HammersmithHandSignRoundel Lance C. Fuller Photography
Friday night of the Fest comes to a close with the biggest musical improv set in festival history. Improv styles collide as performers from four different troupes collaborate to bring you a never-before-seen musical mashup performance. Featuring North Coast (NYC, NY), HERE: The (Improvised) Musical (Columbus, OH), Treble in Paradise (Sarasota, FL) and special performances by Festival headliner MC Hammersmith (United Kingdom).
Festival Headliner MC Hammersmith
MC HAMMERSMITH is a multi-award-winning freestyle rap comedian. He is the world’s leading gangsta rapper to ever emerge from the ghetto of middle class west London. He presents his sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show, 1 Man 8 Mile – completely improvised comedy raps based entirely on your suggestions.
North Coast Cast
Michael Crisol AKA “Dr. Brick”
MICHAEL CRISOL (AKA DOCTOR BRICK) is a beatboxer, born and raised in the Bronx. As of 2022, Doctor Brick is ranked as the 16th best beatboxer in the US. He has been competitively beatboxing since 2016 in cities all over North America, including Boston, Atlanta, New York, and Toronto. Some of these battles include the American Beatbox Championships, East Coast Beatbox Battle, and the Great North Beatbox Battle. In a number of these competitions, he tackles the tag team division with his partner, Alex P, as the duo known as Snakes and Ladders. Outside of the competitive scene, Brick performs with New York's premiere hip hop improv group, North Coast, blending hip hop with improv comedy as their resident beatboxer.
RALF JEAN-PIERRE (AKA PRECIOUS GORGEOUS) is a first generation Haitian-American rapper-songwriter, actor, and comedian from Brooklyn, NY. He earned a BFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has studied improv comedy at the People’s Improv Theater, and has studied clown with Christopher Bayes, Virginia Scott, and Eric Davis. In 2012, Ralf and his collaborator, Jolie Tong, developed a one-man musical chronicling the true account of how Ralf spent all of 2012 riding his bicycle across the United States, performing a one-man Shakespeare on the streets called WHAT SHOULD BE THE FEAR, which debuted at Gamba Forest in 2017. Precious Gorgeous released the self-produced record Tryna Get My Live Together, the mixtapes TRIP and Brooklyn Petting Zoo, and Everyone Dies From a Bullet vol 1, a covers record. Ralf currently hosts the weekly improv comedy podcast No Suggestion, where he chats and does improv with the funniest comedians in NYC, and he is currently teaching as an adjunct professor for the Brooklyn College BFA, NYU Tisch BFA, and Columbia University MFA Acting programs.
STEPHANIE RAE is a full-time applied improv practitioner who has been studying the form for twelve years. She’s directed a Boyz II Men-themed show for UCB's Del Close Marathon, guest played with everyone from ComedySportz to The Groundlings, and taught classes and workshops for improvisers from Louisiana to Liverpool. As founder and president of the Black Improv Alliance, she’s created scholarships and free programming for hundreds of improvisers of color, and as a facilitator for FLS+, she’s taught the science of play alongside members of Broadway’s Freestyle Love Supreme. Stephanie is passionate about amplifying diverse voices and seeing more melanin onstage. She also has a law degree from Georgetown - but mostly uses it to win arguments online.
DOUGLAS WIDICK is a founding member of Hip-Hop Improv group, North Coast, which was named one of Timeout NY’s Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2014 and tours internationally. He just wrapped a tour of Sonja In Your City and a year-long run of Toxic Masculinity: The Musical at UCB Theatre. Follow his new Comedy Group, Cum Laude, on Instagram @cumlaudecomedy. Douglaswidick.com
HERE: The (Improvised) Musical Cast
TARA DEFRANCISCO is a veteran performer of 6000+ shows on multiple world-renowned stages, including The Second City (TourCo, Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, Mainstage/etc), ComedySportz (Chicago + CBus ensembles and AD), and iO Chicago (Chaos Theory, The DelTones, defrancisCo, Armando, & HERE). HERE: The (Improvised) Musical has been called “Nothing Short of Genius” from NPR and rated 4 stars by The Chicago Tribune, and has been brought to 24 countries and 80+ cities worldwide to headline. Additionally, she is the Co-Founder, Artistic Director, instructor, and mainstage performer for beloved The Nest Theatre (Columbus, OH), a leading performance & educational community in Ohio, producing 35+ original mainstage shows and teams year-round, a space with active COE & "no-paperwork" scholarships for those under-amplified in the arts (LGBTQIA, BIPOC, persons with disabilities, vets, and those over 65). As an artist, you may also hear her in voiceovers (Sirius, Rocky Rococo, Crocs, 7 Little Johnstons), in commercials or industrials (Sheetz, Dish TV, Vegas.com, US Cellular, Sears, SunTrust), in movies (The Life and Death of An Unhappily Married Man), on Internet Game Shows (One Hot Dollar), and here and there in television (ABC Family, LOGO TV).
RANCE RIZZUTTO has been professionally improvising since 1999 on stages all around the world. Starting in Portland, OR, with ComedySportz, Rance soon found his calling as a mainstage performer after a big move to Chicago to work professionally in improvisation. He has performed in multiple tours with Second City Theatricals aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, heading to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and multiple countries throughout Europe. In Chicago, he most connected with iO Theatre, where he became an adored mainstage performer and host featured on such beloved teams as Chaos Theory, The Deltones, Armando – and later, the lauded two-person touring duo, HERE: The (Improvised) Musical. He is the Co-Founder, Training Center Director, instructor & mainstage performer at revered The Nest Theatre in Columbus, OH. He is a mainstay at The Improv Retreat, a summit running for hundreds each year to invite adults to reinvigorate their joy for the arts. In addition to his hosting hundreds of live industrials, you can catch him on an internet game show (One Hot Dollar), and you may have seen Rance in television commercials for Hewlitt Packard or Sears, or heard his voice in animated commercials for Sears as well (as a bear, in case you’re wondering).
From FST Improv's Treble in Paradise Cast
KEVIN ALLEN is a writer, videographer, content creator and actor. He moved to Sarasota from Chicago, where he studied and performed improvisation at iO and The Second City. He earned theatre and English degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he was a member of the legendary Comedy Wars ensemble. Kevin is also a writer and performer in the FST sketch group and was a contributing writer for the 2022 FST cabaret production, “Laughing Matters.”
SARAH DURHAM is a comedian and writer from Campbellsville, Kentucky, raised on Mel Brooks and Billy Graham. She is the Head Writer for FST Sketch and is the Improv Associate for FST Improv. At FST, Sarah is the Executive and Artistic Assistant to the Managing Director and is a writer for the Cabaret Stage and Children’s Theatre. Some of her recent credits include Cinderella, Laughing Matters, and Deck the Halls. She hopes to continue to write joy into people’s lives.
From the Improv U Cast
ANTHONY FRANCIS is the founder and artistic director of Improv U. He has been improvising since 2012. He performs in "The Unwritten Sketch Show," "The Comedy Game Show," and "ANT FARM." Anthony enjoys long-form, short-form, musical, and solo improv.
More Festival Performances
Dive into your own spontaneity with Sarasota Improv Festival Workshops! Our offerings allow you to learn from the experts with intimate trainings led by Festival artists from across the country and around the world. Featuring workshops in a wide range of improvisational styles and techniques, there is something for improvisers of all experience levels at the 2023 Sarasota Improv Fest. All workshops take place Saturday, July 22.