World's Largest Improv Festival Announces 2013 Chicago Lineup

World's Largest Improv Festival Announces 2013 Chicago Lineup

The largest international improv festival in the world, the 16th annual Chicago Improv Festival, April 1-7, 2013, celebrates the art of improv, showcasing more than 150 acts consisting of 765 improvisers from eight countries with live performances at 20 venues located throughout the city. Highlights of this year's festival will include must-see shows by Scott Adsit, Kay Cannon and John Lutz of NBC's 30 Rock; Lucas Neff of FOX's Raising Hope; Craig Cackowski of NBC's Community and Rob Belushi of Spike TV's The Joe Schmo Show.

"This year, Chicago Improv Festival shattered last year's record number of entries with 267 submissions. I can't stress enough that this will be our biggest festival ever, with the most groups, locations, shows and events-it's going to be a crazy, ridiculously fun week," says Chicago Improv Festival Artistic Director Kevin Mullaney, formerly the Artistic Director at Upright Citizens Brigade/Del Close Marathon in New York who has also taught at iO Chicago.

What's New?
A new festival format will make it easier for fans to indulge in more of their favorite forms of improv. This year's festival will highlight 9 different artistic categories of improv, including: Alternative, Emerging Artists, Experimental, Genre, Long Form, Music, Puppetry, Short Form and Improv on Screen, plus other special events. Furthermore, each venue will be largely dedicated to one artistic form of improv.

"By putting similar styled shows in the same venue, it will be much easier for our audience to choose what they'd like to see or explore. Instead of having over 150 choices, they only have to choose whichever of the nine categories that appeals to them. Also, by giving most of the acts two shows, one on Friday and one on Saturday, the audience doesn't have to choose between two great shows playing at the same time, they can go see one on one night and then go see the other on the other night. Now fans can choose their own improv adventure," explains Chicago Improv Festival Executive Producer and Chicago Improv Productions Executive Director Jonathan Pitts.

"The new changes to the Chicago Improv Festival are the perfect reflection of the mission of Chicago Improv Productions: to celebrate improvisation in all of its forms and expressions. We take great pride in bringing Chicagoans for the 16th consecutive year, the biggest international improv festival in the world," says Chicago Improv Festival Producer Aren Zolninger.

16th Annual Chicago Improv Festival Lineup

Monday, April 1

Opening Night Show
TIM: A Night of Timprovisation and TNT (Chicago); 8 p.m.
Category: Alternative
Annoyance Theater
4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640; (773) 561-4664
Tickets: $10 at the Annoyance Theater box office or at annoyanceproductions.com

Tuesday, April 2

Festival Showcase
LGBT Showcase (Chicago); 8 p.m.
The Playground Theater
3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 871-3793
Tickets: $10 at The Playground Theater box office or online at the-playground.com

Chicago Improv Festival and Midwest Independent Film Festival Present Comedic Short Film Collaboration; 6 p.m.
Category: Improv On Screen
Landmark's Century Centre Cinema
2828 NortH Clark St. Chicago, IL 60657
Ticket: $10 general admission, $15 for reserved seating at midwestfilm.com

Featured Show
Virgin Daiquiri (Chicago) & Lucas Neff of FOX's Raising Hope and Craig Cackowski (L.A.); 8 p.m.
Category: Long Form
Second City e.t.c.
1616 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60614; (312) 337-3992
Tickets: $20 at The Second City box office or online at secondcity.com

Wednesday, April 3

Festival Showcase
Diversity Showcase (Chicago); 8 p.m.
Chemically Imbalanced Comedy (CIC)
1422 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613; (773) 865-7731
Tickets: $10 at CIC box office or online at cicomedy.com

Special Event
One World On One Stage (International); 7 p.m.
3 Peat (Chicago), Fanny (Chicago) & The Boys (Chicago); 10 p.m.
The Playground Theater
3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 871-3793
Tickets: $10 per show at The Playground Theater box office or online at the-playground.com

Featured Show
Cook County Social Club (Chicago) & Scott Adsit of NBC's 30 Rock and Jet Eveleth (NYC and L.A.); 8 p.m.
Category: Long Form
The Second City e.t.c.
1616 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60614; (312) 337-3992
Tickets: $20 at The Second City e.t.c. box office or online at secondcity.com

Chicago Improv Festival Short Films; 7:30 p.m.
Category: Improv on Screen
WILDCARD (Chicago) & Mullaney Chain and Craig Cackowski (Chicago); 9:30 p.m.
Category: Long Form
Strawdog Theatre Company - Hugen Hall
3829 N Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60613; (773) 528-9696
Tickets: $5 for 7:30 p.m. show and $10 for 9:30 p.m. show at Strawdog Theatre door or online at chicagoimprovfestival.org

