FREE PHIT Kids & Teens Open Houses This Summer!

PHIT Kids & Teens is excited to announce that it will be hosting three FREE Open Houses for prospective parents and students this summer. On July 18, August 8, and September 12, Grades K-12 students are welcome to enjoy a FREE hour-long improv comedy workshop with PHIT Kids & Teens highly-talented faculty while parents will be treated to coffee and light fare along with a presentation about our program.

Philly Improv Theater is committed to growing the next generation of great comedic performers. Our stage and classroom are open to all, from the smallest of aspiring comedians to high schoolers hoping to prepare for our adult classes and beyond. Our Kids & Teens classes create a safe and inclusive space for young people to develop their innate curiosity, creativity and ability to work to with others. Our professionally-trained instructors – many of whom are current or former full-time K-12 educators and PHIT company members- are focused on each student’s success as a comedian and a person.

Here’s what some parents have to say about our program:

“The girls loved their teachers and had a blast. Such warm, enthusiastic, and fun-loving instructors!”

“The experience was great…. They loved it.”

Whether students are looking to take their first, tentative steps into the world of performing, hope to develop already existing skills and reach a new level, or are simply seeking a place to form new friendships, PHIT’s Kids & Teens program has something for everyone.

You can learn more about the program on the PHIT website, and register for the FREE open houses by visiting the PHIT Kids & Teens Enrolling Classes page.

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Barbara Bush Presents: BBTV – June 25th-26th @ 9:00 p.m.

In 2014, a group of a bunch of cuties came together to start an all-female improv team, and named themselves Barbara Bush.  Much like the actual Barbara Bush, they are both the wife and mother of a president, and by president, I mean making you laugh your socks off (but I don’t mean Socks the cat… wrong president.).  In late 2014 they decided to delve into the world of sketch comedy as well. This Thursday and Friday, you can see them at 9:00 with their debut of their newest show, BBTV. They will be opening for The Incredible Shrinking Matt and Jacquie.  Jacquie Baker also happens to be Barbara Bush’s sketch director.

Jacquie was brought in after their first show; “When I saw Barbara Bush’s first sketch show at PHIT last December, I was really impressed with their creativity and energy. Coming into the BB fold, my main objectives as a director were to guide the writing process and help them focus their voice, since every member of this group has a totally unique sense of humor and writing style. During one meeting, I was asked to define the group’s voice, and the words “whimsy and despair” popped out of my mouth. I think you’ll find both in this show,” said Jacquie.

When asked how they decided to do sketch in addition to improv, Katheryn Amrhein explained, “One day after improv practice we are all sitting around and said let’s write sketches, so we did. And it was magical.”  Jolie Darrow added, “We were all newish to the scene and kinda starting to get involved with separate sketch projects. One day we were hanging out after practice and thought, “we already love and enjoy improvising/spending time together why not just consolidate the worlds”, and immediately dove head first into planning our first show that day.”  Sue Nelson said the sketch aspirations came from “realizing other sketch projects weren’t taking off because it was a challenge to meet, but. we’re always together.”  Julia Hudson summed it up as a “natural, expected, and insane impulse” for Barbara Bush.

Jacquie adds, “When we actually can get everyone together, it’s magic. There are a lot of rewrites and suggestions for ideas and jokes – it’s a very open group. Usually the person who writes a sketch takes the lead on rewrites, however sometimes people pair up to bounce things off of each other. Fun fact: all members of Barbara Bush are made of rubber, not glue. When we get scripts up on their feet, I have a lot of fun seeing how physical and ridiculous we can make the staging. There’s one sketch in particular in this show which was super fun to block. You’ll have to come to see what I’m talking about….”

The group enjoys working together because they are already close friends.  “Kathryn is dark, Nicole is honest, Jolie is observational, Courtney is introspective, Julia is brave, Sue is smart. I am Baby Beyonce”, said Shawna Stoltzfoos.  Katheryn stated “We are able to be so weird and goofy together which makes it super easy to be creative. Also, we all have very different things that make us laugh and all of those weird perspectives mixed together makes for really fun sketches full of whimsy and despair…which has kind of become our calling card.”  Julia also remarked “Because snapchat is better in real life.”  Indeed, the ladies of Barbara Bush have an enviable snap game.

