Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Philly Improv Festival Announces Sixth Annual Line-Up; Kicks Off New Month of Comedy

The three of the top forces in the local comedy scene have formed the Philadelphia Comedy Collective, and are set to present Comedy Month from November 1-21 at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom Street. This event marks the largest collection of comedy performances in the city outside of the annual Philly Fringe. The month will kick-off with the sixth annual Philadelphia Improv Festival. The festival runs from November 2-6 with multiple shows nightly. The festival is also hosting two special headliner shows Friday, November 5 at the Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square.

Tickets cost $10 per night Tuesday-Thursday and on Sunday. The Friday and Saturday night shows cost $10 per block or $20 for the entire night. A full pass to the Philly Improv Festival costs $60. A full Comedy Month pass costs $100. The shows at the Ethical Society cost $10 per block. Passes are not valid for these shows. More information on the festival and Comedy Month can be found at

Each year, the Philadelphia Improv Festival showcases local shortform and longform improv acts and some of the top improv teams and improvisers from all over the country. Now in its sixth year, in addition to incredible theatrical talent from distinguished institutions the likes of Second City, iO, Annoyance Theatre, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Groundlings and The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, PHIF has showcased performers featured on television programs such as Saturday Night Live, The Office, 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien, Crossballs, MTV's Made, VH1's Best Week Ever and the Will Ferrell - Adam McKay Comedy Central project Big Lake.

The Philadelphia Improv Festival is produced by Matt Nelson, Alli Soowal, and Jason Stockdale.

This year's line-up is one of their best yet. The duo Razowsky and Bill will appear together at a festival for the first time as one of the headliners. Razowsky and Bill is David Razowsky and Joe Bill. Razowsky is the former Artistic Director for the Second City Training Center. He currently lives in LA and has worked with Dreamworks, and at Steppenwolf. Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of scenic and comedic improvisation in America today. He studied with Del Close at Improv Olympic, and co-founded the Annoyance Theatre.

The other festival headliner is iO West's wildly popular house team, Extra Strength. This daring and energetic team of veteran players performs "3 Mad Rituals" - a Harold, Deconstruction and Slacker, back-to-back-to-back and non-stop over the course of an hour. Each piece is inspired by different audience suggestions but blend together to create a single, fast-paced and hilarious one-of-a-kind show. Extra Strength features Alexis Simpson, of Rare Bird Show, The Real Housewives of Philadelphia, and the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Joke Initiative.

The festival will feature local improv teams Pasiones de Pasiones (the 2010 winner of Troika), The N Crowd, The Ones Your Mother Warned You About, BWP, M@&, Fletcher, Rare Bird Show, Cubed, and Leo Callahan. The Philadelphia Joke Initiative's improvised musical team Ladies and Gentleman will make a return appearance at the Festival. The festival will also include an appearance by The Real Housewives of Philadelphia and the return of ComedySportz Philadelphia's Improvised Shakespeare.

Other highlights of the festival include an appearance from Atlanta's Einstein Meets Elvis, Billyhawk from Los Angeles, Improv Boston Mainstage and Marjean from Boston and many others.

Following the improv festival, the Philly Sketch Fest will present its third annual affair and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative (PJI) is scheduling a collection of comedy for the final week.

The 2010 Schedule for the Philadelphia Improv Festival
Tuesday, November 2

7:30 p.m. Mainstage
Pasiones de Pasiones (Philadelphia)
N Crowd (Philadelphia)
Herschel (New York)

9:00 p.m. Mainstage
The Ones Your Mother Warned You About (Philadelphia)
BWP (Philadelphia)
Ladies and Gentlemen (Philadelphia)

Wednesday, November 3

7:30 p.m. Mainstage
The Cascade (New York, NY)
Dogs Bollocks (Washington, DC)
M@& (Philadelphia)

9:00 p.m. Mainstage
Cubed (Philadelphia)
Moving Walkways (Baltimore, MD)
ComedySportz Philadelphia: Improvised Shakespeare (Philadelphia)

Thursday, November 4

7:30 p.m. Mainstage
TBA (SidViscous! likely)
Fletcher (Philadelphia)
Strippers Picnic (Chicago, IL)

9:00 p.m. Mainstage
Marbles (Richmond, VA)
Marjean (Cambridge, MA)
Rare Bird Show (Philadelphia)

Friday, November 5

7:00 p.m. Mainstage
DCUP (Washington, DC)
Plan B (Boston, MA)
Einstein Meets Elvis (Atlanta, GA)

8:30 p.m. Mainstage
Leo Callahan (Philadelphia)
Identity Theft (New York, NY)
Vox Pop (Washington, DC / NYC)

10:00 p.m. Mainstage
Imposters (New York, NY)
Simply Coney (Detroit, MI)
Red Dragon (Washington, DC)
Hello Laser (New York, NY)

Friday, November 3

7:30 p.m. Special Show at Ethical Society
Lekker (Baltimore, MD)
Extra Strength (Los Angeles, CA)

9:00 p.m. Special Show at Ethical Society
Dangerous Fools (Philadelphia / LA)
Razowsky & Bill (Chicago / LA)

Saturday, November 6

7:00 p.m. Mainstage
Bombardo (New York, NY)
Adrift (PHL, LA, CHI, ATL, DC, BOS)
Gus (Baltimore, MD)

8:30 p.m. Mainstage
Trike (New York, NY)
Jaye Stays (Washington, DC)
BillyHawk (Los Angeles, CA)

10:00 p.m. Mainstage
Real Housewives of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
Surf n Turf (New York, NY)
IB Mainstage (Boston, MA)
Allstar Show (Various)

Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatre goer in Philadelphia? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.

Related Articles View More Philadelphia Stories

More Hot Stories For You