular schedule to record it. Our Podcast Producer, Hunter Steffes has already received close to 70 submissions to review – but he’s always happy to have more.

Podcasting is an exciting avenue for comedians to expand their fan bases and reach a wider group of people than they otherwise could with only performances on a live stage. We’re thrilled to leverage PHIT’s experience producing comedy over the last decade and resources as an established theater to give you easier access to the opportunity to podcast. Our goal is to broadcast the amazing amount of talent that exists within the Philadelphia comedy community out into the world. We hope to give you solid base to get your sensibility out there, and to build a fanbase beyond the confines of the greater Philadelphia area.

We are soliciting pitches for shows now through May 13th via our pitch form. In the coming weeks, Hunter will select 7-8 pitches to record pilot episodes. From those pilots, we will select 3-4 recordings to become the premiere shows on the Rocket Podcast Network. After getting a sense of the time and resources needed to successfully launch these shows, we will continue open the pitch form periodically as we look to expand.

The ideas that have the best chance to be selected will be original in format, point of view, and substance. They will also be repeatable and able to be recorded on a consistent basis, in order to help grow a fanbase. We know these kind of ideas exist within this community, and we’re excited to help you grow, polish, and showcase them.

Thank you, now… get those pitches in!

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FJORD200x200Some people say that Fjord is a long and narrow inlet between two cliffs. Other people say Fjord rhymes with sword. We honestly don’t know – does anyone truly know? No they don’t because everything is subjective, except chocolate which we can all agree is objectively delicious. BUT if there is one thing we do know for certain, it is that there is an astounding PHIT Harold Night House team also known as Fjord and they have kindly answered some of our very topical very current questions regarding their existence.

What is each member of Fjord’s catchphrase?
Sarah: “I have cats but I’m not a cat lady.”
Alex: “Sorry I’m late.”
Kathryn: *loud uncontrollable laughter…not stopping…not stopping…still not stopping…*
Joe: “This scene needs a waiter. Also, I’m not Beak.”
Gab: “Text me if you love vegans, daddy”
Scott: “Pearl Jam forever!!!”
Adam: “Guys, I might be crazy but I think that was a really intelligent scene about butts.”

How does Fjord “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
We check in with each other, play trash basketball, and get yelled at for being too loud in the green room.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Fjord performance?
There’s an undercurrent of loneliness and sadness in many of our shows, but it is presented with a lot of playfulness and sometimes you can forget how bleak everything seems. We’re probably the team most likely to set a scene during an orphanage fire, and then call back that orphanage fire.

What makes Fjord giggle?
Farts, butts, farts coming out of butts.

How would Fjord navigate their way through an actual Fjord?
Disastrously. We would start in winter, failing to heed the warnings of the local guides. Our supplies would be insufficient for the long journey and, as we slowly froze to death in the icy waters, we would be forced to eat each other one by one until only Kathryn remained.

If Fjord were a celebrity baby who would it be?
The cartoon baby from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

What is Fjord advice for aspiring improvisers?
Trust yourself! If you think something in a scene is funny enough to follow the audience probably will too.

What would one most likely hear an audience member exclaim after seeing a Fjord show?
That was the silliest orphanage fire I’ve ever seen!

Fjord performs Wednesday nights! Purchase tickets for their upcoming show on May 4th at 9:00 P.M. here!

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12670354_10153673150226701_8343537295095726423_nVS. is Philly Improv Theater’s late night improv competition show. Over the past 12 weeks 12 local independent improv teams have competed to be crowned the ultimate champion.

This Saturday April 30th at 11:59 P.M. is the VS. Season Three Championship! In celebration of this occasion, the splendid hosts Melinda Messina and Ralph Andracchio have given us the run-down on what VS. is made of.

Describe VS. in three words.
M: Mid. Night. Madness. 
R: Cinnamon. Toast. Crunch. Melinda is the cinnamon. I’m the toast. Regulus (he is officially the Patron Saint of VS. unofficially he is all of us… the human condition made flesh) is the crunch. DJ Pablo is the milk. Now I’m hungry.

