2017 Improv Festival

 

 

Slather on the sunscreen, because the 2017 Sarasota Improv Festival is going to be HOT!

The 9th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival will take place on July 13, 14, 15 - that's THREE days of non-stop comedy coming your way. Troupes are coming from all over the country - and this year there will also be international groups, all ready to pack some punch into their improv comedy. Featuring groups such as BLANK! The Musical, Grupo Complot/Escena, Available Cupholders, Dad's Garage, ImprovBoston, SAK Comedy Lab, and more - click here to read more about the groups. Passes and workshops are all available for purchase by clicking the hyperlinks or by calling the box office at (941) 366-9000.


MAKE IT A STAYCATION!

For those of you coming to join us from out of town, click here to see the hotel discounts around Sarasota for the festival.


Pricing

Three Day Pass - Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday - $75 - sold out
Two Day Pass - Friday AND Saturday - $65
Single Day Pass - Saturday - $49
Single Day Pass - Friday - $49
Thursday Night Pass - $20 - sold out
Single tickets - $10
Single tickets for Headliner - $25
Single tickets for Just For Laughs - $6
Workshops - $35 each


Thursday, July 13

7:00pm – FST Improv, Dear Aunt Gertrude, Just The Funny
8:30pm – When X Meets Y, Sick Puppies Comedy, The Third Thought, Square One Improv
10:00pm – FAST Florida All Star King of the Hill Competition


Friday, July 14

6:00pm – FST Improv
7:00pm – Brouhaha
7:00pm – ImprovBoston
7:00pm – Villain Theater
8:00pm – Dad’s Garage
8:00pm – Available Cupholders
8:00pm – BLANK! The Musical**
8:00pm – Grupo Complot/Escena (Spanish Show)*
9:00pm – STACKED
9:00pm – Joe Bill & Friends
9:00pm – Parallelogramophonograph
10:00pm – North Coast Improv


Saturday, July 15

11:00am - Just For Laughs
5:00pm – Complot/Escena
5:00pm – Hawk and Wayne
6:00pm – Available Cupholders
6:00pm – Big Bang Improv
6:00pm – STACKED
7:00pm – North Coast Improv: ANYBODY
7:00pm – Parallelogramophonograph
7:00pm – Joe Bill & Friends
8:00pm – ImprovBoston
8:00pm – Dad’s Garage
8:00pm – SAK Comedy Lab
9:00pm – BLANK! The Musical**
10:30pm – All Play

** - Headliner
* - Spanish Show


WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
FRIDAY

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Emotional Listening

SATURDAY

9:00- 11:00am

Fresh Squeezed-Characters Not From Concentrate.
Stories that matter!
Improvised Stand Comedy or The Comedic timing in Improvised Monologues
Red Light District
Lucid narrative: Conscience of all the basic elements of improvised stage writing
Playing with Emotion

11:30 – 1:30pm

Intro to Musical Improv
Power Improv Toolkit
Intro to Hip Hop Improv
Everything is Relevant. Nothing Matters.
Villainy: Being Bad Onstage
Seamless Specifics

2:00 – 4:00pm

Reinventing ShortForm
The First 30 Seconds
Advanced Hip Hop Improv
The Devil is in the Details


Do you need a ride to the theatre? Click here to find out more about our partnership with iTN Suncoast.

Also available is the free trolley service in downtown Sarasota. The rides are FREE, but please tip your driver. For your ride call (941) 364-7530

9th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival sponsors:

 

 

Pricing

Three Day Pass - Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday - $75 - sold out
Two Day Pass - Friday AND Saturday - $65
Single Day Pass - Saturday - $49
Single Day Pass - Friday - $49
Thursday Night Pass - $20
Single tickets - $10
Single tickets for Headliner - $25
Single tickets for Just For Laughs - $6
Workshops - $35 each


Thursday, July 13

7:00pm – FST Improv, Dear Aunt Gertrude, Just The Funny
8:30pm – When X Meets Y, Sick Puppies Comedy, The Third Thought, Square One Improv
10:00pm – FAST Florida All Star King of the Hill Competition

