Monday October 17th:
Select troupes will be performing a teaser at COM. Check them out in their full show later in the week!
Tuesday October 18:
About River City Improv:
River City Improv exists because we enjoy entertaining audiences using comedic improvisation. Our shows weave skits, games and songs with audience suggestions to create unique entertainment experiences for each show. Occasionally we will throw in a piece of non-improvised sketch comedy or a dance number, just to keep our audiences guessing.
About Luxury Possum:
A hybrid-form (medium-form and long-form) troupe that started last year with the Ann Arbor Civic Theater and is now a roving band of mercenaries looking for laughs and high holy improv. Have specialized in montages.
About Plant Parenthood:
Improv and sketch comedy with a socially responsible non-message.
About Mrs. Claws:
Every year Santa Claus gets a little “present” for himself while he’s out on his rounds, and so he meets his new bride. This fresh Mrs. Claus is kidnapped in the dead of night, stolen away from her family, with only red flyers and raggedy Annies left in exchange.
The children of four of these women have found each other and sworn vengeance against ‘ol St. Nick and his barbaric ways. Mrs. Claws is out to get their mothers back and stop Kris Kringle, one improv set at a time.
The members of SALT met while taking classes at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. The troupe quickly realized a mutual love long form improv and set out to start their own independent troupe.
SALT has performed in LaughFest, Comedy Out Mondays and the West Michigan Improv Festival. SALT is a Grand Rapids based troupe who pride themselves on creating engaging long form scenes.
Wednesday October 19:
About Pop Scholars:
Pop Scholars is a 4-man, Grand Rapids based, fast-paced improv team. They’ve been doing improvisational comedy for over 5 years in Grand Rapids, but have performed all over Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and most notably, Chicago’s iO (formerly Improv Olympic). They perform public shows at Wealthy Theatre monthly and have been involved in Grand Rapids’ comedy festival, Laughfest, each year as well. Come see a high energy improv show that Revue calls, “Relevant and Intelligent” and Grand Rapids Press deems, “Smart, risk-taking comedy that invites the audience in on the performance.”
About Gateway Butters:
Gateway Butters is a seven person troupe who met each other through an improv class. They found themselves with great chemistry and a need for the stage. Some may call it luck, but these members call it destiny.
Like all great passageways, Gateway Butters finds themselves in between two worlds. They love to use a mixture of short and long form to entice greater audience participation while also having the opportunity to build larger worlds on stage.
About Date Night with Mike & Ryan:
Enjoy love and laughter as long-time friends and improvisers Mike Nichols and Ryan Lathrop star as two overly qualified relationship experts to bring you a hilarious, long-form improvisational comedy all about finding love. Bring a date!
About Pseudo Improv:
We’re Grand Valley’s Premier Improv Group that has been around since 1999! We primarily do short-form improv games, resembling popular shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway. We do shows on Grand Valley’s campus every two weeks on Wednesday nights, as per tradition. We’ve had many members come and go due to our location on campus, but the group will never fade. We’ve grown a lot in the last few years and have begun branching out into the community. We hope to one day become a household name, and will always strive to give our best.
About In Case of Emergency:
In Case of Emergency Improv is the Aquinas College improvisational comedy troupe.
Thursday October 20
DOWNTOWN IMPROV HOP! featuring:
Fictional Friends, S.A.S, and Late Night Grand Rapids
About Fictional Friends:
We think making up stories goes tremendously better when said story is built on a foundation of emotion instead of cheap jokes and pop culture references.
SAS met at a writer’s workshop in Grand Rapids, and a friendship was instantly formed over a mutual love of comedy and also exploring deep topics. They began developing an idea for a podcast that would seek to explore topics beyond the typical everyday to pull their humor from, such as science, history, psychology and philosophy. Usually consisting of a short interview with an expert in a given field (that may or may not be either a real person or a group member in character), SAS then takes this new information and deconstructs it in an informal discussion, followed by a long-form narrative that incorporates ideas discussed in the first part. Hopefully, by the end of the performance, both the audience and the performers have discovered something new they wouldn’t have known about otherwise, and then get a chance to laugh about it.