Jacquie loves Barbara Bush. “One thing that is pretty cool about this group is that they have an extensive improv background, which makes them pretty fearless performers and writers. The other is that they’re really good friends and Snapchat each other all the ding dang time. We just had a tech rehearsal last night, and when they weren’t on stage, they were cracking each other (and me) up constantly. They are so much fun to work with.”

Thier show is, as Sue puts it, “As if Barbara Bush took over your television and was the cast of every show.”  Jolie said, “It’s a bit of a commentary on pop culture and what we as a world like to laugh at. We’ve teased some of the weird out of mainstream media.”   Julia describes it as “That weird channel you find on your hotel tv and you can’t not watch.”  Katheryn added, “BBTV is whimsical and desperate in the best way possible. Oh, and if you sit in the front row, bring a poncho.”

Get tickets now for BBTV, opening for The Incredible Shrinking Matt and Jacquie, this Thursday June 25th and Friday June 26th, both at 9:00 p.m.

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Intro Classes Only $199 through June 21st! + Win $50 Training Center Class Credit!

Phit Class Summer Sale-01Is this deal hot enough for ya? Starting June 15th, 2015 and going through June 21st, 2015 all Improv 101 and Sketch Writing 101 classes are only $199! That’s $100 off the full enrollment cost.  If you’ve been thinking about jumping into a sketch or improv class then now is the time! In addition to training with the best instructors in the Philadelphia area and meeting new people, you’ll get a pass that gets you into all PHIT shows for FREE! There are also improv practice groups, social events, special shows, opportunities to perform and much more! If you haven’t taken a comedy class at PHIT yet, consider this opportunity knocking.

Already enrolled in a class? Looking to get back involved? You can still take advantage of our early registration discount and save $50 off the full enrollment cost of any 201 – 401 level class. That special ends August 2nd, 2015, so don’t wait too long, because higher level classes sell out pretty quickly.

What’s more, PHIT’s also holding a contest on Twitter! Everyone who follows @PHITComedy on Twitter and re-tweets the above sale graphic from the @PHITComedy account will be entered to win a $50 PHIT Training Center credit! You can apply this $50 credit to any 201 level class or higher, or any PHIT workshop. You can also combine this credit with the early registration discount, potentially allowing the winner to deduct $100 from a 201-401 level class! If you’re entering a 101 class, you could save the $50 credit for your next class. The credit is not exchangeable for cash and cannot be used for show tickets. This contest is open to everyone.

So, if you are a current student, tell your family and friends on Twitter to RT the graphic for you and increase your chances to save $50 on your next class! Just make sure they also follow @PHITComedy as anyone chosen will also need to be a follower on Twitter. A winner will be chosen randomly on June 22nd, 2015. May the odds be ever in your favor!

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Let’s Hear It For The Boys! PHIT Welcomes Susan Messing & Rachael Mason in July!

It’s time to take out whatever you use to track your days and put big asterisks on July 25th and 26th! Improv superstars Susan Messing and Rachael Mason, The Boys, will be at PHIT for the entire weekend. Their visit consists of no less than four improv workshops and a Saturday night show!

SusanSusan Messing is a Philly favorite and we are honored to have her visit us again. Each time she comes we secretly (and not so secretly) hope that she decides to stay. Alas, come Sunday afternoon her bags are packed and she’s headed back to Chicago to where she performs and teaches at its legendary comedy theaters iO, The Second City and The Annoyance Theatre. If you find yourself in Chicago then you can catch her with Blaine Swen in Blessing @ the iO, and Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance. Her improv workshops this visit include “Protecting the Freak” and “Killing Ambiguity“. Workshops are open to students that have completed improv 201.

