(Sarasota, FL)—FST’s Sarasota Improv Festival brings two-nights of comedy to Downtown Sarasota with 10 of the hottest groups on the Improv scene nationwide. On July 15 and 16, acts from New York City, Boston, Austin, Miami, Atlanta (and everywhere in between) will perform on the Cabaret stage in the festival that Sarasota Magazine called “high-energy” and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune called “hilarious.” The festival will also feature Improv workshops taught by the professional Improvisers attending the festival. This is a must- see event for anyone with a funny bone!
FST’s homegrown troupe, FST Improv kicks off the festival at 6pm on Friday. What follows will be non-stop laughter as the two-day event continues all throughout FST’s campus. Highlights of the festival include favorite returning groups like Available Cupholders (Aus- tin, TX), Dad’s Garage (Atlanta, GA), ImprovBoston (Boston, MA), Just the Funny (Miami, FL), SAK Comedy (Orlando, FL), and City Hall (New York City); an opening night party at downtown restaurant The Broadway Bar; multiple Improv workshops taught by the talented visiting artists on Saturday; and the popular closing night Improv Jam with all the Improv artists working together to create new and original sketches.
Joining the festival will be Sarasota’s Lazy Fairy Improv Troupe. And of course, all three of FST’s comedy teams – FST Improv, Vintage Whine (the country’s only Senior Improv Troupe) and Kid’s Komedy Club, will be on hand to host the mayhem. Each group will perform a 45-minute set over the course of the weekend. All groups are unique in performance and style, bringing different types of Improv shows to Sarasota: traditional Improv games, long-form comedy, short sketches and musical improv.
Rebecca Hopkins, coordinator of the FST Improv program and the Sarasota Improv Festival, said, “The past two years have been an absolute blast, and we are excited to bring back many of Sarasota’s favorite groups from the past festivals in this years’ bigger-than-ever 3rd annual fest. There is something for everyone… especially if you like to laugh a lot.” The artist enthusiasm makes for a rollicking festival. Interest from participating artists to return began as soon as last year’s festival ended. “It really speaks to the success of the festival that the per- formers are so eager to return,” Mrs. Hopkins said. “We have no trouble getting our favorite groups to come back and be apart of the fun again.“
Also, FST is happy to announce that Austin, Texas’ troupe, available cupholders, will remain in Sarasota for an additional week for Improv master classes and two special performances. The master classes will take place in the evenings of July 19, 20 and 21 and will span Improv comedy education and more. Their special performance shows will be on Friday July 22 and 23 at 8pm in the Cabaret. Hopkins said, “They are putting together a special show together just for the weekend that will be completely off-the-wall and different from their Festival performance. The troupe is always exciting to work with. We have really enjoyed building a partnership with this Austin-based group.”
FST’s Improv program has a history of rapid growth: from its humble beginnings in 2001, as a weekly class that served five students, within two years Improv opened its first performance season – which promptly sold out. Since that time, the program has grown into an annual event, running through part of FST’s winter season (from February through April), and then throughout the entire summer season (June through September). FST Improv has attracted young Gulf Coast audiences, spawning a youth arts culture that includes other improv troupes, performance groups, and an arts e-magazine that keeps young Sarasotans connected to arts events. This is a program that is ripe for expansion; currently FST Improv plays to sold out audiences each week, doling out equal parts fun and social commentary in short, comic sketches, a form of theatre that shares the same Greek roots as classical theatre.
The Sarasota Improv Festival is a two-day event taking place July 15 and 16 in the Goldstein Cabaret. Please see FST website. Weekend passes are available for $49, while night passes are available for $29. Individual Show Tickets are $10 (Kids Komedy Club are only $6 and includes lunch and FST’s Vintage Whine is $5) and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person by phone (941) 366-9000 or online www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org. Advanced purchase of tickets is recommended.
Florida Studio Theatre is grateful to the Sarasota Improv Festival Sponsors: SRQ Media Group, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Spotlight Graphics, Broadway Bar, Whole Foods, Northern Trust, and the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues. Generous hotels sponsors include: Hampton Inn, Mariott Inn and Suites, Hotel Ranola, Hotel Indigo, Hyatt Place, and the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel.
FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE: Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman’s Club building – now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre es- tablished itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its three theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret and its newest space, the Gompertz Theatre.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.
Richard Cameron of Theatre Chat thanks FST and Sarasota Improv Festival. Cameron’s articles have featured conversations with Tony Award winning Producer Stewart Lane, Emmy Award winning Casting Director Jeff Greenberg, multiple Broadway and TV stars and creative teams bringing arts lovers together around the world for the largest social media arts movement. Tag You’re it! Click Subscribe above and share with your communities.