About Late Night Grand Rapids:
Late Night Grand Rapids (LNGR) began as a group proper early in the year of 2015, but consists of a core group of writers, actors, comedians and musicians who have worked together in various combinations for some time. Founded by comedian Alastair J. Watt, the other players, including Danielle Armstrong, Sean Francis, KJ Johnson, Laura Uzarski and Sarah Wenger soon followed. Taking cues from classic sketch show structure (Monty Python, SNL, etc.), but with a modern twist of incorporating audience suggestions and guest-submitted sketches, LNGR combines pre-written sketches with a wide berth for spontaneity, improv, and adlibbing. Almost everything is planned, except for the parts that aren’t. All of it is backed by their house band Whisky Dick & the Dead-Woods, a talented supergroup who are able to score the whole show deftly with any genre of music, from blues to rap to showtunes. Envisioned as a place to present their own material while giving an outlet for others to submit their work, LNGR is a group committed to giving back to the Grand Rapids comedy community, and every show incorporates a special guest host from the area. We will do our best, we will “yes and”, we will be experimental. We will fail, but we will also succeed. Hopefully more of the latter.
Friday October 21:
IMPROV CHAOS at The Fuse Box: 6:51 – 9:30PM collaboration with a 10PM show
About Funny Girls:
MUSIC! IMPROV! SKETCH! MEMES! YOUTUBE! PLAYS! BLOGS! YOUTH!
Funny Girls is an inclusive collective of self-identified female comedians, writers, musicians, bloggers, YouTubers, and all around bad ass women.
We collaborate on sketches, music, mixed media, and improv for live shows. Our mission is to work with women of all ages to to build self-esteem and encourage creative expression through comedy.
Always looking to collaborate with diverse groups and organizations around greater Grand Rapids and beyond, Funny Girls seeks to create and grow with a community of women who own their funny. We are Funny Girls.
About Wilderness Girls:
It is a Wilderness Girl’s duty to uphold three main principles: Emotional Connections, Honest Moments, and Perfect Hair.
One of Go Comedy’s two 2016 Launch Groups, Wilderness Girls believes in using every part of the buffalo.
About Go Labs:
“Miles beneath the surface of the earth, in a bunker, resides the Go Laboratories. Where ‘Dr.s’ Quesada and Jacokes are constantly struggling and striving to bring you the future of comedy… Today!” is how we began our first round of shows back in 2014. Called Beta Testing, we tried to blend original short and long form into an engaging show for audiences of improvisers and off the street. Since then we have created original improvised shows for ourselves and full casts, all the while trying to better each other and pushing ourselves to continually expand our ability.
About Beer City Improv:
Long form Improv Troupe specializing in the Harold based in Grand Rapids Michigan. Founding members are active in Grand Rapids improv and community theatre throughout Mest Michigan.
HugSquared is a group of people that truly love each other and you can tell when they hit the stage. Always making it a point to meditate before going on stage.. SHHH that’s a troupe secret! Sometimes they will open their show giving special hugs to the audience and end it with a big group hug onstage to get ready. Everyone in the troupe has had years of training and performing all over the Detroit and Chicago area.
About Socrates Soccer Tees:
Socrates Soccer Tees came into question in 2015. To quote Socrates, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” and Socrates Soccer Tees thrives on knowing nothing about what is going to happen to them once they’ve hit the stage. While they perform group improvised comedy based on OGM’s improv theory, Socrates Soccer Tees can also explode into a train of thought that allows them to explore the bigger life questions: Did Socrates actually exist? Do we actually exist? What is existence?!
Imagine if your weird and quirky (but socially acceptable) aunt and uncle decided to hand-pick family members to join a free spirited improv troupe – that’d best describe Unicornucopia. Hailing from the (improv) hardened streets of Ferndale MI, Unicornucopia’s makeup is about as diverse as they come. Meeting for the very first time during their first improv class, they’ve been inseparable ever since! It’s this unique bond which sets them apart from other troupes.
They’re a group of friends brought together by one, simple, common goal; have fun every time they step on stage.