What was the inspiration behind creating VS.? 
M: I can’t take any credit for this. I’m just the sister who couldn’t get it together, but fortunately has a brother that’s willing to let her crash on his couch and eat all of his Slim Jims.
R: PHIT had a Cagematch show for years that had gotten pretty stale. The same teams would win for weeks on end and both the audiences and teams got bored with the format. I felt like it needed a more concrete structure that build to a huge ending, with space for more indie teams to perform, and one team being voted the champ each season. So when I was Artistic Director I retired the show and gave it a year to cool off, then came up with the new VS. format. It’s definitely a huge improvement over the last one.

What is your favorite part about hosting VS.?
M: Aside from the money, it’s an excuse to hang out with Ralph. Just kidding. I don’t need an excuse to hang out with Ralph. 
R: Being a ringleader of all the chaos. It almost feels like a mini circus and we’re in the middle ring with the top hat and red coat.

Any stand out moments from this season of VS.?
M: Any time Regulus treats the VS. belt like it’s a hula hoop and shakes his hips. Those moves doe. 
R: Definitely having “Sex With Me” as our short form game during the vote tabulation. So many hilarious moments have come out of that spot in the show.

VERY IMPORTANT: if VS. was any teen heartthrob from the 90’s who would it be?
M: I like to think that each season has been it’s own heartthrob. Season one was Andrew Keegan – we existed but we weren’t your go to crush (unless you were a mom). Moms loved Andrew Keegan.* Season two we graduated into Ryan Phillippe territory – slightly naughty and very pouty. This season we’re straight up Leonardo DiCaprio circa Romeo + Juliet – you just don’t want to live in a world without us. Plus, we’re looking into becoming more environmentally friendly in the future. Prius we see you.
*This fact is soley based off of my mother. 
R: Hanson. Many members coming together to create one infectious groove. MmmmBop indeed.

What can we look forward to from the season finale of VS.?
M: Hopefully, I can convince Ralph to do another wacky topical trend. Right now I’m between hidden rainbow hair or living like Kylie Jenner for a day. Both seem like a hilarious disaster and totally attainable. #BringBackGlitterBeards
R: This one is going to be surprising I think. All the teams are evenly matched and it could really go anyone’s way. I’m excited to see who ends up the last team standing.

Any advice for aspiring improvisers that are just getting started?
M: Live everyday like Regulus. 
R: Witchcraft. Learn to glamour your enemies and protect yourself with crystals. If you see a ragged mutt dog hanging around outside the theater it’s just me trying out a new spell.


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PHIT Sale Session 3 2016 RocketLIMITED TIME ONLY: Improv 101 and Sketch Writing 101 at PHIT are only $199. That’s $50 off the full enrollment cost! In addition to training with the best improv and sketch instructors in the Philly area, you’ll get a pass that gets you into PHIT shows for free, access to low cost practice groups, a graduation show you can invite friends and family to see, and opportunities to perform as soon as the first week!

There are classes EVERY DAY of the week to choose from. Click here to find a class that works for you!

Want to try before you buy? We got your back! There are a bunch of FREE Intro to Improv and FREE Intro to Sketch classes currently posted. Click here to register now for FREE!

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12974365_10153691181351701_16760869365786710_nAlways a PHIT favorite, Barbara Bush, an independent improv and sketch troupe, has once again graced our stage with an eclectic, hilarious, and wonderfully-uncomfortable-in-just-the-right-moments show TELL ME A SECRET.

How does Barbara Bush go about choosing what sort of show to create – what is your process?
We write first drafts, take inventory of what we have, and then rewrite the sketches we want for our show.

Barbara Bush began as an independent improv team and crossed over to sketch correct? Could you speak a bit about that?
Correct! We all hate improv now. Jk. Most of us had taken sketch classes at PHIT and participated in Iron Sketch, and we all seemed to want to be part of a sketch group and we were like oh, we could just be a sketch group. We decided to do the whole “baptism by fire” approach by forcing ourselves to do an overly ambitious holiday show. The rest is herstory.

What sorts of themes often find their way into a Barbara Bush show?
The uncomfortable ones…but we always sugarcoat it with our smiles and angelic voices.

Are there any writing techniques/games that Barbara Bush uses to generate material?
We write first drafts separately and then read everything as a group and give notes to each other. That way, everything has group input and feels more cohesive.

Who would Barbara Bush love to hear a secret from?
Tom Hanks.