Friday, July 14

6:00pm – FST Improv
7:00pm – Brouhaha
7:00pm – ImprovBoston
7:00pm – Villain Theater
8:00pm – Dad’s Garage
8:00pm – Available Cupholders
8:00pm – BLANK! The Musical**
8:00pm – Complot Escena (Spanish Show)*
9:00pm – STACKED
9:00pm – Joe Bill & Friends
9:00pm – Parallelogramophonograph
10:00pm – North Coast Improv

Saturday, July 15

11:00am - Just For Laughs
5:00pm – Complot Escena
5:00pm – Hawk and Wayne
6:00pm – Available Cupholders
6:00pm – Big Bang Improv
6:00pm – STACKED
7:00pm – North Coast Improv: ANYBODY
7:00pm – Parallelogramophonograph
7:00pm – Joe Bill & Friends
8:00pm – ImprovBoston
8:00pm – Dad’s Garage
8:00pm – SAK Comedy Lab
9:00pm – BLANK! The Musical**
10:30pm – All Play

** - Headliner
* - Spanish Show


WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
FRIDAY

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Emotional Listening

SATURDAY

9:00- 11:00am

Fresh Squeezed-Characters Not From Concentrate.
Stories that matter!
Improvised Stand Comedy or The Comedic timing in Improvised Monologues
Red Light District
The Scene-Style Cheat Sheet
Lucid narrative: Conscience of all the basic elements of improvised stage writing
Playing with Emotion

11:30 – 1:30pm

Intro to Musical Improv
Power Improv Toolkit
Intro to Hip Hop Improv
Everything is Relevant. Nothing Matters.
Villainy: Being Bad Onstage
Committing To The First Moment Or Real Life

2:00 – 4:00pm

Reinventing ShortForm
The First 30 Seconds
Advanced Hip Hop Improv
The Devil is in the Details


 

 

Workshop Schedule

Workshops - $35 each


FRIDAY
3:00pm - 5:00pm

Emotional Listening
Instructor: Joe Bill
Most people will agree that one of the most important (if not THE most important) elements of Improvisation is Listening. In this workshop I will show you how to go deeper with Listening so that it’s not just on a strategic, opportunistic level where you are tracking in the moment the linear give and take of what is being said in your game or scene in order to give a response that builds on your scene partner’s ideas. I will show you how to listen and be responsive on an emotional level so that you can collaborate together in the realm of the UNSPOKEN meaning of the scene.
Click here to purchase.


SATURDAY
9:00am – 11:00am

Fresh Squeezed-Characters Not From Concentrate.
Instructors: Darryl Knapp & Crystal Haralambou from Dear Aunt Gertrude
Create authentic characters without overthinking it. In Fresh Squeezed, improvisers will articulate believable, dynamic characters in the moment. Players experience how one physical, emotional, or vocal choice can be a catalyst for an instant character.
Click here to purchase.

Stories that matter!
Instructor: Shaun Johnson from Square One Improv
Too often, as improvisers, we find ourselves in scenes that aren't going anywhere and, quite frankly, don't matter. How do we make our stories matter? How do we fix a story when we realize it doesn't matter? This workshop focuses on these questions, and will teach you how to make the right choices for the good of your story.
Click here to purchase.

Improvised Stand Comedy or The Comedic timing in Improvised Monologues
Instructor: Casey Casperson from Sick Puppies Comedy
Improvisers tend to shy away from the individual aspect of improv and that isn't right. The skill of improv is used in scenic work, but it's also invaluable to monologues. We heavily underuse monologuing in improv shows and when we do, it's as if we hate them. We don't take our time and we don't even try to entertain our audience as we tell our stories. In taking this class, you'll have the tools to improvise a stand up set, write a one man show or simply be a little more entertaining the next time you perform an opening for a Harold or the Armando. Giving yourself the confidence go it along on stage is probably the most powerful gift you can have. Taught from an improviser that was a stand up comedian well before becoming an improviser.
Click here to purchase.