Saturday October 22:
Workshops at Dog Story Theater (find out more about workshops HERE)
9:30 am to 12 pm: Make Your Own Improv taught by Pete Jacokes and James Quesada
9:30 am to 12:30 pm: Make Short Form Your Form taught by Stefan Gearhart
12:30 to 3:30 pm: Have Guitar, Will Improvise taught by Nelson Velazquez
About Rapid Delivery Improv:
Rapid Delivery Improv (RDI) is the resident improv troupe of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the nation. Directed by Bart Sumner, a 25+ year veteran of improv performing and teaching in NYC and Los Angeles, the troupe is comprised of graduates of the bi-level training program at GRCT’s nationally recognized School of Theatre Arts, headed by Sumner. They perform monthly on the Civic Theatre’s Main Stage as well as other venues in and around Grand Rapids. RDI offers a corporate training program for companies looking to increase productivity, team work, and creativity through the use of improvisation techniques, and is available for hire at private events.
About Cash and Carry:
Cash & Carry are a musical duo from Ferndale, MI. Fueled with a love for musicals and improv they decided to form a troupe that did just that. Directed by the beautiful and talented Jeremy St Martin who’s piano skills bring the show to a whole new level, Cash & Carry bring their improvised show to theaters all across the country.
About Fat Man & Big Tom:
Fat Man & Big Tom are a comedic improv duo hailing from Detroit. While performing, they found themselves with very similar styles but differing approaches to the art. They are both geared towards finding the heart of the scene, and looking to keep a point of view in an ever changing landscape. The results usually vary from heart breaking to hysterical, be it a father and son fishing trip or a dysfunctional couple at the Ice Capades. Fat Man & Big Tom fall easily into characters that make you want to see them succeed or fail mightily.
About The League of Pointless Improvisors:
Pointless Brewery & Theater brings The League of Pointless Improvisers: Formed in 2015, the League of Pointless Improvisers perform at the Pointless Brewery & Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI. The rotating cast of 22 is made up of the finest improvisers in SE Michigan and is directed by owner Jason Tomalia and Gary Lehman along with co-directors Bob Wieck and James Quesada. They perform character and relationship driven Long Form improv and experiment each month with a different form as part of the Friday late show “A Pointless Display of Improvised Feats”. The League of Pointless Improvisers has been invited to perform at the Baltimore Improv Festival, Detroit Improv Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival and IFCincy.
7PM show at Dog Story Theater: No Outlet Improv Troupe, Damaged Goods, Future Kids and Jalopy ($15)
About No Outlet Improv Troupe:
NOIT is a Grand Rapids original entertainment group that is working throughout West Michigan to promote and perform improvisational theater. They’ve been on stage multiple times at The Lake Effect Fringe Festival, Lady Fest GR, LaughFest. NOIT also hosts the weekly Comedy Outlet Mondays and is the originator of the Grand Rapids Improv Festival, the city’s largest improv event. Hosting monthly summer set shows and holiday speciales, they have also appeared several times a year at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. No Outlet performs with high energy and versatility.
About Damaged Goods:
Based out of Louisville, Kentucky, Damaged Goods has quickly become The Derby City’s premiere and most sought after improv comedy troupe. In just 5 years, they’ve taken their special and unique brand of high energy short form improv games and managed to become a recognizable name in Louisville’s soaring and vibrant arts scene.Damaged Goods set a new standard for improv in Louisville as they were honorably selected to be a part of the 16th and 17th annual Chicago Improv Festival, The Detroit Improv Festival 2 years running, The Big Little Comedy Festival in Cleveland, and headlining The Compass Improv Festival. Damaged Goods has performed in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Bowling Green, French Lick, and currently performs regularly at The Bard’s Town Theater in Louisville. Damaged Goods also teaches workshops on High Energy Theatrical Improv.
About Future Kids:
Seeing that the world wasn’t quite as funny as it could be, Go Comedy! Improv Theater assembled Future Kids in order to create a more hilarious tomorrow. Their shows provide humanity with a spectacle of humor that is either incredibly smart, heartfelt, poignantly chaotic, or maybe sometimes it’s all of those things. They have been featured weekly on GO’s stage every Sunday since June of 2015.
