Available Cupholders

Sarasota Improv Festival favorite, The Available Cupholders, return to Sarasota from Austin, Texas in January for a special series of performances and workshops. According to Austin Chronicle, "If you don't know the Available Cupholders, you don't know improv." 
See below for a list of performances and click the Workshop tab above to view available workshops.
Available Cupholders: Process
Friday, January 4 at 7:30PM

Picture this: Available Cupholders, assuming the roles of actors, directors, scenic designers, stage managers, tech crew, and even stage hands prepare for the debut of a play. We'll see them work together to keep the show afloat, from bombing and nailing their auditions to performing their parts on opening night. The catch? The dialogue, characters, setting, and action of the play is completely improvised in the moment, based off of your suggestions during the show.

Available Cupholders: Exploding/Imploding Universes
Saturday, January 5 at 7:30PM

E.I.U. explores the brain-melting phenomenon of time compression and time stretching. The Available Cupholders will start by performing a one-minute scene at lightning speed. Then, they'll do the same story in two minutes, then four, eight, etc. They'll explore the idea of time compression, by performing a completely new, improvised one-act play and then repeating it at double the speed, performing it in half the time, then half of that...embracing all of the beautiful mistakes and changes that emerge along the way. 


Based in Austin, Texas, the Available Cupholders have been performing improv together for over ten years. Their over the top energy, antics, and willingness to take risks have made them Sarasota Improv Festival favorites. Consisting of five of Austin’s top comedians and actors, the Cupholders are dedicated to producing improvisational comedy that pushes the boundaries, explores untouched territories, and create memorable theatrical experiences. The group believes that Improv is the theatre of everyday existence. “No one walks around with a script telling them how to feel and what to say all day,” explains Michael Joplin. “We are all improvising all the time. When we do it on a stage we are tapping into the truth and comedy of everyday life.”
KACI BEELER is a visual artist, improviser, playwright, and stage and film actor based out of Austin, TX. She has been performing improvisational theatre since 2003 and is a company member with the award-winning ensembles Parallelogramophonograph and Available Cupholders. Kaci has toured to over 45 cities and 8 countries including the UK, China, Korea, France, Spain, and Japan to perform and teach improv. She was named Best Actor/Actress in the Austin Chronicle “Best of Austin” Awards (2012 & 2016). On-screen credits include HBO’s The Leftovers and Rooster Teeth’s critically-acclaimed series Day 5 and Red vs. Blue.
MICHAEL JOPLIN has been performing both scripted and unscripted theater since 1997. He was named Best Actor in Austin 2014 in the Austin Chronicle. He has been teaching improvisation in Austin at Merlin Works for 9 years. He plays with The Knuckleball Now, Shell Company, and the Available Cupholders. He has recently relocated to Los Angeles. Visiting FST and the Sarasota Improv Festival is the highlight of his year!

ACE MANNING has been performing improv for over 20 years. He has studied the craft in Jeremy Sweetlamb’s living room, at iO, and at Annoyance in Chicago, and under many other fine teachers of improvisation and acting. After a stint in Amsterdam with the world-renowned Boom Chicago mainstage cast, he currently lives in Austin, Texas, and regularly performs with The Knuckleball Now in addition to his work with the Available Cupholders.

BILL STERN started doing improv in the streets and theaters of Austin, Texas in the year 2000. He then traveled the country with the touring improv company Available Cupholders. For the last ten-ish years he has performed and taught improv at Chicago comedy institutions such as iO, Annoyance, and The Second City. Despite recently earning the good fortune to perform for The Second City on a Norwegian cruise ship, Bill is happiest (in life) when sharing a stage (or a van, or a restaurant booth, or a glance) with the cast of the Available Cupholders.

JEREMY SWEETLAMB has been directing, producing, performing, teaching, innovating, thinking on, oversharing about, quitting, re-upping, using, strategizing, eating, sleeping, and drinking improv for just over 20 years. His current day job is teaching middle school theatre, and in the evening he tries to figure out how to raise 2 tiny kids with his partner, Caitlin, in Austin, TX.
Available Cupholders: Diagramming The Scene

Thursday, January 3 at 7-9PM
Instructor: Available Cupholders Cast

Great improvised scene work is not a mystery. It can be unlocked with the help of several visual aides and acronyms that make wowing your audience with grounded, connected, and relaxed scenes a breeze. You'll come away with a more complete toolbelt that will make building a scene or indeed a longer narrative so much easier. We'll use vocab terms like platform/tilt, 3-Act Structure, Hero's Journey, exposition, call to action, etc., etc.!


Available Cupholders: What The #*$% Do You Want

Saturday, January 5 at 11AM-1PM
Instructor : Available Cupholders Cast

It's not just what you say on the phone to telemarketers; it's also a great way to remember that you are the maker of your own characters! This workshop is about giving yourself permission to pay attention to what you're already doing and yesanding it all the way to a fully formed 3-dimensional character with the help of your fellow players. 


Available Cupholders: Anatomy of Story

Saturday, January 5 at 3-5PM
Instructor : Available Cupholders Cast

Over your years of being alive, you have taken in thousands of stories. It is in our biology and our culture to consume, create, and learn from our narratives. This workshop is about unlocking latent story muscles in your improv brain that you don't even know you have. We'll run through some games and structures designed to tease that out and get to the heart of your stories.