Red Light District
Instructor: David Christopher from Just the Funny
Come take a walk on the dark side of town and explore a side of your improv game that you didn't know that you had in you, dramatic improvisation! This workshop will push you to the edge in committing to your choices and connecting with your scene partners, verbally, physically and emotionally. Deep, intense and not for the faint of heart, go all in and take a trip to the Red Light District!
Click here to purchase.

Lucid narrative: Conscience of all the basic elements of improvised stage writing
Instructors: José Luis Saldaña, Angélica Rogel and Daniel García from Grupo Complot/Escena
The workshop helps improvisers develop the necessary tools to help generate improvised stage writing of greater risk.
Click here to purchase.

Playing with Emotion
Instructor: Patrick McInnis from The Third Thought
Playing with an emotional point of view can ground your scenework and give you something to explore and return to within a scene. This workshop offers exercises to expand your reading & portrayal of emotional choices available in a scene.
Click here to purchase.


11:30 – 1:30pm

Intro to Musical Improv
Instructors: STACKED cast members
Love music? Love improv? Combine the two! Come join us for our Intro to Musical Improv Workshop! Taught by the ladies of Stacked:All-Female Musical Improv, the workshop will focus on basic song structure, chorus building, rhyming, harmonizing, theatricality and creating that perfect show stopping solo, duet or group number!
Click here to purchase.

Power Improv Toolkit
Instructor: Joe Bill from Joe Bill and Friends
The focus of this workshop will be providing students powerful, specific tools to help you connect and respond to your scene partners while improvising. I’ll show you how to play with:
- Emotional depth to transcend banal circumstances
- Emotional listening to discover more possibilities in the moment
- A strategic point of view to sharpen your Characters and Scenes
- A vital presence to serve yourself and your scene partners, your scenes and shows

We’ll work with understanding the differences & similarities in playing Short Form, Narrative & Long Form Characters. I’ll include personal feedback with tools you can use going forward. This workshop is perfect for all improvisers, regardless of skill level, and will provide you LOTS of reps in the improv gym to practice using the tools that I share with you.
Click here to purchase.

Intro to Hip Hop Improv
Instructors: North Coast Improv cast members
New York City’s premier hip hop improv comedy team, North Coast, is a unique collaboration of improvisational comedy, hip hop, beatboxing, and music. This musical improv workshop will get even the most beginner performers comfortable and confident with freestyle rapping and will teach you how to really drill into the deal of your scene and its’ characters. Learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and weave your rapped verses in and out of your improv scene-work.
Click here to purchase.

Everything is Relevant. Nothing Matters.
Instructors: Available Cupholders cast members
There aren't such things as "correct moves" to make in improv. There is only cause and effect. Available Cupholders will help you explore the effects of your actions. Kaci Beeler, Michael Joplin, and Bill Stern will present a less rules-based approach to performing, one which focuses more on general awareness and being in the moment. This workshop will have you feeling the scene rather than trying to understand it.
Click here to purchase.

Villainy: Being Bad Onstage
Instructors: Parallelogramophonograph cast members
Learn how fun it is to be bad. In this workshop, PGraph will teach you how to play downright evil characters on stage that the audience will love to hate. It's easy enough to play a 2-dimensional bad guy, but for true evil to shine in all its dark glory, your characters must be rooted in truth, and be unique individuals.Learn to:
- create a fully fleshed out origin for your villain
- react properly to evil actions done on stage
- make your monsters more human
- treat dark moments with the respect and patience they deserve
Click here to purchase.

Seamless Specifics
Instructor: Peter Mir from Villain Theater
Silky smooth scene work - that is the goal of every improviser. Having scenes begin "organically" is a buzz word in improv but it will never feel natural with clunky scene initiations. By examining how we learn about our characters in scenes, we can keep our audience right where we want them, hanging on every word.
Click here to purchase.