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?
Try Again.

What would Barbara Bush like to hear an audience member exclaim after seeing a Barbara Bush show?
“Produce the board, connect the souls.”

What advice does Barbara Bush have for aspiring sketch writers?
Write and rewrite (and write with people you trust and love to be around because it’s hard work so might as well enjoy it).

TELL ME A SECRET continues this week with local sketch team House of Solitude.


Thursday April 21, 2016 9:00 P.M.
Friday April 22, 2016 9:00 P.M.

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Announcing the Rocket Podcast Network!

As PHIT continues to grow into our new space we are excited to try new ways of reaching comedy fans in Philadelphia – and beyond! – with another new project: Rocket Podcasting Network! Do you want to send your voice out into the endless echo chamber of the internet and have it reach ears you have never seen before? We are offering you an opportunity to create a podcast with us! PHIT will provide the equipment, the space, the hosting, and a dedicated engineer who will record, edit and upload your show for you. All you need to do is provide us with an idea that gets our attention, and commit to a regular schedule to record it. We’re excited to announce that Hunter Steffes will be heading up our podcast network, which is another step into the world of digital comedy production alongside the new digital sketch house teams we announced earlier this week.

Podcasting is an exciting avenue for comedians to expand their fan bases and reach a wider group of people than they otherwise could with only performances on a live stage. We’re thrilled to leverage PHIT’s experience producing comedy over the last decade and resources as an established theater to give you easier access to the opportunity to podcast. Our goal is to broadcast the amazing amount of talent that exists within the Philadelphia comedy community out into the world. We hope to give you solid base to get your sensibility out there, and to build a fanbase beyond the confines of the greater Philadelphia area.

We are soliciting pitches for shows now through May 13th via our pitch form. In the coming weeks, Hunter will select 7-8 pitches to record pilot episodes. From those pilots, we will select 3-4 recordings to become the premiere shows on the Rocket Podcast Network. After getting a sense of the time and resources needed to successfully launch these shows, we will continue open the pitch form periodically as we look to expand.

The ideas that have the best chance to be selected will be original in format, point of view, and substance. They will also be repeatable and able to be recorded on a consistent basis, in order to help grow a fanbase. We know these kind of ideas exist within this community, and we’re excited to help you grow, polish, and showcase them.

Thank you, now.. start pitching!

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PHIT is Hiring House Managers!

As PHIT continues growing rapidly, prepares to move our shows to the Adrienne Theatre Mainstage, and moves towards presenting multiple show simultaneously on two stages later this year we are seeking additional front-of-house staff to help ensure the smooth running of the theater during performances. If you’re a fan of comedy with a cheerful, friendly, and helpful disposition who has some free time in the evenings or during the day on the weekend and wouldn’t mind a little extra money coming in each month we want to hear from you!

At present we are hiring for House Managers to begin training as soon as possible. Our House Managers are responsible for the overall management of the theater during performances, handling any customer service issues that arise during shows, and supervising our awesome volunteers, hosts, tech operators and performers. They report to our Lead House Manager, Courtney Painter. Good candidates for these positions will will have minimum of one year customer service experience, a proven ability to manage stressful situations, and prior experience supervising a team. Previous completion of PHIT’s Volunteer Program is strongly preferred. House Managers work between 10-15 hours per week depending on their availability. Our House Manager Job Description and House Manager – ADA Checklist for Physical Activities, Requirements, & Working Conditions provide more detail on what is required for the position.

If House Managing sounds like just the thing you want, please send an email with the subject line “House Manager”  which contains your cover letter in the body of the message and a resume attached (.pdf preferred, .doc/docx, .rtf, .txt, or .odt accepted) to jobs@phillyimprovtheater.com no later than Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.. We are interviewing and hiring on a rolling basis, so submitting your application sooner rather than later is encouraged. You will receive a reply confirming receipt of your letter and resume within two business days. Applicants will be notified only if they have been selected for a phone interview. Please, no calls. Just send us your cover letter and resume. If we see a fit, we’ll call you. Promise.