RachaelRachael Mason will be making her first visit to PHIT and we couldn’t be more excited about it! She comes packing an amazing teaching background as the head of Advanced Improvisation at the Second City and the creator of its Scenic Improv and Dramatic Improv programs. She’s performed with Baby Wants Candy, The Annoyance, ComedySportz, iO, The Second City National Touring Company, and is currently in the cast of The Second City Improv All-Stars. Rachael’s workshops for this visit include “6 Ways to Create Sustainable Characters” and “The Initiation“. Workshops are open to students that have completed improv 201.

On Saturday, July 25th at 10:30 p.m. Susan and Rachael become “The Boys”. As they describe it, “The Boys are what’s left of Chicago Improv supergroups, Children of a Lesser God and The Playboys. This show is improvised, unfettered dumb. We make it worse.” This is a weekend at PHIT that is not to be missed. Workshops are enrolling now. Tickets for The Boys will be available soon.

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Düofest 2015 is Finally HERE!!!

Philly Improv Theater is proud to present Düofest! This festival is the only one of its kind…DuoFestSquareLogo2015Vers2-02 a 4-day celebration of comedy duos. 30 teams from around the world will converge on Philly from June 3rd through June 6th to perform, teach, and play. A few of our duos will even be running some killer workshops! Check out the festival website for a complete schedule and team bios. You can also follow the festival on Twitter and friend us on Facebook. Festival passes will be $22 and good for entry to ALL SHOWS!

See you at Düofest!

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The Dynamite Series @ PHIT Retires Page One This April

Since its launch back in February 2014, The Dynamite Series @ PHIT has been focused on merging comedy with interesting art forms and diverse casts to create amazing work exclusive to the PHIT stage. And no other Dynamite project encapsulates everything the Series is about better than Page One.

This show premiered as one of Philly Improv Theater’s Fringe Fest offerings in 2013, andFringe2013Page4x6Front tapped local playwrights to share the first page of an unpublished play to become the basis for an hour long improvised show. Immediately after its debut, the show became something the theater wanted as a regularly scheduled offering. It also ignited a spark in the mind of PHIT Artistic Director Ralph Andracchio. “What if there was a series of shows dedicated to the idea of art and comedy merging into shows that showcase the best of both worlds?”.

The Dynamite Series @ PHIT was born, and Page One became the first show to kick off the series, debuting Saturday, February 8th. In its time on the PHIT stage, Page One has worked with 19 local playwrights bringing their ideas to life for audiences who may not have been exposed to their work previously. And the cast has impressed these audiences and playwrights alike with their talent, commitment, and professionalism.

As the show is coming to the end of its run, we asked the cast to share something they will be taking away from the show as they move on to other projects. Here’s some of what they had to say:

 I L.O.V.E. Page One. It forced me with a gentle push to become a strong improvisor. It taught me to ground myself, to slow down, to listen to everyone. I would not be anywhere as confident if it wasn’t for [Page One director] Steve [Kleinedler], the Page One cast, and the Page One format.
-Sue Jahani

Working with Steve Kleinedler and the cast of Page One taught me so many invaluable things about improv and acting. It taught me how to react truthfully, from a real place and how to juggle plot and game. I wouldn’t be the improviser I am today without on Page One, so thank you!
-Jen Curcio

Page One kept me in improv and made me a better improviser.  I learned a lot about being patient, not being unnerved by silence, and answering the question “What is needed?”  I’m proud to say I did some of my best improv as part of Page One.
-Mike Butler

Page One is by far my favorite project that I have ever worked on. Improv and theatre are both so important to each other. I feel like any performer would benefit from being a part of a show like this. I’m going to miss it so much!
-Lizzie Spellman

I was a late addition to a team that had already been performing knockout shows. Page One had a dynamic different from anything I’d ever been involved in. Even from the audience, it was clear that it demanded a level of emotional commitment, alertness, and trust that seems rare in improv. As such, I was nervous. Luckily, I joined a group of fearless, interested players and a director who had a knack for pushing people into narrative and tonic cohesion without ever micromanaging. Page One was a form that never got easier. It was thrilling. I will miss it dearly.
-David Donnella

This project has been enormously rewarding. I’ve always been a big proponent of theatricality and improv, and the theatricality of Page One makes for a very rich viewing experience. It’s been an absolute blast working with the cast on different styles of playing, and they’ve expertly maneuvered every genre and style thrown at them. It’s been a magnificent run!
-Steve Kleinedler (director)

Catch the final performance of Page One this Saturday night at 7:30PM. Tickets are available here.