2:00 – 4:00pm

Reinventing ShortForm
Instructor: Deana Criess from ImprovBoston
Every decent improviser knows shortform, right? Not so fast. If you think shortform is easy, hack, or gimmicky, you're not doing it right. Discover the art of shortform with Mike Descoteaux, the Artistic Director of ImprovBoston--New England’s biggest comedy theater now in its 35th year. Learn how to connect with an audience, attack the stage, and find the game within the game. Geek out on structures, comedic angles and ever-elusive hosting techniques. Gain valuable scenic, collaborative, character, audience interaction and fast-play skills that you can apply to most any other style of improv. One thing's for sure: after this workshop, you will never look at shortform the same way.
Click here to purchase.

The First 30 Seconds
Instructor: Joe Bill from Joe Bill and Friends
I’ll show you how to attack the first 15-30 seconds (The Golden Time) of a scene. This includes the mindset of readiness, playful energy variety for initiations, strategic & emotional listening, being mindful of interpersonal vs. circumstantial dialogue and tracking the context through patterns that you establish right from the start. In Improvisation so often the ending is in the beginning, let me help you get out of the gates strong and in service to yourself, your scene partners and the show you’re doing. Everyone will walk out of this workshop with at least a couple of new tools that they can begin to employ immediately.
Click here to purchase.

Advanced Hip Hop Improv
Instructors: North Coast Improv cast members
Take your hip-hop improv skills to the next level using polysyllabic rhymes, second beats, and dynamic scene structures. Trust your instincts and make bold choices that pay off through support work. Students will be expected to make choices with form, flow, and expand their repertoire of characters. Good scene work is imperative to good musical improv; let’s drill into the deal of your scene and its’ characters so you can learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and rap from a place that matters.
Click here to purchase.

The Devil is in the Details
Instructors: Parallelogramophonograph cast members
Gain those finishing touches to bring your work to a perfect polish. By playing with status, specificity, and spacework/mimework you can not only tell the audience what you’re creating but really show them. This kind of focus will make your work onstage more rich, delightful, and surprisingly effortless.
Click here to purchase.


 

 

THE AVAILABLE CUPHOLDERS theatre ensemble is dedicated to producing experimental, enriching and entertaining improvisational comedy. The Cupholders aspire to explore and expose an art form cloaked in natural communication, believing Improv to be the theatre of everyday existence. Unlocking the power of this art form through live performance and various performative media, they strive to be on the cusp of a daring theatrical experience that takes place anytime, anywhere. Their goal is to elevate the form and playing field, shedding light on the ever-changing zeitgeist in which we live, with belly laughs along the way. "If you don't know Available Cupholders, you don't know improv." - Austin Chronicle

BIG BANG IMPROV Boston style free-form that has been wowing New England audiences and at festivals around the world for years. The entire set moves seamlessly from one scene to the next at the rate of over a scene a minute all following the group play philosophy of "follow the funny". The show builds rapidly and culminates in a series of surprising and organic callbacks done through the unique editing styling and story telling of this Boston super-team. This is a high-energy improv experience that redefines itself with every performance.

BLANK! THE MUSICAL made waves as the first improvised musical to run Off-Broadway at the internationally renowned New World Stages, receiving rave reviews from the notoriously discerning New York critics (including the New York Times). The creative team behind BLANK! The Musical represents some of the best and most experienced comedy minds in the country. Mike, Mike and T.J. have produced, directed, performed, written for and taught at The Second City, ImprovBoston, iO, Upright Citizen's Brigade, Comedy Sportz, The Magnet Theater, Norwegian Cruise Lines and more. Including the original Off-Broadway producing team, BLANK's collective resume includes work with Tony award winning composers designers, Broadway musicals, and some of musical theater's biggest names.

BROUHAHA Katie Dufresne and Stacey Smith create an entire improvised musical on the spot with the help of some fuzzy friends. With Jim Prosser (FST Improv) on keys, the three get a title of a musical that doesn’t exist and proceed to show the opening and (sadly) closing night of that musical.