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Following our exciting announcement about the upcoming formation of two new sketch house teams, we bring more news! May 1st the Philly Improv Theater will audition for performers for three new improv house teams to be directed by David Donnella, Erin Pitts and Hunter Steffes. Improv house teams are given many special benefits including regular rehearsal and stage times at PHIT, discounts on tickets, and more. These professional ensembles are cast and managed by the theater to reflect our overarching vision and stand as a showcase for students in our exemplary comedy training center.

First round auditions will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016 between 10am – 4:30pm. Callbacks will be held on Monday, May 2nd from 6pm – 10:30pm. Please hold both of these dates if you are interested in being cast!

Auditions will be held at Philly Improv Theater @ The Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Auditioners must have completed PHIT’s improv curriculum, be currently enrolled in Improv 401, or have the approval of the Artistic Director.

Auditioners must be available for the audition times to be considered. No other audition times are available.


Auditioners will be seen every 30 minutes in groups of 6-10. Auditioners do not need to prepare anything in advance. The audition will be entirely improvised. You will be asked to participate in a few short group exercises and will then perform two short scenes.

Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Resumes are not required but will gladly be accepted. Please bring a professional headshot with you. If you don’t have headshots, a recent high quality photo will suffice.

PLEASE ARRIVE AT LEAST FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES PRIOR TO YOUR SCHEDULED AUDITION TIME. There will be a short questionnaire for you to complete prior to your scheduled audition time.


Sign-ups begin immediately. To secure an audition time please email your name, phone number, prior class experience and instructors, along with any preferred time (if available) to:


You will receive a confirmation message within two (2) business days – for example, if you contact us on Monday you’ll hear from us by Wednesday, or if you contact us on Friday, you’ll hear from us by the following Tuesday). We will accept sign-ups until no audition times remain. All specific audition times are first-come-first-served.

There are no alternate times. If you are not available for these audition dates and times, please do not email or call to ask for an exception – you simply will not be able to audition. If you are interested in auditioning, you must sign-up for one of our announced time slots.

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New Sketch House Teams At PHIT! Submit Your Writers’ Packets Now!

As the scope of live comedy in Philadelphia continues to expand, PHIT strives to create opportunities for the growing numbers of sketch writers throughout the city. With this mission in mind, it is with incredible excitement that I would like to announce that PHIT will be casting two new sketch house teams in the coming months, allowing two groups to grow and develop together and create content that will fit nicely along the current sketch house team roster of The Flat Earth, Dog Mountain, and Goat Rodeo.

One of the two sketch teams will be a live sketch team – joining The Flat Earth, Dog Mountain, and Goat Rodeo amongst our roster of live teams – and the other will be something brand new for the Theater – a digital sketch team! The digital sketch team will be dedicated to the writing and filming of video sketches. We’re also happy to announce that we’ve got two fantastic directors on board for the new teams – the live team will be directed by Brian Rumble, and the digital team will be directed by Jon Plester.

Sketch house team writers will meet weekly with a director with the goal of creating new shows at a consistent rate. Sketch house teams will be given a two-week headlining sketch slot at PHIT, totaling four performances of the show, every four months. PHIT is looking for writers who can think outside the box, surprise the audience, and most importantly – make people laugh.

“Gee, this sure is great! But how can I submit?”

That’s a fantastic question! Here is what you need to submit to be considered for one of the upcoming Sketch teams:

    • The submission packet must be in PDF format
    • Packet should consist of no more than 3 sketches or 10 pages (whichever comes first)
    • The packet should also include 15 sketch pitches (this does not count towards the 10 pages)

We ask that all writers submitting packets are either enrolled in or have completed Sketch 101 at the Philly Improv Theater. Writers who haven’t completed Sketch 101 can still apply with permission from the Artistic Director.

All necessary materials, (The packet, in PDF format, and a submitted Packet Form) to SketchPackets@phillyimprovtheater.com by 11:59 PM on April 30th. Please use the subject line “Sketch Submission Packet – [FULL NAME]” when e-mailing the PDF.

If you are interested in working with the digital sketch team as a crew member, but not as a writer, please complete the Digital House Team Crew Application Form.

If you are interested in acting for a sketch team but not writing, keep an eye out for sketch acting auditions, which will be happening in early summer!

With all the talent currently in Philadelphia, I cannot begin to imagine just how talented the groups we’re going to assemble will be. We look forward to seeing your submissions and adding two new groups to the growing PHIT House Team Roster!