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SPRING SALE! Save $100 on Improv 101 and Sketch 101 Classes!

Phit Class Spring Sale B-01

This is no April Fool’s Day joke. It’s a Spring Sale! Save $100 off the full enrollment cost of an improv 101 or sketch writing 101 class now through Monday, April 6th! See all those beautiful, fun looking people lined up on the right? They’re all teaching classes next session. As you can see there’s lots of classes to choose from. Unsure if you want to plunk down that hard earned cash for a full class just yet? We have two FREE Intro to Improv workshops this weekend. So you can take the workshop for free and if you like what you see you can save $100 on the full class! Don’t delay, those workshops are filling up fast.

Enrolling in a class not only gives you invaluable improv experience, but those concepts are applicable in many professions and your daily life. Plus, you’ll make lots of new friend AND get into our shows for FREE for the length of your class. You’ll make the money back in saved ticket costs alone!

Already in a class? You can save $50 off any 201 – 401 level class now through May 25th, 2015. Don’t keep this sale to yourself! Sharing this post is encouraged and appreciated! There are so many great things happening at PHIT all the time. Come have fun with us!

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Announcing Our Brand New Dynamite Series Project Cast!

After an amazing audition process with many outstanding performers and a long week of deliberation, we are finally ready to formally announce our newest PHIT cast! Please welcome to the Dynamite Series family:

Samantha AbramsPHITLogo2014BigTop7DynamiteSeriesSquare
Ralph Andracchio
Ryan T. Barlow
Karen Coleman
Kate Fruhman
Whitney Harris
Sue Jahani
Andrew Nealis
Zachary Uzupis
Joe Wendrychowicz

And our newest director Rachel Semigran!

We would also like to thank all of the wonderful performers that came out to these auditions. The comedy community is growing by leaps and bounds in Philly, and we are always blown away by the level of dedication and artistry everyone brings to the table. Each audition process gets tougher and tougher, but as a result each team that is cast is stronger. Please continue to grow and challenge yourselves as artists!

This new Dynamite Series project will blend visual arts and improv comedy into a hybrid show unlike anything else in the city. We’re looking forward to their debut Saturday, May 9th!

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March 28th and 29th – PHIT welcomes MAYHEM from HUGE Theater in Minneapolis!

PHIT is excited to welcome two amazing improvisers from HUGE Theater in Minneapolis for a weekend of shows and workshops… Hanna Wydeven and Butch Roy a.k.a. MAYHEM!HannahW

Hannah Wydeven has been performing improv and sketch comedy since 2005, and has studied and performed at the Brave New Workshop and Huge Theater in Minneapolis. Hannah is also the owner of Solcana CrossFit, and is the director of the Twin Cities Improv Festival.

Butch Roy loves improv. It all started 16 years ago with attending a show at the legendary Brave New Workshop, which turned into studying improv at the Brave New Institute, which later led to becoming the Technical Director at the Brave New Workshop, a position he proudly held for eight years. Somewhere in there he also earned Butchhis B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, got married, had some kids. In 2002, Butch founded Improv A Go-Go, a weekly, all improvised showcase of some of the best local and national improvisers. Now in its eighth year, this Sunday night show still manages to sell out on a regular basis. In 2006, Butch started the Twin Cities Improv Festival (TCIF), a four-day event featuring shows and workshops. Held each June, TCIF has grown every year, attracting some of the most well-respected and talented improvisors on the continent.

