TCIF 2014 Performing Groups
The Adventures of Tim, Troy & Damian Tim Hellendrung, Troy Zimmerman and Damian Johnson improvise a complete adventure to a location suggested by the audience, which often runs the gamut from enchantingly heart-felt to jarringly macabre.
The Brave New Workshop has been performing original satirical sketch comedy and improvisation since 1958, longer than any other theatre in the United States. In the more than 50 years since its founding, the Brave New Workshop has put on more than 250 original productions and exposed over 3 million people to the theatre’s unapologetic and unwavering, brand of comedy and improvisation.
ComedySportz is a fast-paced, high-energy show that combines the unpredictability of improv comedy with the excitement of a live sporting event! Two teams face off in unscripted games and scenes using audience suggestions while a referee hosts the show and ensures good sportsmanship. Also making it unique, ComedySportz is an all-ages event – fun enough for your bachelor party, but clean enough for your Grandma!
d’Hôtél Winñetkå – Formed in January of 2013 as part of the Chicago Improv League (formerly the College Improv Tournament Alumni Association), d’Hôtél Winñetkå competed against 7 other teams and wound up victorious; winning the 2013 Championship in the league’s inaugural season, and making an appearance again in the following season’s Finals. The seven members of d’Hôtél Winñetkå have all taken part in the Chicago improv community, where they’ve trained and performed at such venues as iO, Second City, ComedySportz, and the Annoyance theater. They’ll be continuing on, performing at comedy festivals around the country, and again in future seasons of the Chicago Improv League, where they’ll be defending their title.
Droppin $cience is a college improv team that constantly experiments with new openings to drive their long form improv show show. Being a college team that’s constantly changing in size and style, they’ve always kept the fun playfulness that the group started with in 2007.
Droppin $cience is the 2012 national championship team of the College Improv Tournament and was featured on Splitsider.com’s list of 12 colleges with great improv groups. They perform weekly at the newly christened pH Comedy Theater in Chicago.
Ferrari Mcspeedy Ferrari McSpeedy is a Minneapolis-based improv and sketch duo featuring Mike Fotis and Joe Bozic. FMcS has been around since 2001. Some people like Ferrari McSpeedy. Some people don’t. It’s OK.
For Better or For Worse is an improvised dinner party featuring Rita Boersma, Katy Kessler, Tim Hellendrung, and James Rone. In this comedic take on the obligatory social gathering, the audience watches as each couple prepares for, and then hosts or attends a fictional dinner party.
Every Foterson performance is like a tornado of laughter slamming into the mobile home of the ordinary! If you were to take finely honed comedic chops, years of friendship , a passionate love of the weird along with some milk and ice cream and then put those things in a blender, you’d get a milkshake that perfectly describes FOTERSON.
Foxtrot is Erin Sheppard and Ben Gartner, a choreographer and a computer engineer who resolve their differences through improv. Ben dances around technology and Erin dances around Ben. Foxtrot tackles the mysteries of science while exploring various dance styles based on audience suggestion and random song selection.
FrankenMatt is a Los Angeles based sketch comedy/improvisational duo starring former MADtv actor Frank Caeti and former Saturday Night Live writer Matt Craig. They are both alumni of The Second City resident and touring company. Other credits include: The Office, Reno 911, Key and Peele, iO West, Upright Citizens Brigade, and much more.
Gay/Straight Alliance The Gay/Straight Alliance, featuring Twin Cities improv veterans Doug Neithercott and Tim Hellendrung, is dedicated to changing the world…one improv set at a time.
Glassworks Improv – We create an entire performance based off one suggestion from the audience. During this montage of scenes we travel through time and space with the audience through a variety of organic edits. Its organic, honest, fun, and real.
He/She/Them presents Us/Them/Here: An exploration of time and location and all the people who occupy them. Us/Them/Here has been described as “The Cloud Atlas meets Yakkity-Sax”. The show’s sheer ambition is only outweighed by the talent of its cast.
Hugs And Pullups – Admit it, we all look at each other’s Facebook photos. Those photos have stories we want to tell. Hugs and Pullups, creates everything from epic adventures to simple heartfelt moments while performing their original form, Picture Perfect? Playing in theaters across Chicago, they develop the stories behind the photos. Through improvised scenes, Hugs and Pullups brings to life bold characters, grounded relationships, and an unapologetic palette of an often twisted reality.
Interplanetary Appeal is Jake Scott and James Rone, a Twin Cities duo who perform improv that tinkers with traditional narrative structure in shows like their acclaimed Fringe Festival hit, Deadline: A Choose Your Own Adventure Story and their Facebook-themed show, FRIEND REQUEST.
Ladyfriend – Individually, we are Jen van Kaam, Beth Gibbs, and Becky Hauser; together we are Ladyfriend. Ladyfriend is a group of three Twin Cities improvisers who found each other through chance and bonded through the love of robots, ice cream and bad movies. Each time Ladyfriend hits the stage, the show is entirely improvised. It has not happened before and it will not happen again. Ladyfriend shows are equal parts smart and silly. At a Ladyfriend show, discover a world where the Queen of England cannot stop making puns or a tough police chief gets the hiccups. You never know what will happen during a Ladyfriend show, and the best part? We don’t know either.