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12920373_1740665159497415_231019800361845298_nFor the month of April, as part of PHIT’s Launch Pad program, PHIT stage will be the proud home of independent team Fresca every Wednesday night! 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 Fresca is currently coached by Pim van H. of PHIT House Team Masher.

We have put together a lovely Q&A to help you get to know the refreshing team that is Fresca.

What brought you all together?
Most of us met in Fred Brown’s 101 class in August of 2015. We had a great time and bonded in a way that only a group of strangers performing improv for the first time in their lives could. Following our graduation show, a few people asked us if we planned on starting an indie group. Most of us didn’t even know what that was at the time, but the opportunity to continue having fun together sounded appealing, so Fred’s Scouts was formed in November of 2015. (A few weeks later, someone asked us what our group name was. He misheard it as “Fresca” and said it was an awesome name. Realizing that it was an awesome name and feeling disappointed that it wasn’t our name, we decided to become Fresca.)

What sort of themes often find their way into a Fresca performance?
We like odd relationships filled with people having some Emotions with a capital E. We enjoy playing honest humans who really haven’t figured out life quite yet. Will you find drama? Yes. Will you find comedy? YES. Will you find the wallet you lost? MAYBE.

How does Fresca “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
We can be found doing mind melding exercises and physical warm-ups. Lately, with our Launchpad coach Pim, we’ve been having fun with Knife, Gun, Baby. We also like to get our energy up and remind each other that we’ve got each other’s backs.

What is the most-efficient-most-fun way to drink a Fresca?
Fresca is best enjoyed between 45-50°F poured into a tulip glass while watching the improv team Fresca.

What makes Fresca giggle?
Fear. Fresca giggles in the face of fear.

What would you like to hear an audience member say after seeing a Fresca show?
I wish they were less attractive. I would have been able to focus on the comedy more.

What is Fresca’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
Find a group of people you like and start practicing as much as possible. Always remember why you came together – to have fun and play in a way most people don’t get to. Appreciate that, accept and support your team members no matter what. You’ll get to grow as an improviser with an amazing group of people.

Purchase tickets for Fresca’s upcoming shows below!

Wednesday April 13th 7:30 P.M.
Wednesday April 20th 7:30 P.M.
Wednesday April 27th 7:30 P.M.

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This Thursday and Friday evening at 9:00 P.M., the Philly Improv Theater delivers you a live concert series unlike anything you’ve ever seen before…the #YCCPDB are back!


Join the #YCCPDB (Yung Creamed Currency Panty Dropper Billionaires) for back-to-back nights of ridiculousness as they perform two completely different live concerts.

As their shows approach we thought it would be fitting to sit down with the creator of #YCCPDB, Ronnie Clarkson (Outside Voices), and get the scoop on what Thursday night (The Drapesover) and Friday night (The Luv Explosion) will entail.

Who/what are/is the #YCCPDB?
The #YCCPDB is an eight member hip-hop supergroup that uses their music to celebrate the most beautiful things life has to offer… Money, Butts, and Love.DRAPESOVOER2333333NOTHIN copy

What can one expect from a #YCCPDB live performance?
You can expect to see something you’ve never witnessed before, even if you’ve already been to a #YCCPDB concert.  

What is The Drapesover?
The Drapesover is something brand new for the #YCCPDB. Instead of the show being hosted by the leader of the group (Uncle Demetrius Jungle), your host for this concert will be Canadian Rap Superstar Audrey ‘Drapes’ Graham. He’ll be adding his own personal style to the #YCCPDB formula. What’s weird is, the rumor amongst group members is that nobody even likes Drapes, so we’re all scratching our heads as to who is really letting him host this show.

DrapesOverTakeCareSo, what makes the Friday night show so different? What is ‘The Luv Explosion’ all about?
The Luv Explosion, like The Drapesover, will have a completely different host than Uncle Demetrius Jungle yet again. This time, you’re getting an entire hour of Pup E. Luv, International Sex Symbol Extraordinaire, and he’ll be changing the way you see Love completely and totally forever.  In a recent exclusive interview in Playgirl Magazine, Pup E. Luv has gone on record stating that Uncle Demetrius Jungle gave him his blessing in trying to find another way to convey the group’s message to the masses. From there,‘The Luv Explosion’ was born. 