Check out MAYHEM Saturday March 28th at 9PM and Sunday March 29th at 8:30PM. Workshop sign ups are available here!

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ALL SHOWS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 5TH, 2015 HAVE BEEN CANCELED due to severe winter weather moving through Philadelphia this evening.

The Flat Earth/Secret Pants show originally scheduled for this evening has been rescheduled for 7:30PM Friday March 6th.

The People of Interest show originally scheduled for this evening will be rescheduled for later this month.

Stay safe and we’ll see you tomorrow!

(If you purchased tickets in advance for a performance tonight, you will receive a refund shortly).

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Welcome our March 2015 Launch Pad Team: Warm Town!

The past couple weeks have been full of brutal weather, lots of snow, and bone-chilling winds. PHIT has the perfect remedy for all the winter craziness: March 2015 Launch Pad team Warm Town!

Jebediah Wärmton, a regular Heat Miser, founded Warm Town in 1998 and immediately installed fireplaces and hot-tubs. The population surged in 2014 when a  conglomeration of Philadelphia improvisors migrated to Warm Town for its weather and hospitality. The citizens soon realized that the warmth of the town comes from within after caring for the town turtles, counting money, and hosting weekly Book Club meetings.

Warm Town is the best place on Earth and you should visit and bring your friends.

The theater has chosen PHIT company member Frank Farrell (PHIT House Team Big Baby) as their Launch Pad coach to help them achieve their goals. You can connect with Launch Pad and Warm Town on Facebook!

Look for the team to have their run of shows Wednesdays in March!

Wednesday, March 04 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, March 11 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, March 18 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, March 25 – 7:30PM

Learn more about our Launch Pad program and apply by clicking here!

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Düofest 2015 Submissions Close March 2!

Düofest is the ONLY comedy festival in existence that is committed solely to showcasing DuoFestSquareLogo2015Vers2-02comedic duos, and is happening again this year June 3rd through June 6th at PHIT. We are looking for the best duos from around the country and around the world, and your couple could be chosen to be a part of the festival! And those duos chosen to be a part of Düofest will also receive a small stipend!

To find out more about the festival and to submit your duo, please visit the Duofest 2015 website. Remember, submissions close Monday, March 2nd! Don’t delay! Submit your duo today!

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PERFORMANCES CANCELED for Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Due to severe winter weather moving through Philadelphia tonight and a frozen pipe in our performance space, this evening’s performances have been canceled. This includes the following shows:

  • 7:30 p.m. Dynamite Series: The Wadsworth Constant
  • 9:00 p.m. Saturday Night House Party
  • 10:30 p.m. Saturday Night House Party
  • 11:59 p.m. PHIT’s 2015 Oscar’s Jam

If you purchased an advance ticket you will receive a refund shortly. Stay safe!

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Audition Announcement: New Dynamite Series Project Launching in May!

PHIT is excited to announce we will be premiering a brand new Dynamite Series show thisRalphSmall May! Produced by Artistic Director Ralph Andracchio and directed by company member and PHIT Kids and Teens director Rachel Semigran, this new show will strive to merge the worlds of improv comedy and visual arts into a unique collaborative experience that attempts to answer the questions “How do you record something meant to be impermanent, and how long does that new piece last?” Local visual and performing artists across many disciplines will share their work with our team to inspire a show, and then the artist will be invited to create rachelsemigransmallwork during the show in response to the action happening on stage. Director Rachel Semigran will lead a highly trained team capable of falling into different forms and styles to compliment their exploration of the purpose and permanence of art and comedy.

Auditions will take place on Monday, March 9th, 2015 between 6pm – 10pm. Callback auditions, if necessary, will be held on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 between 7pm – 9pm. Rehearsals will be held on weekly Thursdays evenings from March 19th through May 7th. Please hold these dates if you are interested in being cast! Casting decisions will be made and acceptances distributed by Sunday March 15th.

