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 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 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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flatearthfacebookIn celebration of PHIT Sketch House Team The Flat Earth‘s new show and their recent performance in the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival we’ve put together a very necessary and glorious Q&A to get all the juicy details of what it means to be The Flat Earth.

Can you tell us about your journey to Toronto and what that experience was like?
Imagine a classic, stereotypical family road trip – Dad did most of the driving, groaning about traffic while one kid got sick in the back. We held a mixtape contest, so we had tons of great music to listen to (between spins of Kanye’s newest). A quick stop in Buffalo for wings (of course) at the (I kid you not) Nine Eleven Tavern. The wings were great. We finally rolled into Toronto around midnight.

So how does The Flat Earth go about choosing what sort of show to create. Do you guys begin with a theme/focus and write toward it or do you make material and then look for the common thread after the fact?
We mostly write independently and decide which sketches we like/laugh at the most and then just re-write, re-write, group re-write and then cut it for something else. We often fantasize about putting together a concept show (our own personal “Pet Sounds”) – but always save that for “the next show”.

What sort of themes often find their way into The Flat Earth’s shows?
Sex and Death.

Are there any writing techniques/games that The Flat Earth uses to generate material?
We find that the best tools are procrastination and stupid internet videos.

If this current show was a Magic 8-Ball and had only one phrase it kept telling you every time you shook it what would it be?

What makes The Flat Earth giggle?
Sex and Death.

How does The Flat Earth feel about the moon?
Which moon?

What does The Flat Earth hope audience members will take away from this show?
A pack of buttons ($5 available at the box office).
Seriously – travel is expensive.

What advice does The Flat Earth have for aspiring sketch writers?
Stick with poetry.

THERE YOU HAVE IT! The Flat Earth will be performing this Thursday, March 24th at 9:00 P.M. and Friday, March 25th at 9:00 P.M.

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12799449_1662795083969940_3437038271451326921_nPHIT Conservatory is an opportunity for improvisers that have completed the PHIT Training Center (Improv 101 through 401) and are interested in working as a team to create their own form. This most recent crop of improvisers: Andrea Duffy, Ashley Fee, Joe Tuzzi, Nick Elmer, Randie Welles, James Knight, Geoff Hartmann and Katie Cwirko (coached/directed by Kristen Schier) have come together to create their own form as the team Wilhelm. In honor of Wilhelm’s March run of shows at PHIT, we sought to shed some light on the team and their experience of PHIT Conservatory through a very illuminating Q&A.

What is conservatory?
The great artist Michelangelo once said “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is up to the sculptor to discover it,” which is to say that Wilhelm is a gathering of improvisers who are stones, and when we come together we also make one big block of stone. But we are simultaneously sculptors who must discover the unique statue we are meant to be together. We are sculptors of stone who are also made out of stone—agreeable, cooperative, reasonably priced stone—whose process demands weekly night communion at an appointed time in an appointed basement in order to playfully chisel and sand away at ourselves all while laughing hysterically. This is Conservatory. **It is also a glorious meeting of the minds in which we created a form based on what we liked and how we liked playing as a group.

Was the process of creating a new form daunting?
Only when Kristen would say things like “we have a show in two weeks we should probably figure out the form.”

What is the form that you guys created?
Every Wilhelm show is multiple improvised movies at once, in different genres. Little by little everyone’s movies collide. And there are special effects!

How does Wilhelm “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
We stare deep into each others’ eyes, we laugh until we cry, we cry until we laugh. You know, the usual.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Wilhelm performance?
Spike Lee. Cops that are buds. Weird familial relationships. Bars: specifically conversations happening in them. Old people hanging out. And death.

What makes Wilhelm giggle?
Anything Randie says.

What is Wilhelm’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
When in doubt, montage.

What does Wilhelm hope audience members will take away from a Wilhelm show?
That they didn’t get enough and plan to come to the next show!

Catch Wilhelm’s next two shows at PHIT on Sunday March 20th at 5:00 P.M. and Sunday March 27th at 5:00 P.M.

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Once upon an Autumn 2k15 two new house teams were cast at the Philly Improv Theater. One of these teams – the enigmatic and yet very visually pleasing Swan Year – has graciously answered some of our #classic PHIT spotlight questions.

What is each member of Swan Year’s catchphrase?
“Now that REALLY takes the biscuit!” – Jack O’Keeffe (based on team consensus)
“Be your own rainbow.”  – Lizzie Spellman
“Hotsy-totsy!” – Rob O’Neill
“I don’t always check Facebook regularly.” – Kristin Firth
“Jim-Jam-Jubilee!!!” – Kris-Stud Muffin-Hodge
“…Yup, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, she’s probably just an improviser…” – Marcely Jean-Pierre
“What? We’re playing Samurai?!?!” – Sam Abrams
“That’s valid.” – Vito Salerno
“I’M FINDING MYSELF.” – Annie Paradis
“Hey!” (in the style of The Fonz) – Jamie Glasheen

How does Swan Year “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
Playing “Oh I Feel so Good”, flawlessly counting to 20, personifying food, watching Jamie do physical feats, and talking about how we are all wearing plaid shirts.