License to Krill combines the unique power-sets of prog-rock prince Will Roberts and hard-living warrior-nanny Kristen Pichette to produce improv that is sometimes lovable and bubblegum, sometimes sheathed in darkness, and usually pretty weird and fun.
Lost Dog takes an emotionally charged suggestion from the audience and then relates to the suggestion by sharing a story from their own lives. Their set then expands on all the themes, and elements from the story in an explosive, fun, and exciting way!
Mayhem combines Hannah Wydeven and Butch Roy’s styles with dark and ridiculous results
KNOW THIS!!! We will rock you.
Murmur – Improv is by nature and imperfect art form, but damn if the three-headed beast named MURMUR! is up for the challenge of presenting the world with the Perfect Scene.
The Mustache Rangers is a two-man improvisational performance group that combines the space adventures of Buck Rogers with the awkward humor of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The group’s weekly improvised podcast, which averages 10,000 downloads a month, was named the best podcast of 2011 by Mpls St. Paul Magazine. “The Mustache Rangers remind me of the classic Muppet Show – just weird enough that you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing and more than brilliant enough to pull it off,” said Butch Roy, Executive Director of HUGE.
NBA Hall of Famer Based in Vancouver and Portland, NBA Hall of Famer brings together both sides of the 49th Parallel for a selection of scenes highlighting sincere relationships in absurd situations. Michael and Jordan like to do voices.
PIGMEAT: An Improvised Twilight Zone.
“Picture if you will, improvised stories exploring drama, psychological mayhem, fantasy,horror and suspense in a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the [improvised] Twilight Zone.”
- Rod Sterling
Polar Bear Centric is a two man improv group featuring the talents of Pat Tracy and Chris Hill. They are Saint Paul born Minneapolis based Buddies from back in the day. Pat and Chris combine years of friendship, fast-food value meal knowledge, and a deep love for the WB network circa 1998 – 2002 into fast paced, highly energetic story telling that leaves it all on the table.
Positive TERI use energy, earnestness, and excitement to teach life lessons to impressionable audiences, à la D.A.R.E. or MADD. Yet what begins as a kid-friendly presentation quickly goes off the rails and becomes a big, absurd, chaotic vortex where anything can happen. Their shows feel like parties, and the ride is wild. Positive T.E.R.I. — Teach, Educate, Re-educate, Isthmus of Panama!
Sean and the Ladies combine the two things you love most-music and improv-into one show! Witness completely made-up-on-the-spot songs vocalized by the Twin Cities’ most velvet-throated improvisors, backed by a live pianist & drummer. DISCLAIMER: Sean and the Ladies are not responsible for any catchy, made-up tunes getting stuck in your head!
Snack Time is a fast-paced and high-energy group of nine who have come together over their love of improv and snacks. The group is a tight-knit group of friends whose diverse personalities allow for wonderfully unexpected worlds to exist.
The members of the group have met almost every Saturday for close to a year. This intense time together has helped the group develop a definitively rambunctious and lighthearted style while retaining a razor sharp focus on creating livable scenes and characters.
Spotty Truth is an improvised comedic biography. We gather suggestions from the audience and create a fictional character whose life story is then performed.
Switch Committee has been scorching the Chicago improv scene for the last two years. After hundreds of performances in smaller venues and bars, Charna Halpern, founder of the iO Theater, discovered the team and immediately gave them two simultaneous runs at the iO theater. Switch Committee headlines Thursday nights at 8pm in the iO’s Cabaret theater, The bloggers love Switch Committee!!! Choose Chicago asserts that Switch Committee is a “must see,” branding them both “dynamite and fearless”. According to Gapers Block, Switch Committee is “fast, furious and physical,” while Life’s a Funny Scene declares that “these guys just might be the next Cook County Social Club.”
Each show starts with an honest conversation based on audience suggestion.
From there, Switch Committee is a controlled chaos teeming with outlandish physicality, hyper-listening, and seamless transformations between scenes. With deft play making and quick groupwork, Switch attacks each scene, allowing nothing to go unnoticed, bringing the fun out of any situation and theme.
Talarico & Bernard Rich Talarico is a writer, filmmaker, improviser, and teacher whose credits include Key & Peele, Saturday Night Live, MadTV, and The Tonight Show. Jill Bernard is a founding member of HUGE Theater who has performed her one-woman improv piece, Drum Machine, in over forty improv festivals in Norway, Australia, Canada, Argentina and over thirty-five of the United States. This is their first opportunity to perform together, forecasted is realistic and whimsical improvised scenes heavy on the joy and with an equal chance of giggles or tears.
The Mess: We’re Rita Boersma, Joe Bozic, Mike Fotis, Eric Knobel, Michael Ritchie, James Rone and Jake Scott.
We perform every Saturday at HUGE Theater. We are super annoying.
We’re From Here is a powerhouse trio of ladies who explode into an improvised universe based on the single suggestion of a location. Their shows are filled with hilarious situations and characters that flow from the familiarity these three best friends feel on stage with each other.