 

DAD'S GARAGE From Dad's Garage Theatre in Atlanta, GA, comes Improvised Vacation! Using your helpful suggestions, our family of three embarks on the most epic family trip of all time. Lifelong dreams will be realized, taboos will be shattered, ancillary characters created & murdered and someone might lose their virginity, just in time to head back home. Exactly like the family vacations from your youth!

DEAR AUNT GERTRUDE Since 2009, Dear Aunt Gertrude has kept audiences laughing throughout Tampa Bay. This team loves improv and are continually using their witty invention to create fresh artistic concepts for their home stage at The Box Theater.  In the past they have had the privilege of opening up for The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Touring Company at the Palladium and have been a featured team with The American Stage Late Night Series. They were delighted to perform among other improv fanatics at The Orlando Improv Festival, The Gainesville Improv Festival, and The Tampa Improv Festival.  They couldn’t be more thrilled to return to The Sarasota Improv Festival this year for their 5th year. boximprov.com

FST IMPROV Sarasota's Original Anti-depressant. FST Improv is the place to go when you're looking for some fun, need reminding that everyone is nuts, or if you have nowhere else to go. Taking what is right in front of them, in the form of audience suggestions, FST Improv creates characters and sketches on the spot. No one – not even the performers themselves – knows what is going to happen next. It is this element of the unknown that makes every Improv show unique –and what makes for some exciting moments onstage.

GRUPO COMPLOT/ESCENA The Complot / Escena Group is a multidisciplinary and independent theater company, which joins a group of artists graduated mostly from the School of Dramatic Literature and Theatre at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico).Since its foundation in the year 2000, the group has developed its professional work in two main fields: the theater of author and the investigation within the technique of improvisational theatre: Improv.Complot / Escena has a wide national and international experience in the field of Sports Theater and Improv Technique since the group has been dedicated to the specialization and investigation of the technique for more than a decade. The company has been invited to showcase its work in several countries including: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and United States.The artistic results of the company have echoed in other latitudes, which has resulted in the invitation to several important national and international festivals; The most important nationally, until now, the XXVIII and XXXI National Theater Festival, in 2007 and 2010; And at an international level, The Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá, Colombia, in 2010 and 2012.Thanks to his research and work in the Improv technique, Complot / Escena is, today, the undisputed referent of improvisational theatre in Mexico (www.complotescena.com).

HAWK AND WAYNE Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne have performed longform improvisation together in residence at American Stage in St. Petersburg as the duo Hawk and Wayne for the past nine years, each year changing their show’s format. Their new show, Anywhere, USA, is presented in the Susan R. Hough Lobby every first Sunday of the month at 7:00PM. They have also co-created a successful longform improvisation training program at American Stage, which has produced two new house teams that now are also in residence at American Stage on every third Sunday of the month. For more information on shows and the American Stage Improv Training Program, please visit americanstage.org/improv/, and please like Hawk and Wayne on Facebook at facebook.com/hawkandwayne/.

IMPROVBOSTON For 35 years, ImprovBoston has been New England's leading theater and school dedicated to the art of comedy in all its forms. Voted "Best of Boston" by The Phoenix, The Improper Bostonian, and The Weekly Dig, ImprovBoston performers, teachers and students have included film stars, Emmy Award-winning comedians, and acclaimed producers, directors, musicians and writers. ImprovBoston alumni are featured on The Daily Show, America's Got Talent, Funniest Wins, Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Comic Standing, and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight, to name a few. In 2014, the Independent Reviewers of New England honored ImprovBoston with an award recognizing its longstanding contributions to the Boston theater community. As a nonprofit arts organization, ImprovBoston serves the community through laughter with youth outreach programs, workshops for businesses, scholarships, a national touring company and, of course, performances at its theater complex in Central Square, Cambridge.