What sort of themes often find their way into a Swan Year performance?
Kids who are at someone else’s house that should probably go back to their own house. Also delis.

What makes Swan Year giggle?
Comedy Central.

If Swan Year had a vision board what would be on it?
Lots of luxury showers. A happy family life. Our mortal enemies being disappointed with their lives. Professional photos of us moving our hips in slow motion while making very confident eye contact with one another.

Is it true that some of you like Taco Bell?
“No. That is a lie. We ALL like Taco Bell. Team Favorites include: Spicy Soft Potato Taco, Beef Quesarito, and a medium Baha Blast.” – Jack O’Keeffe
“I do not like Taco Bell. I understand if that means I’m kicked off the team.” – Sam Abrams
“I mean I GET it.” – Annie Paradis
“Yes, Quesarito/Doritos Taco 2016!” – Jamie Glasheen
“Only when I’m wasted at a piano bar.” – Lizzie Spellman
“They will substitute beans into anything.” – Kristen Firth
“It’s cheap. I’m cheap. If that’s not love I don’t know what is.” – Vito Salerno
“Spoiler alert: gasoline rationing was imminent.” – Rob O’Neill  (in reference to this link he wanted us to look at)
(Nods politely to all of this) – Marcely Jean-Pierre

What is Swan Year’s advice for aspiring improvisers?
Be nice and enjoy watching your team kill it onstage, whether it’s a house team, sketch team, or indie team. Do as many shows as you can! Trust your team. Treat each show as one big trust fall. Be nice to the tech people. Be SUPER nice to the tech people. Let yourself connect and be vulnerable – if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else!

What does Swan Year hope audience members will take away from a Swan Year show?
That we are a group of well adjusted adults. Also that they think about how good looking we all are, and how mean swans are in real life. AND for them to laugh their butts off, how they get them back on is their own problem.

Be sure to check out Swan Year this Wednesday (and most Wednesdays) March 9th at 9:00 P.M. with PHIT house team Fjord!

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Dirty Laundry is a comedic exploration of the day-to-day life of six family members: a mom and dad (Kelly Jo Little, Rick Horner), their two children (Molly Scullion, David Donnella), and the mother’s two older sisters (Susan LaPalombara, Mary Eklund). Played by cast members whose real-life ages match that of the characters, Dirty Laundry is a realistic and funny inside view of a typical Philadelphia family. Directed by Steve Kleinedler.

In honor of this month’s Dirty Laundry show, on Saturday March 5th 7:30 P.M., the Pinwright Family has kindly put together a newsletter to get us wonderfully up to date with their busy lives.

Dear Friends and Family,

Time again for one of our famous PF Chang’s! (Pinwright Family Catch-up, Holiday Annual Newsletter Gleaners for you first-timers!) As usual, as you read this, some of you will write back, saying you consider this late for the 2015 Holiday. We can’t please everyone, and we can’t make everyone like us. Or to put it another way, as Katie Couric says, “You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you.” What a season. The dark leaves have started secluding the light, and Connie and Bob will Netflix and chill with Elaine and Peg for the next several months. Wait, now Bob is being told “don’t write Netflix and chill, Dad” by both Haley and Marcus. Well, whatever, then, we will binge-watch and purge. By the way, if you plan to buy instead of make holiday items, keep your fingers crossed that when you get gifts from Amazon, they finally use the Tamper Resistant Carton (United States Patent Application 20150048151) that Bob submitted. Isn’t it funny, how OSHA inspection# 313802720 at the Hub Folding Box Company is such a great example of how our lives intertwine?

Connie says we have to hold each other precious. Connie says if a fall off a forklift causing a slight amputation won’t bring us all together, well, what will!?!!? Prayers for Sam Pepper btw. Bob says together we are a huge fuse box, and each year is yet another colorful outdoor electrical wire (builder’s grade). Speaking of, one of Bob’s favorite holiday sweaters came apart in the dryer, thanks to Haley angrily laundering a textbook (Mader’s Biology) to prove suffrage was wrong. Marcus offered to fix it when he was home, but then became suddenly, immediately blasé. Elaine and Peg are healing nicely from their burns, and they say “hello” and “our hair is growing back” (thank you for not leveraging a penalty on the early withdrawal from the burn fund, Mansfield Bank!)