Anything else we should know?LOVESEXY
Yes, don’t just think you’ll only be seeing Drapes and Pup E. Luv live on stage this week. All eight members of the group will be there (along with whatever other surprises you come to find at a #YCCPDB show).
If you Love Money.
If you Love Butts
If you Love Love, well…

The Drapesover – Thursday March 31st at 9:00 P.M.
The Luv Explosion – Friday April 1st at 9:00 P.M.


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12523125_200561456957484_2486414841735456210_nThis past Autumn the Philly Improv Theater cast two new glorious teams. Earlier in the month we spent some time with the gracious Swan Year – but now we turn that sweet sweet spotlight on new PHIT House Team Channel 77 as they sit down and really “tell it like it is”.

Can each member of Channel 77 tell me their name and what their catchphrase is?
“Do we go out on the sides or the middle?” – Lauren Dowling
“My stand-up catchphrase is “get out of this place! (I don’t do stand-up).” – Hasreet “Lali” Gill
“My catchphrase is that cartoony sound people make when they are eavesdropping on a conversation and they hear bad news. Ask me in person if you want to hear what it sounds like” – Katie Cwirko
“Whoop-WHOOP!!!” – AJ Haron
“‘Right’ in a Cockney accent or ‘Alright!’ as Maya Rudolf doing Whitney Houston.  It’s very nuanced.” – Dave Sucharski
“You can just put me down as Joe W.” – Joe Wendrychowicz
“Ever notice how ducks and geese are shaped like tiny dragons?” – Andrew Nealis

How does Channel 77 “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
Before shows we do a round of Sexy Eights.  It’s a very advanced, sensual modification to Crazy Eights. We also compliment each other. One time we did Pointies (category game) where we all did Tim Allen Home Improvement “Aruuuuooooooogggggghhhhhhh” sounds at each other for a while.  Sometimes we energy blast each other or infect everyone with The Thing.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Channel 77 performance?
Parent-child relationship dynamics. The quest to truly understand one’s self. Deviation from the norm, usually through an angsty teen. Totally serious. Pirates. Creeps.

What makes Channel 77 giggle?
“Goofy characters that exist both in and outside of the Real World (TM). We tend to venture into more mythical themes and characters through some players on the team, and then we have this incredible grounding of it all through others, so I think we juggle the outrageous/silly with the real/earnest and it turns out hilarious.” – Lali Gill

“I always find myself laughing at my teammates.  They are great, fearless actors that bring such rich and weird characters on stage, I often find myself cracking up before a word is even said in the scene.” – Dave Sucharski

“Each other. We are literally the funniest people in the universe. I am laughing as I type this.” – Joe W.

If Channel 77 were any sandwich ever what would it be?
“Idk, like a BLT with like apples and pasta in it, but it tastes different in a good way.” – Lali Gill

“I would say a corndog. It’s not a sandwich. But Channel 77 isn’t either. So if you think about it, Channel 77 is kind of like a corndog.” – Joe W.

What is Channel 77’s favorite channel?
Channel 77… uh duh!

What is Channel 77’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
Be yourself! Do You. Have Fun. See lots of shows, go to the jams, start a practice group or indie team with people you like, take classes and workshops, check out different theaters. Get involved in the community any way you can.

What does Channel 77 hope audience members will take away from a Channel 77 show?
Exhilaration. Renewal. A feeling of happy, chaotic weirdness. We want you leaving a show saying to yourself “I laughed. Laughter is good. Sometimes it’s really good. Rarely, if ever, bad. They made me laugh. Laughter is good.”

 Be sure to check out Channel 77 next Wednesday (and most Wednesdays) April 6th at 9:00 P.M. with PHIT house team Fjord!

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Changes to Class Prices at the Training Center For Session 3

Today we are very excited to put our next session of classes for 2016 up on the website, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to sign up to continue learning with us. I also hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this message so you know about changes we are making to class prices starting with Session 3.

