North Coast Improv
Sarasota Improv Festival favorite North Coast is staying in Sarasota for one week longer to perform shows and offer workshops. Named one of the “Top Ten Best Comedy Shows” by Time Out New York, North Coast is a favorite among festivalgoers. The group is a New York Times Critics Pick and this year marks North Coast’s fifth year at the Sarasota Improv Festival. The troupe’s members are known for their ability to smoothly blend freestyle rap with long-form improv. The group blurs the lines of comedy show and concert, attracting fans of comedy, hip-hop, and theatre fans alike. Inspired by a single audience suggestion, North Coast crafts one-of-a-kind shows on the spot, featuring full-blown hip-hop songs with backup performed by one of the group’s impressive and internationally-ranked beat boxers. Kaila Mullady, one of North Coast’s beatboxers, is the 2015 World Beatbox Champion, American Vice Beatbox Champion, and the three-time, reigning Beatrhyme Champion.
Encore performances of Anybody and North Coast’s classic show will take place on July 20 and July 21 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab at 7:30pm. In Anybody, their acclaimed improvised hip-hopera, the group takes a historical figure—like Nikola Tesla, Ida B. Wells, or Louisa May Alcott—who is suggested by the audience and performs a full, historically accurate improv set about the suggested person. Mike Pesca from NPR’s The Slate, said, “North Coast’s new musical show [Anybody] simultaneously makes you marvel at the genius of North Coast, and question the work ethic of actual Broadway composers who swear they’re not turning in the first draft.”
Tickets are available online by clicking the button above or by calling the FST Box Office at 941-366-9000.
Intro to Hip-Hop Workshop
Monday, July 16 - 7-9pm
Instructor: Richie Alfson
Description of workshop:This introductory to musical improv workshop introduces you to the basics of Hip Hop Improv: the combination of free-style rapping and scene work. North coast instructor, Richie Alfson, will guide you through the basics of free-styling which, instead of forcing the rhyme, is all about gaining access to the rhymes that have been in your catalogue since you were a kid. Learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and weave your rapped verses into your improv scene work.
Enroll online: Monday, July 16 at 7:00pm
Musical Improv Workshop
Monday, July 17 at 7-9pm
Instructor : North Coast Improv
Description of workshop: Musical Improv can be charming, beautiful and entertaining, but sometimes you gotta give it that OOMPH! Rapping the bridge of your song is an amazing opportunity to surprise the audience, get some sweet rhymes in, and go deeper into your character's deepest fears, motives, and philosophies. This workshop will also contain exercises that will demystify what to sing about in your verses, so that your songs can contain a focused message.
Enroll online: Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00pm
Alien Face/Human Brain: Staying Grounded in Weird Worlds
Wednesday, July 18 at 7-9pm
Instructor: North Coast Improv
Description of workshop: Stay grounded even when the world is strange. Playing aliens, talking trees, or animals in a scene shouldn't distract you from the connection between you and your scene partner. Double down on the relationship and game while embracing the weird world and fun specifics you have surrounded yourself with.
Enroll online: Wednesday, July 18 at 7:00pm
Workshop passes can be purchased by clicking the links above or by contacting Pamela Smith at (941) 366-1350.
RICHIE ALFSON Hailing from Oklahoma City, Richie began improvising in Boulder, Colorado, where he co-founded and directed the group Left Right TIM. In Colorado he also performed at the Bovine, the Impulse, and with The Dinner Detective Colorado. After producing and performing in a show for the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he moved to New York City and began studying at the Upright Citizens Brigade, under the tutelage of Anthony Atamanuik, Lydia Hensler, Rich Talarico, and others. He holds a degree in Theater and a minor in Technology, Arts, & Media from CU-Boulder. He has written, produced, and acted in several NYC off-Broadway productions. Currently, Richie works at The Brooklyn Brewery, and can be seen performing with North Coast,The Freedom Stylers, and doing stand-up.
MICHAEL CRISTOL When he’s at home and school, Michael Crisol is just a regular dude. But when he hits the stage, he transforms into a beatboxing beast who goes by the name Doctor Brick! Born and raised in the Bronx, Michael is still pretty fresh to the beatboxing scene. After dabbling with the art form in high school, he continued to learn more about beatboxing and quickly developed his own style. He is currently the vocal percussionist for the CCNY A Cappella Club and performs at events on campus and around the city.
MICHAEL POOLE is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer. He’s been studying at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater since 2015. You can see with hip-hop improv team North Coast at PIT, monthly at Caveat, and every Saturday at the Peoples Improv Theater. You can also see him at the UCBT East Village on Lloyd Night every other week with “Statham.”. He also performs and tours with “My Mommas Biscuits.” “No Chill,” and “Improvised Gilmore Girls,” and is a Story Pirate. He has a lot of feelings about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
MEGAN REILLY is a rapper, actor and comedian based out of New York City. She has been seen touring the world with North Coast, Baby Wants Candy and Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. She can currently be seen most Monday night’s at the Broadway Comedy Club as a core cast member of On The Spot. Her alter rap ego, La Dynasty, wants you to know that there is nothing wrong with getting down and getting dirty. https://www.facebook.com/queenladynasty/
RACHEL ROSENTHAL is an improviser and improv instructor with over 17 years experience. She is also a freestyle rapper. Rachel performs weekly in NYC and has been a faculty improv instructor at Miami Ad School, The Peoples Improv Theater, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, and at Reckless Theatre in NYC. Once called an “improv whirlwind” by The Huffington Post, Rachel tours nationally and internationally with free-form team Big Bang and with freestyle rapping Hip Hop comedy team North Coast who was named a “Top 10 Comedy Show” by Time Out NY. Prior to moving to New York, Rachel also worked at ImprovBoston for 8 years. Rachel is also a writer, storyteller, and actress and has been featured on VH1, MTV, and on several podcasts and radio shows including This American Life, Risk!, Slate’s The Gist, and WBUR’s You’re the Expert. More at theraeroshow.com or on social media at @raeroshow
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. You can catch him performing around NYC with many other musical improv, improv, and sketch groups as well. He is a member of house musical improv teams at both the Magnet and PIT Theaters, and just finished sketch shows with Pop Roulette (PIT), The 2017 Tony Awards (UCB), and Dead Man’s Club (UCB). He also performs with UCB Theater NY Maude Sketch Team Dangerous Woman. Doug teaches an 8-week hip-hop improv class at the Magnet Theater, and was recently seen in the Off-Broadway musicals, F#%king Up Everything and Blank! The Musical. You can catch his many comedy videos at www.Douglaswidick.com .