Peg and Madge decided to greet the New Year at a powerlifting competition in Las Vegas. They are both looking for some new hobbies and ways to get into better shape in 2016!

Elaine wanted to point out that Bob made her write something for the PF Chang (who reads these anyway, she said), so here it goes. The winter really sucked. Marcus and Elaine took a road trip to visit Haley at Lehigh in February (in a Zipcar (neither of them own a car) and Connie didn’t trust them to drive her minivan, haha, just joking Con) and they got stuck with a flat tire on the PA turnpike. No spare. (Good thing because Marcus and Elaine don’t know how to change a tire, hahaha). Bob had to come bail them out.  Yes, friends and family, Bob is still the handyman and rock of the family. (He still looks great in his short, short running shorts from high school track, too, Stacey! Sorry Bob, it had to be said.)

Summer presented its own set of challenges. With the specter of Haley leaving for college looming over us all, we had decided to rent a cabin in the Poconos for a family retreat. Peg was the first to back out, deciding instead to go motorcycling in the Bonneville Salt Flats with Madge. Marcus was next, saying he couldn’t possibly pick out a new bathing suit in time. We left it at that. Elaine had already committed to accompanying her boyfriend to meet his biological mother for the first time. A week before the trip, Connie and Bob had to ground Haley for failing to adequately pack for college. (Haley’s claims that there was a month and half until move-in day went unheeded, as did her protest that an 18-year old is un-groundable.) This of course subsequently lead to Connie backing out so that she could supervise Haley’s packing. Faced with staying in Poconos by himself for a week, Bob elected instead to stay home and finally fix that pitching machine he’s had in the garage for the better part of a decade.

Haley dropped out of college, btw, and moved in with Elaine, so that’s sort of good news, at least for the two of them. Don’t worry though Connie keeps them well stocked with casseroles and baked ziti. Also, Elaine is to blame for all of this.(Don’t get rid of that part, Bob. Aunt Dot will get a kick out of it. And it’s true, the blame part that it wasn’t my fault).  Nobody said anything about Haley dropping out for awhile which definitely didn’t help the whole “crisis” situation she was going through, but now she is doing pretty well–playing soccer again and running. She is working at City Sports where a manager is leaving soon and we all think she will get her job when that happens. “Thank God she (Aunt Elaine) let me move in,” Haley said. “I love my mom dearly, but absence makes the heart keep a normal and good amount of fondness for her.” Haley does want to go back to school soon, but right now feels good. Haley feels good.

Oh yeah—Connie and Elaine planned a surprise birthday party for Peg at Outback Steakhouse but Peg’s best friend Madge RUINED IT by telling her about it. (We know you did this on purpose Madge—Connie and I saw the email when we were looking through Peg’s inbox). It was a great party anyway, no thanks to Madge. Peg doesn’t look a day over 50 and is a great catch, so call her up guys. (Not you, Karl, you burned that bridge, but some of you other high school guys!) Connie is becoming more like mom every day, may she rest in peace. (Elaine means this in all the best ways, Connie!) Elaine is still the disappointing mess you all remember, but for some reason the family hasn’t disowned her! (Hahaha. No, it’s all good. Lots of Pinwright love all around. Did I do okay with this, Bob?)

Oh how Connie loves fall! She remembers collecting leaves with Haley and Marcus to make fall center pieces with leaves. Maybe now that Haley isn’t in school, they will do that again. Hopefully it’ll make Haley want to come to dinner more often. Connie did have a thought about homeschooling Haley but one of us has to call someone and find out if you can do that for college. Bob is doing really well at work. He has invented a new folding pattern that he hopes to patent.  Fingers crossed!  Marcus is doing so well at Best Buy. His boss seems really pleased with him. He doesn’t have a girlfriend yet but we’re working on that! Connie wants to be a Grandma and imagines Bob as a Grandpa! Holy Smokes!!! If any of you readers know any nice girls (except you Elaine, we said nice!!  LOL) let us know! As for Peg, she is just a ray of sunshine in our lives.  She is currently down the shore with Madge. Don’t worry, we have bail money,  LOL!! We went down to the shore last month (Sea Isle!) and had a very relaxing time. As for Connie, she is just trying to keep everyone together. Oh and she is still volunteering at the library. That is all for now, drop by anytime. Our house and kitchen are always open! Oh, I want a puppy!!  Shhhhh, Bob doesn’t know!

As we write this we each realize once again how blessed we all are. Life continues to have its “ups and downs”, but overall there is a great deal to be grateful for. We see again the truth that even in dealing with adversity we grow. The important things are still love, forgiveness and friendship. We spent years not talking to our neighbors the McDougalls, and after their poor family dog Sparkles was hit by an Audi last month – well, reaching out to them has made us realize that friendship is more important than an old grudge. Our thoughts are with the McDougalls during this holiday season.

