Grab a bunch of passionate improvisers, mix some pondering about direction in life, cook in the intense sun of Chicago, add two cups of Harold, some boney fingers, a cup of plastic dinosaurs, and then blend them in iO Theater for five weeks and count to 20. Wait for the confusion to wear off and you have one of the most whole foods your improv stomach can ingest.
If there was a superhighway between Amsterdam and Riga, it would be built from the love of stupidly joyous improv. ‘Margaret Buttercat’ is a supergroup of Dutch and Latvian improvisers who found kinship in their pursuit of wackiness, both on stage and off. They come together in a show that starts with true confessions and goes on to gleefully break every rule possible — the rules of improv, the rules of space and time, Dua Lipa’s New Rules — to explore the enormous possibilities the art form has to offer.
Student showcase 40 min
The Musical Armando is a long-form musical improv show that has been running at the world famous iO Theater for the past six years. In this two-day intensive, not only will students rediscover the basics of musical improv, but they will deep dive into theatricality, song structure and heightened inspiration from monologues. This intensive is for students who are intermediate to advanced in improv and/or musical improv.
What happens when a bunch of Improv noobs perform together for the first time?
Think for yourself! This fully improvised comedy show will make your brain tick and your heart race. It will challenge your perception of the world, of what is right and what is wrong. Characters, relationships and scenarios will make you question everything. Think for yourself! Or others will do it for you!
Black Liars Club is a duo exploring the inner voices of modern masculinity in the form of improvisation inspired and affected by books like Iron John, the #metoo movement and the life of middle aged men trying to navigate today’s society.
The show Headspace will explore the thoughts, egos, voices, demons, sparks, neurons firing and expressions of a specific man defined by the audience, with the players inside the head of the man looking, listening, tasting and smelling the world.
Why does a sweet grandmother rob a bank? Why did that adorable child burn your car? Why would a friendly family steal a helmet?
Kevin Miller is from Texas. Kiki Hohnen is from Amsterdam. Together they are HELMET THIEVES, an improv duo that explores why good people do bad things… and why absolutely delightful people do incredibly terrible things. Come tell Kevin and Kiki what you have done wrong. They’ll improvise a story that shows why it’s not actually your fault.
The sound of... plays an improvised musical about anything the audience may want. The sound of the great submarine race? The sound of the mildew summer morning? The audience decides! The Sound of.. is an Oslo based musical impro group made up of Ane Engelstad, Arne Lysaker, Asgeir Dybvig, Ingeborg Alnes, Olav Kåre Dønheim, Philippe Schneider and Regine Karlsen. We love to sing, improvise, and be part of The sound of...!
Marienettes is a trio formed of three improvisers trained at the Nette school of impro. If you think of them as a dish, Marie is the spice that heightens the experience, Harald is the sweet aftertaste and Terje is their third member. Why eat anywhere else?
Special Feature 40 min
Imagine a show written, composed and choreographed just for you! Boston's Unscripted Musical Project has been delighting audiences with improvised musicals for seven years at their home base in Boston, USA. You may laugh! You may cry! You may dance a little in your chair! You may wake up singing a new song! One thing's for certain though: you'll never see this same show ever again.
Who needs Popeye and Olive Oyle when you can have Spinach Boyzzz? These boyzzz and girlzzz are not afraid to flex their improv muscles and pump up the strength of their game. Spinach Bozzz are an ensemble that will make you leafy green with envy, featuring a mixture of the colonisers and colonised, newbies and experienced improvisers who all met under the scorching Chicago sun this summer at the iO Intensive. They deliver iron-infused make-believe you secretly wish was all-true.
Doctor’s Orders are one of the house teams at Improv Comedy Copenhagen (ICC) theatre. This bunch of improv addicts are a mixture of nationalities including English, Danish, Irish and Maltese. Their shows follow the Harold format but even more so these Doctors are under orders to "follow the fun". Laughter is the best medicine, sit back and let Doctor's Orders heal your pain. Don’t miss this chance to see one of Copenhagen’s favorite long form comedy troupes.
Arnika is an improv duo from the Improv Neuf community in Oslo, Norway. They have 5 and 8 years of experience and have trained at the at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Annoyance in Chicago, and Det Andre Teatret in Oslo, as well as with Keith Johnstone. They have played their own original format, SWIPE, regularly in Oslo since 2017, and at Copenhagen International Improv Festival and Oslo Improv festival twice. They specialice in character driven, wacky longform improv.
Festival All-Stars Anděl Sudik and Craig Uhlir present Shotgun!
Anděl Sudik is a director, improviser, actor and writer based in Los Angeles and Chicago known for her explosive energy onstage and in the classroom as well as her experiential teaching style.
Craig Uhlir teaches improvisation at iO and The Second City. He still performs every Sunday night in Deep Schwa at iO, Chicago’s longest running Harold team, the Deltones and Sauce. Craig has been playing for over 23 years.
Special Feature (40 min)
Oslo Impro Festival 2019 All-Stars combine in one ridiculously overpowered show. Featuring a selection from 8 of the greatest improvisers in the world:
David Razowsky (Second City Hollywood artistic director, ADD Comedy), Stacey Smith (iO Theater, Founder of Chicago Musical Improv Festival), Craig Uhlir (iO Theater, Second City, iO Del Award Improviser of the Year), Andel Sudik (Second City, Boom Chicago, Jeff Award winner), Colleen Doyle (iO West artistic director, iO Del Award Teacher of the Year 2014, Improviser of the Year 2013; Dummy), Jason Shotts (iO Theater, 2-time iO Del Award Teacher of the Year 2011 2013; Dummy), Jeff Michalski (Second City, founder of Second City ETC), and Susan Messing (iO Theater and Second City Mainstage alumna, founding member of Annoyance Theatre).
Special Feature 40 min
Critically-acclaimed show Messing with a Friend has been running for over 10 years featuring Susan Messing, and other invited talented and funny improvisers. A joyful, uncensored, and improvised romp through hell.
Susan Messing is one of the most outstanding improvisers of the United States. A New Jersey native and graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre School, Susan has been an improviser, comedian teacher and author for over 30 years. She is an alumna of the iO Theatre, Second City’s Mainstage, and a founding member of Chicago’s infamous Annoyance Theatre.
“Improviser of the Year” — Chicago Improv Festival
David Razowsky is the former artistic director of the Second City Hollywood and the host of the award-winning podcast ADD Comedy with Dave Razowsky. His teaching and performing has taken him to Australia, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, the UK, and New Zealand, where he recorded “Life: The Process is the Product, a TEDx Talk.” As an actor at The Second City David worked with Martin Short, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris among others. www.davidrazowsky.com