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

Auditioners must have completed Improv 301 and be currently enrolled in Improv 401 at PHIT by the date of their audition. Those auditioning who have completed PHIT Improv Level 301 longer than a calendar year ago will be considered on an individual basis.

You must be available for the audition time 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 head shot with you. If you don’t have head shots, 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.

Send us an email (get our email address from the contact page of the site or the paragraphs above)

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Welcome our February 2015 Launch Pad Team: The Sardines!

Love is in the air for Valentine’s Day, and what better way to celebrate then to fall in love with PHIT’s February Launch Pad team… The Sardines! This team will go where other team don’t even dare: exploring topics from pre-revolutionary Russian literature to the whimsical happenings on the internet. All the while they will develop engaging, physical, and emotional scene work. By the end of their onslaught they will leave you tickled to the point of exhaustion. Watch out, because it’s gonna get historic!

The theater has chosen PHIT company member Kevin Pettit (PHIT House Team Goat Rodeo) as their Launch Pad coach to help them achieve their goals. You can connect with Launch Pad and The Sardines on Facebook!

Look for the team to have their run of shows Wednesdays in February!

Wednesday, February 04 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, February 11 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, February 18 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, February 25 – 7:30PM

Learn more about our Launch Pad program and apply by clicking here!

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Intro classes $100 off now through 2/2/2015!

Strike up the music, the sale has begun! The Pennysylvania Polka! You may recognize those altered lyrics from the great Frank Yankovic song, “The Pennsylvania Polka” featured heavily in the Bill Murray hit “Groundhog Day”. Why am I telling you this? Because We are having a Groundhog Day intro  class Sale! Starting Monday, January 26th, 2015 and running through Monday, February, 2nd, 2015 (Groundhog Day) all Sketch 101, Improv 101, and Stand-up 101 classes will be just $199! That’s $100 off the full enrollment cost and you still get all the same perks including:

  • A Student Pass that gets you into all shows at PHIT for FREE!
  • Access to improv practice groups that double your training time for FREE!
  • A graduation show you can invite friends, family and even strangers to see!
  • Opportunities to perform as soon as your first week in class!
  • Access to exclusive PHIT workshops and electives.
  • Lots and lots of new friends! (Individual results may vary).

Want to try out a class before you sign up? Take one of our FREE workshops. There’s one coming up on Sunday, February 1st at noon. If you like the class you’ll still have time to save! Click here to register now.

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Congrats to the 2015 Philadelphia Comedy Awards Winners!

The 2015 Philadelphia Comedy Awards took place Sunday, January 25th at World Cafe Live, and we wanted to take a moment to congratulate all the night’s winners as well as everyone who was nominated. There are so many wonderful things happening in Philly comedy, and PHIT is proud to be a part of the scene. We’re looking forward to more amazing work from everyone in the coming year. And a special shout out to the evening’s hosts Kate Banford and Aaron Nevins for making the night such a blast!

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A Fond Farewell to Dr. Sleepover

DrSleepover_Promotional_PhotoAs our theater changes and grows, our House Teams change and grow along with us. It’s always a fascinating experience to see a team through its entire lifespan: from the excitement of the audition and casting process, to the team debut, through amazing shows on our stage as well as stages across the country. These teams aren’t just teams. They are ensembles that become families.

But in every House Team’s lifespan, there also comes the time when a team is ready to be retired. And this month, the time has come to say goodbye to a spectacular team – Dr. Sleepover. Ever since they formed, this ensemble has shown a level of energy and drive that has garnered them a huge fan base and made their shows a must-see experience.

As we reach their final performance, we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about this great team.

I will always consider Dr. Sleepover to be that first opportunity to seriously pursue my 8721899330_db32fe7a41_zpassion of performing.  From our sexy Tuesdays at the Shubin Theater and the hours spent rehearsing in that sweltering hot church on South 8th St, we are lucky to have witnessed firsthand the growth of PHIT and this comedy scene here in Philadelphia.  I am forever grateful to everyone who came to our shows.  One thing is for certain; I can feel the love tonight.  Doctors out! – Bobby Lang

One of the things that will always stick with me about Dr. Sleepover is that we were always cranking on all cylinders even in practice. There were times when we would do a set in practice that was so good that I would get kind of mad that there was no audience. There are so many of those sets that I still think about to this day and that I wish we recorded.