Jalopy: do the windows roll down? No. Do the turn signals work? No. Does the engine start? God No. But if you get it going down hill, you ain’t stopping it! Jalopy’s a fast-paced troupe that mixes up their form based on how they feel that day.
The members of Dianasty have always had a passion for improv and music. The combination of these two worlds has been a dream come true for the three girls. The trio first began performing musical improv together as cast members of Rock-O-Matic: The Improvised Rock Opera. It was within this group that they discovered their natural chemistry and blend of varying individual improv styles. The trio was discovered by the ever watchful James Quesada while performing at a charity benefit. James approached the girls with a two year coaching contact and their rise to stardom began!
Although the idea of musical improv without instruments was initially intimidating, the girls were up for the challenge. Dianasty draws upon their musical background to create a blend of a capella songs which showcase a variety of genres and talents. These songs create the inspiration for strong scene work among the three friends.
About The Laser Comedy Show:
The one of a kind, Laser Comedy Show is a unique, story telling experience. Performing artist Chris Fair uses Laser Reactive Technology to draw characters and scenery with a cinematic sense on a glow in the dark screen, which the lines fade in moments like a high tech etch-a-sketch. Chris brings the characters to life by voicing them over, creating sound effects, music and continually drawing action to open up a 3-D world on a 2-D Screen and take you on a laser journey that you won’t ever forget.
Chris has been a visual artist all of his life, studied art and film at Northern Illinois University and has been performing stand up, improv and sketch comedy since 2004. He has been developing the Laser Comedy Show since early 2011 when his brother introduced him to the technology with his laser reactive clothing company in 2010, Hyphy Color. Chris has studied at Chicago’s Notorious Second City, iO, Annoyance, ComedySportz theaters and has performed his signature Laser Comedy Show coast to coast at improv and comedy festivals. He also performs for Children.
About With the Dark:
With The Dark specializes in The Bat, a longform format in which lights are turned off. Preferably the stage should be completely black. Our particular brand is reminiscent of an old timey radio-play, with a predilection towards the spooky and mysterious.
Sunday October 23:
IMPROV BRUNCH 10:30AM-12:30PM Location TBA
About Back Alley Improv:
Back Alley Improv began in June of 2013. We’re a rag tag group of friends from different backgrounds and personalities, but with a common love of comedy. We decided to form an improv troupe to make ourselves and others laugh. In the past three years, we’ve performed around West Michigan at a wide array of venues. Along the way, we’ve acquired fans (only two are related to us!) and made people laugh until they cried. Our next goal is making someone laugh until they pee.
We’ve performed at many venues including Skeetown Tavern, the Rusty Spoke, the Harbor Theater, Northway Lanes and Gracie’s Book Store in Muskegon, MI. We’ve also performed at Snowfest at Racquets Downtown Grill, Comedy Outlet Mondays at the Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, TEDx Muskegon at the Frauenthal, the West Michigan Improv Festival in Grand Rapids and Downtown Muskegon’s First Fridays Street Performers event. In addition, we’ve opened up for Second City at the Frauenthal Theater and performed for Kent County District Libraries Librarian Appreciation Days.
Emily was founded in June of 2016 as an attempt to bring something truly unique to the Columbus improv scene.
After resigning as Artistic Director of the successful MadLab Theatre, Andy Batt decided to bring the same experimental style of presentation he had brought to the theatre community to the improv community.
About Listen Stupid:
Listen, Stupid hails from the mean streets of Detroit. Well, really the suburbs where it’s safe to do improv. They are made up of Nuverre Naami and Tom Novik, who have been performing together on various teams at venues all over Metro Detroit since 2013. They pride themselves on everyday situations turned upside down with ridiculous characters and locations. Join them on their improv journey and watch them listen to each other.
About Roial Improv Players:
Roial Improv has been MSU’s #1 and only improv comedy troupe for over 10 years. We have open practices all year round for any student who wants to learn and earn a spot onstage. We have monthly performances on campus as well as collaborations with other universities, traveling groups, and other acts off campus. We attend the College Improv Tournament (CIT) every year and we are thirsty for gold.
Monday October 24:
Come celebrate the end of GRIF, and see a few encore acts from troupes that performed