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6th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival, November 1-7



As if PHIT’s October Schedule isn’t enough to satisfy your comedy craving, November is starting off with a bang with the 6th Annual Philadelphia Improv Festival!  This festival presents seven days of fantastic improv comedy from around the country.  Now in its sixth year, the PHIF has gradually grown to become one of the top improv festivals around and the third largest festival on the East Coast (just behind The Del Close Marathon in New York and The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival).  And the greatest news of all: PHIF is just week ONE of Comedy Month presented by the Philadelphia Comedy Collective, an exciting consortium of local performers whose goal is to produce great comedy!

This year’s PHIF schedule is stacked.  There are two headliners for the festival: Razowsky & Bill and iO house team Extra-Strength.  Razowsky & Bill is a duo of David Razowsky and Joe Bill, two juggernauts of the improv world.  Coming out of the vibrant world of Chicago improv, these two are some of the most respected performers and teachers in the country AND they are performing as a duo for the first time at a festival.  Extra-Strength is a house team from iO West and they will be performing “3 Mad Rituals,” the ground-breaking, one hour show developed by improv legend Del Close.  I’ve seen this format performed several times before and it is insanely fun.  Another fun fact: Extra-Strength features Alexis Simpson of the wildly popular Philly group Rare Bird Show (who will also be performing at the festival!).

On top of these two headliners, there are tons of  outstanding groups that you can see.  PHIF has drawn from Philadelphia’s incredible pool of improv talent, including PHIT house team Fletcher, short-form favorites The N-Crowd, 2010 Troika winners Pasiones de Pasiones, the audience driven M@& , indie studs Leo Callahan, and many others.  In addition, expect the best improv from places like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Baltimore, Detroit, and Richmond!  A full schedule of performers can be found here.  I’ve seen quite a few of the groups before and trust me, faithful readers, this is going to be a fantastic festival!

The festival begins Tuesday, November 2nd and runs until Sunday, November 7th.  The majority of PHIF shows will be at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom Street in Philadelphia.  The headliner shows (Razowsky & Bill and Extra-Strength) will be at The Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square.  On Tuesday-Thursday, nightly passes are $10.  On Friday and Saturday, you can buy individual tickets for $10 or nightly passes for $25.  Full passes for the entirety of PHIF are $60.  The only exception are the shows at The Ethical Society which are $10 each (passes don’t work for these shows).  All tickets can be purchased at PHIF’s website.  Also available are passes to the whole Comedy Month, which I would suggest if you really want to take advantage of the awesome month they have lined up.  Ladies and Gentlemen, get excited for great comedy!