I’m going to miss playing with everyone every week. I remember one of the most commonDrSleepover_Logo notes we would get is that too many of our two person scenes would turn into group games. We just always wanted to play with each other. If there was a fun scene happening, sooner or later we’d all just pile into it. And somehow it worked. We just had immediate chemistry.

I’ve been archiving all of Dr. Sleepover’s shows and the thing that struck me the most going back through them is that this chemistry is apparent even in our very first show. We just gelled so quickly. I give all the credit in the world to Rob. He is a genius. He had such a great vision for the team and everyone he cast was so perfect and added so much to the mix. The fact that I fit into that vision and that I could contribute to Dr. Sleepover is such an overwhelming feeling that it’s beyond description. I am incredibly proud and incredibly humbled.

I want to thank R.J., Tara, Katie, Dave, Bobby, Addie, and Josh for being the best team ever and thanks to Rob and Kristen for being amazing directors. Dr. Sleepover will always be one of the highest points of my life. – Ryan T. Barlow

Dave changed my whole perception on letting a crowd influence your set. Whether it’s 1 or1656175_278045985682505_2132705863_n 100 ppl, whether they are laughing at everything or nothing, Dave told me after a set with a light crowd one night he doesn’t care if there’s 1 person in the audience, he’s going to do everything he can to make that person laugh.

Bobby’s energy and positivity is contagious. You can literally not be in a bad mood around that guy. Also he picks up girls on trains which is pretty smooth.

Rob’s mind fascinates me. He is always seemingly inventing new ways to play, new games to try and new ways to look at things. Rob is the vision behind Dr. Sleepover.

Tara is a wildcard and I say that with the highest of praise and no negative connotation. She always surprises me with the choices she makes and playing with her is an absolute pleasure.

Katie is an improv sniper. She sits back, bides her time and when the moment is right, she strikes with lethal precision, ie a great improv move. Rob always told her to get in the set more, and she took that note to heart, but even in sets where she wasn’t featured a lot, she’d always make a couple of strong moves that really helped the set.

Addie! What can I say about this overachieving teen that hasn’t already been said? Straight A’s – check. Black belt in martial arts –  check. Imorov house team member before college admission – check. She is everything I hope my kids are at that age. Playing with her was always rewarding. She is very mature for her age but not yet jaded (ie officially an adult with adult responsibilities) which gives her this sense of freedom which makes her scenes innovative and fresh.

Josh is one of the best listeners I’ve ever worked with. He has this innate ability to not get dr photosconsumed with what his next move is, and truly listen to what’s going on in the scene. This allows his to respond honestly, truthfully and 100% in the moment, marking some of the purest improv I’ve ever witnessed.

Ryan “T-Bar” Barlow is such a quick and witty player. Sometimes I don’t even get his jokes or pulls until the audience erupts and I realize wow there was something there! Playing with Ryan makes you a batter improviser as his style forces you too look for the connections.. always.

And last but not least Kristen! Kristen is so amazing. She was my first improv director ever on Bed Savage and I was delighted to have her back on Dr. Sleepover. She has so much knowledge to impart it’s mind blowing (excuse the pun). She has very high standards for herself (I’ve seen her after numerous sets she was in that I thought were amazing, self -critiquing) which forces the team to step up their game. The stuff she worked on with us over the last few months made me not just a better improviser, but a better actor as well. First round draft pick on anything improv related, ever. – R.J. Payne