Thursday, April 4

Featured Show
Messing with a Friend with Scott Adsit of NBC's 30 Rock (Chicago); 10 p.m.
Category: Alternative
Annoyance Theater
4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640; (773) 561-4664
Tickets: $15 at the Annoyance Theater box office or at annoyanceproductions.com

Wussball (Chicago), The Crocodile Players (Chicago) & Cool Jacket (Chicago); 7:30 p.m.
Shrink Ray'd (Chicago), CICERO (Chicago) & Jack and the Wolf (Chicago); 9:30 p.m.
Category: Emerging Artists
Athenaeum Theatre - Studio 1
2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 935-6875
Tickets: $10 per show at the Athenaeum Theatre box office or at athenaeumtheatre.org

It's a Party (Chicago), LIAM (Chicago) & Sophomore Album (Chicago); 7 p.m.
Meat Market (Chicago), Raygun Reagan (Chicago) & Houndstooth and Frank Frank (Chicago); 9 p.m.
Category: Emerging Artists
Athenaeum Theatre - Studio 2
2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 935-6875
Tickets: $10 per show at the Athenaeum Theatre box office or at athenaeumtheatre.org

Featured Show
Damaged Goods (Louisville), Laugh Out Loud House Team (Schaumburg) & Barinholtz and Belushi (L.A.); 8 p.m.
Mission Improvable (Chicago) & Barinholtz and Belushi (L.A.); 10 p.m.
The Comedy Bar
157 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60654; (773) 387-8412
Tickets: $15 per show at the The Comedy Bar box office or at comedybarchicago.com

Portion Control (Chicago), The Tokens (Chicago) & DAAAANG Judy Dench (Chicago); 8 p.m.
Ferret (Chicago), Taco Tuesday (Chicago) & Thora Birch (Chicago); 10 p.m.
Category: Emerging Artists
The Playground Theater
3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 871-3793
Tickets: $10 per show at The Playground Theater box office or at the-playground.com

The Theatre of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills-a lecture by Carol Bleackley Sills sponsored by: The Northwestern University Library, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and Chicago Improv Festival; 7 p.m.
Northwestern University-Evanston Campus (location TBD)
Tickets: admission is free

Friday, April 5

See You Thursday (Columbus), Soulmates (L.A.) & Babelfish-Distillery (Kansas); 10 p.m.
Holy F&%k Comedy Hour (Chicago); midnight
Category: Alternative
Annoyance Theater
4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640; (773) 561-4664
Tickets: $15 for 10 p.m. show and free midnight show at Annoyance Theater box office or at annoyanceproductions.com

Dotterbolaget (Stockholm, Sweden) & Chairs (Chicago); 7 p.m.
1 Deep (NYC), Just Ben (NYC) & Andy Eninger (Chicago); 8:30 p.m.
Third Curd (Denver) & The Forest (Chicago); 10 p.m.
Category: Experimental
Athenaeum Theatre - Studio 1
2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 935-6875
Tickets: $15 per show at the Athenaeum Theatre or at athenaeumtheatre.org

Upstate (NYC) & Well Known Strangers (Pittsburgh); 7 p.m.
Manick (Dallas) & Balmy (L.A.); 8:30 p.m.
Jr. Varsity (NYC), Minneapples (Minneapolis) & Wicked City (NYC); 10 p.m.
Category: Long Form
Athenaeum Theatre - Studio 2
2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 935-6875
Tickets: $15 per show at the Athenaeum Theatre box office or at athenaeumtheatre.org

Pedestrian (Chicago), Samantha Gold (Chicago) & Truth Serum (Chicago); 6 p.m.
Kent Spent The Rent (Chicago), Clown Car to Sicily (Chicago) & McGarnakle (Chicago); 8 p.m.
Visibly Tight (Chicago), The Laser Improv Show (Chicago) & Yes Diggity and Blood Oath (Chicago) 10 p.m.
Category: Open Stage
Bughouse Theater
2054 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60618
Tickets: $5 per show at the door of Bughouse Theater

Noah Ginex Puppet Company (Chicago), Brouhaha (Chicago) & The Josh & Tamara Show (NYC); 10:30 p.m.
Category: Puppetry & Improv
Chemically Imbalanced Comedy (CIC)
1422 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613; (773) 865-7731
Tickets: $15 at CIC box office or online at cicomedy.com

Featured Show
Damaged Goods (Louisville) & Barinholtz and Belushi (L.A.); midnight
Comedy Bar
157 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60654; (773) 387-8412
Tickets: $15 at the The Comedy Bar or at comedybarchicago.com




More On: Scott Adsit, John Lutz, Lucas Neff, Del Close, H Clark, Thora Birch, Viola Spolin.

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