JOE BILL AND FRIENDS Want to see an Improv Super team? Joe Bill and Friends features legendary improv instructor, Joe Bill, alongside handpicked all-stars of the 2017 Sarasota Improv Festival. Each show will be comprised of a unique collection of actors from around the country performing together for the first time in what is bound to be a uniquely hilarious evening of comedic improvisation.

 

JUST THE FUNNY  - Miami's Home for Improv and Sketch Comedy since 1999 is going to bring the heat with their award-winning "Miami-style" brand of longform improv comedy based on YOUR suggestions. Big energy, big fun and not for the faint of heart, Just The Funny is going to leave you begging for more!

 

NORTH COAST IMPROV North Coast is New York City’s premier hip hop improv comedy team. With a cast of improv comedy veterans in New York City, North Coast’s explosive performances have been packing comedy venues, universities, and festivals nationwide since 2009. Built around a single suggestion from an audience member, the show’s improvised scenes escalate into full-blown hip-hop songs, facilitated by resident beatboxer, Ethan “Exacto” Scott.

 

PARALLELOGRAMOPHONOGRAPH Since their premiere in 2005, Parallelogramophonograph has been more than just an improv troupe. Fiercely dedicated to the craft and art of improvised theatre, PGraph has performed a weekly show non-stop for over 11 years. Early on in their time together Kaci, Kareem, Roy, and Valerie knew they wanted to do something different onstage. Intrigued by the challenge of crafting fully-improvised stories together as an ensemble, PGraph spent years developing original formats and studying the arts of theatre, improv, and storytelling. They've toured the world performing and teaching their unique brand of improv with ensemble appearances in over 50 cities in the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, and the UK. The members of PGraph regularly teach, direct, and perform in shows at The Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas. Find out more about them and their work, and their new book on narrative improv, Do It Now, at PGraph.com. 

SAK COMEDY LAB Nowhere else in Florida will you find a place like SAK Comedy Lab. Since 1991, our professional ensemble of improv actors has entertained audiences with our unique brand of live improvised comedy. We take your suggestions and make up characters, scenes and songs on the spot. Our comedy is fun and edgy for adults, but also widely enjoyed by our younger fans. SAK was a starting place for the careers of Wayne Brady as well as writers, actors and producers for Mad TV, Saturday Night Live, and sitcoms such as Scrubs, The Office, and 30 Rock.

SICK PUPPIES COMEDY has quickly become one of the premier improv companies in the state of Florida.  With over 20 cast members, 6 shows a month and multiple classes, Sick Puppies has a fun and caring community of improvisers that enjoy collaborating and performing together.

 

 


SQUARE ONE IMPROV puts you in the driver's seat for a hilarious, completely improvised performance! Every aspect of the show is based on your suggestions, including songs and musicals created on the fly! With years of experience performing and competing nationally, Square One delivers a gut-busting, one-of-a-kind show every time!

 

STACKED takes a suggestion of one word and delivers musical hilarity in four part harmony. With high energy, big characters, catchy songs and no apologies, Stacked is sure to take you on a wild ride.

 

THE THIRD THOUGHT is the longest running ensemble long form improv troupe in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Third Thought has performed in several festivals (Del Close Marathon, Gainesville, Miami, Tampa Bay) and is grateful to be returning to the Sarasota Improv Festival. The Third Thought performs narrative story telling.

 

VILLAIN THEATER is a improv, sketch, stand up, and devised theater company based out of Miami, FL.  The company is dedicated to cabaret style theater for everyone.  At Villain the work is completely uncensored so you never know what you are walking into but you can bet it will make you react and think! 


WHEN X MEETS Y Inspired by a location and three random notes on the keyboard, the cast of FST Improv's When X Meets Y, weaves a story of when two strangers meet, fall in love, fall out of love and then work for the future of their relationship. When X meets Y has been performing to sold out audiences in Sarasota, FL for the last year.

 


 

 

Click here to read all about the Sarasota Improv Festival in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Announcement Story.

"48 Hours of non-stop lunacy" - The Daily City

"High Energy" - Sarasota Magazine

"Designed for impromptu laughs" - Sarasota Herald-Tribune