Two moments stand out for me when thinking about Dr. Sleepover. During one of our1899786_382762835210819_8177037093331098094_o practices while working on group games, someone entered the scene snapping and speaking in a sing-song voice about a restaurant. Everyone jumped in immediately with such amazing commitment — our group mind was really on point. My other stand-out moment was during a show where we had two scenes set in stadium-style observation rooms (one overlooking a surgery and the other at a sausage factory). We were able to get the entire audience to do the wave with us. It was a really great view from the stage and one of my favorite moments as an improviser. – Katie Skrzek

I have been incredibly privileged to work with this team and these talented improvisers and to see their shows over the years. They put other teams on notice with how good they are and their contribution to PHIT is legendary. Hall of Fame worthy. – Kristen Schier

I left Dr. Sleepover for 8-months to study in Italy and for every show I missed Dr.Sleepover filmed a pre-show warm-up that consisted of saying a phrase where each word began with the letters of my name (Ex. Tyrannosauruses Are Really Aggressive (Katie) or Torn Acls Really Ache (Ryan)). They did this for every show and posted the video to my Facebook wall. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me, when school was difficult or if I was feeling lonely, I’d watch these videos and laugh — thinking of my improv family back in Philly. – Tara Demmy


I’m not sure where to begin with Dr. Sleepover. I love everyone on the team so much and it255562_190570647763373_1177551899_n

is hard for me to pick one memory. I feel unbelievably lucky. I got to work with some of the most talented, dedicated, and high energy performers in Philadelphia. I could not ask for a better group of friends. – Rob Gentile


Dr. Sleepover has been so incredibly important in my life. The team was my introduction to the family at PHIT, and they made me feel so at home and welcome instead of an awkward 16 year old who didn’t belong. They came to my house and let my mom feed them. They hugged me and cheered me when I got into NYU. They helped me prompose and then came to pre prom for pictures. They always knew how to make me laugh or feel better when being a “teen” felt realll horrible. They are a family to me that will not go away once our stage time does. I want to thank each and every member of the team,Bobby Lang, Dave Piccinetti, Tara Demmy, Katie Skrzek, Ryan T. Barlow,R.J. Payne, Joshua James, new mom Kristen Schier, and of course, our most beloved Dad, Robert Walker. For loving to say “YEAH”, for always sticking together, for being the family I didn’t know I needed. Not a day goes by without me thinking of you all. I love you so much it makes me cry.

I will always have your back and touch your pants. – Addie Weyrich


Catch Dr. Sleepover’s final show this Saturday January 10th in our 9PM block. Tickets available here.

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Welcome Our January 2015 Launch Pad Team: Bishpelldah!

PHIT had an AMAZING 2014, and a big part of what made it so special was our LaunchBish 1 Pad program. The independent improv teams who have enrolled in Launch Pad have been killing it on our stage, and we can definitely see the trend continuing with January’s team – Bishpelldah! This team was formed in May of 2014, and has been lighting up stages across Philly ever since. The theater has chosen PHIT company member Joe Gates (PHIT House Team Sabotage) as their Launch Pad coach to help them achieve their goals. You can connect with Launch Pad and Bishpelldah on Facebook!

Look for the team to have their run of shows Wednesdays in January!

Wednesday, January 07 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, January 14 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, January 21 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, January 28 – 7:30PM

Learn more about our Launch Pad program and apply by clicking here!

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PHIT Giving Back This Holiday

During the past month PHIT’s Company Members have held a charity food and clothing drive in our green room. Company Members and any visiting performers were able to leave non-perishable food times, new or lightly used clothing items, or cash for the purchase of additional donations which went to three local charities: Philabundance, Broad Street Ministry, and Career Wardrobe. Today, all of our donations were delivered to these great organizations. Philly comedians collected 154 lbs. of food and six bags of clothing in one month. It’s nice to see that in addition to bring so much laughter to the city of Philadelphia our Company Members are guests can also make the holidays a little brighter for those in need in other ways as well.


PHIT would like to acknowledge Rachel Semigran, our Kids & Teens Coordinator, for her help setting this drive up and offer an extra special thank you to Company Members Adam Steiger and Tom Hannigan who went above and beyond to purchase goods with our collected money and help deliver everything.


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