As current students will probably know, this is an exciting time – we are getting ready to move shows to a new, larger stage on the first floor of the Adrienne in the next few weeks, and at the same time we are finishing improvements (large and small) to our classrooms started last summer. Thanks to the success of our Diversity Program scholarships, the community at PHIT is more diverse than it has ever been and we’re in the process of giving more than $50,000 worth of classes to women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, veterans, people over the age of 40 and differently-abled performers this year. We’ve been able to do this without going to the community to ask for fundraising help and we hope to continue be a theater company which proudly operates on our revenues, even as we continue to do more and even cooler things in the near future.

Meeting this goal is not without its challenges though: our expanded new home costs significantly more than it did – in terms of rent, but also utilities, insurance, staffing, etc. Add to that all the cool new programs we are running and it does require some rebalancing of our books. In the last few weeks I’ve worked with our Education Director Mike Marbach and Artistic Director Jess Snow to look at how we’ll make this all work while still being fair to students and audiences and I’m proud of the changes we have decided to make, which I am announcing today. Our overall goal with everything we did around pricing at the theater for this year was to try and be fair and be able to explain our decisions simply. Hopefully you’ll agree that we achieved that goal once you think over the changes. Here they are:

Starting with Session 3 class which are enrolling today, the prices we charge for our core curriculum classes and longer advanced classes will reflect the length of time those classes meet for. In the past, all classes were the same price – even though 301/401 classes meet for 50% more time than 101 classes (3 hours instead of 2 hours). We’ve also decided that we want to make our introductory comedy class experience more accessible by keeping the price lower, so the new prices for our core classes will be $249 for 2 hour classes ($50 less than before), $299 for 2.5 hour classes (this price stays right where it was), and $349 for 3 hour classes.

We’re also simplifying our early registration discount and sales. Instead of having a sale on 101 classes and an early registration period which ends a few weeks before class starts we’ll now have every class we offer on sale for $50 during the first month it’s online. That means 101 classes will be $199, 201 classes will be $249, and 301+ classes will be $299 during the first four weeks they are open to enroll.

For our electives, we’ll set those prices the same as our higher level classes and pro-rate based on the number of weeks: so a 4-week elective will be $169, a 6-week elective will be $259, and an 8-week elective will be $349. Since electives are frequently posted close to the start of a session – or sometimes even in the middle of sessions – we will not be offering early registration discounts.

Finally, our practice groups will be expanding to every week at lower levels and we’ll adding sketch practice groups. You’ll now have an improv and a sketch practice group offered every week, even between sessions, so you can stay sharp. In addition, you’ll be able to sign up for a spot in practice groups during the week before they are offered – no more traveling down to the theater only to arrive and learn that the group you wanted to do is full. In order to make this work we will be changing the prices of practice groups to cover the administrative cost: for current students, practice groups will be $5 when you show your ID, and for students between session a practice group will be $20. All practice groups and the new sketch practice groups will remain 2 hours in length. We’ve had a number of students ask us over the years if they could retake levels for half-price, and under the new weekly practice group setup, someone between classes who comes to 8-weeks of practice groups (whether they are 102, 202, etc.) will essentially be able to do just that.

This is the first time we have changed class prices since 2013 and we believe it’s a very good deal for some of the best comedy training in the country. For a student going through Improv 101 – 401 or Sketch 101 – 401 under the new prices they will only pay $50 more across the course of all their classes than they would have if they had taken them last year. To compare – If you travel to Chicago for a class at The Second City or iO you would pay to $280-$349, and in New York a similar class would cost $400-$475 at the UCB Theatre. At the Walnut Street Theatre in Philly (the only comparably-sized theatre training program downtown) you would pay $275-$340 for a class – and only save $10 by registering early. Like I said – our goal was to be fair and easier to explain and I think we’ve achieved that while still keeping the cost of classes accessible.

It’s hard to believe just how far we have come from our humble beginnings in the basement of a church a little over a decade ago. Session 3 is going to be big a bunch of reasons – a new expanded sketch curriculum (with sketch practice groups!), more electives for advanced students, more special guests from out of town, and more classes than ever before. In fact, this year we expect to host thousands of students at Training Center, which is just as incredible to me as it probably is to you. Thanks again for being part of the amazing community at PHIT – the home for comedy in Philadelphia. I look forward to seeing all of you in and out of the building throughout the rest of the year!


Greg Maughan
Philly Improv Theater (PHIT)

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