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

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

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

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

4. Go to Times Square!

5. Just kidding. Don’t. Go to DCM.

6. Try some New York Pizza.

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

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

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

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

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

David Donnella
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Kevin Pettit
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Meredith Weir
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
 Rob O’Neill
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tara Demmy
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
 Kevin Pettit
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Matthew Schmid
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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

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

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

I’ve got your back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve got your back.

And you’ve got this. – Joe Gates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s been a helluva run. – Adam Steigner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m still ugly crying.

Sabomom out.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

We encourage smooching. We love smooching. We think smooching’s great. We would just prefer you reserving the smooching for post show. Thank you so much.

Monde Market is located right around the corner from PHIT at 100S 21st Street. Don’t worry, for the non-believers we’ve provided the yelp page here.

This is just a good thing to do on a regular basis.

*A proud stage mom that encourages the craft of her talented children via being emotionally present and respectful of the needs and wants of said child as a functioning and magnificent organism during their shows. Along with coming to all of said child’s shows. AKA Düofest 2016.



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

Be sure to holla at PHIT when you do this via:


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

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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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