Our love and warmest regards,
The Pinwrights

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For all of February, as part of PHIT’s Launch Pad program, PHIT stage has been the proud home of indie team Seven Pounds of Shame. 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 Seven Pounds of Shame has been coached by Kevin Ruth of PHIT house team Hoffman.

In honor of Seven Pounds of Shame’s final Launch Pad show we have put together a lovely Q&A to help you get to know this dynamic team.

What brought you all together as a team?

What sort of themes often find their way into a Seven Pounds of Shame performance?
Poop, albino pets, nakedness, 90’s references.

How does Seven Pounds of Shame “get in the zone” as they say, for a show?
Contemplating the goings on of Fred Schneider.

What makes Seven Pounds of Shame giggle?
Duty, pianist, titmouse.

What is Seven Pounds of Shame NOT ashamed of?
Being awesome and inserting shame into every sentence.

What is your advice advice for aspiring improvisers?
Shamelessly take every opportunity to perform.

What do you hope audience members will take away from a Seven Pounds of Shame show?
Their trash, we are anti-litter.

Get tickets for Seven Pounds of Shame’s last show this Wednesday 7:30 P.M. here!


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To celebrate this glorious show Aubrie Williams of Goat Rodeo has answered a few of our very important very goat questions.

If this show was a vision board what would be on it?
A bakers dozen of Goats with a nice heap of American flags added in, and then the smiling faces of all of the Goat Rodeo writers & performers. Maybe a pizza to keep us extra motivated.

How does Goat Rodeo 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 make material and then look for the common thread after the fact?
We usually create lots of material, and then vote on what we like best and then Sam & Bill work their magic on creating transitions that create a seamless world for the show. We usually have about 30-40 sketches on the table per show, and about 6-8 make it in.

Can you describe your ideal goat candidate?
Someone with really shiny hair, who promises we’ll have longer recesses and free pizza every day for lunch!

What are some big policy changes primarily regarding goats that Goat Rodeo would make if America becomes Goat Again?
Goats would be allowed in movie theaters and on carnival rides regardless of their height, and every workplace in America would have a goat greeter in the lobby!

What do you hope audience members will take away from this show?
Laughter and patriotism.

What advice do you have for aspiring sketch writers?
Write anything and everything, and don’t censor yourselves. Write as often as you can and dedicate time to rewrites.

If Goat Rodeo were feeling blue what would, without out a doubt, make Goat Rodeo laugh on the spot?
I think any one of our writers or performers. Rehearsals and shows are always hilarious because of these Goats, and it’s always a super fun and laid back atmosphere.

You have two more chances to MAKE AMERICA GOAT AGAIN with PHIT Sketch House team Goat Rodeo:

Thursday February 18th 9:00 P.M.

Friday February 19th 9:00 P.M.


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As part of the Dynamite Series @ PHIT, (Untitled) is a show that strives to merge the worlds of improv comedy and visual arts into a unique collaborative experience. Local visual artists across many disciplines share their work with the cast to inspire an improvised theatrical show, the artist then creates a piece of work during the show in response to the action happening on stage. Director Rachel Semigran (PHIT House Team Sabotage) leads a highly trained team capable of falling into different forms or styles to compliment their exploration the purpose and permanence of art and comedy.

In honor of this month’s installment of (Untitled)  and in honor of (Untitled) being named one of Philly’s 13 Comedy Shows to See This Spring (yahoo!) we have collected a few favorite memories from the cast members of this unique and invigorating show.

Hark horse! A sock speaks!
The universe shatters with
Guy Fieri’s tears.

– Ryan Barlow



This is a favorite moment from one of my favorite shows, the one we did at Indy Hall. It’s Andrew and I as mom and son being caught in the vines, and as they wind tighter and tighter, we are having a “serious” conversation. I let him know that he was not an accident. Great because one of the paintings that day had a figure wrapped in vines, so it came directly from that. This picture was drawn by artist Mike Jackson as he watched the scene.

– Karen Coleman

Performing with Untitled is a privilege, getting to bring so many artists from other parts of Philly together with our silly wild fun shows. The cast is wonderfully supportive and will run with the strangest ideas. Plus, watching visual artists get celebrated for their work onstage never fails to make me smile like a goof . Saul (the artist from our last show) is a friend from work, and when he came out everyone chanted his name. He was beaming for days, and is now thinking about taking an improv class.

– Sam Abrams



Danny Coeyman illustration.

– Zachary Uzupis

You can also check out this response from last month’s artist Saul Rosenbaum made after his experience here!

(UNTITLED) #10 is on Saturday, February 13th at 7:30 P.M. Purchase tickets here!

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