Tampa Improv Festival is super excited to invite our good friend 'B' to join our acronym. With humble beginnings in Tampa in 2013, Tampa Improv Festival will now be known as Tampa Bay Improv Festival (#TBIF2016).
We know, it's a mouthful. But with the surge of improv that's been happening in the Bay area, it wouldn't be right to claim that all of our talent comes from Tampa-proper. In fact, Tampa Bay now touts 3 major theaters that teach and host improv shows monthly, a slew of independent teams, and an improv community charity devoted to strengthening the local scene.
Look forward to more posts, infographics, videos from last year, and exclusive deals right here on the Tampa Bay Improv Festival blog leading up to TBIF2016! Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for a first look at what this year's festival has in store.
Still need to submit your team or workshop? No problem. Click here!
We're so privileged to be featured on Improv Nerd and super impressed by Mike's story about getting into improv and working at Disney. Check it out below and stay tuned for more stuff from TIF2015 posted throughout the year!
Wednesday night's Playground Jam at The Box Theater was the unofficial kick-off of TIF2015. Roughly 50 performers from all over the city showed up to mix into long form montages. It all kicked off last night with an unbelievable amount of comedy bursting through the walls at Silver Meteor. We're back tonight with even more teams from more cities and more comedy mayhem. At 5p the first teams take the stage, kicking off first weekend show of the largest improv event in city history.
The festival schedule is available here. All tickets are FestPass wristbands for general admission to all shows this weekend. They're $33 and seating is first come first serve. Between shows ticket holders can hang out in the TIF Lounge, grab a drink and check out local artists. You can also sign up on the StandBy list at the Box Office for a workshop from one of our incredible instructors from all over the US. You can read all about them here.
All of the shows and workshops are at Silver Meteor Gallery, just beyond Columbia Restaurant on 6th Ave in Ybor City.
Sometimes life gets in the way. 2014 Festival favorite PLF (Party Like Fuck) from Atlanta's Village Theatre won't be able to make it this year due to multiple team members shooting films this coming weekend. Of course, when we found out we were super bummed and but super happy for them at the same time. If you haven't met Chris Clabo and company, we highly suggest you stop by The Village next time you're in Atlanta.
This gave us an idea...And that idea didn't pan out.
Then we talked to Ricky Wayne from American Stage's mega-duo Hawk & Wanye who suggested we put together a Bay area collaborative team.
So that's what we did. Filling the PLF slot Friday at 830p will be the first all-theater Tampa Bay team Bay to Bay. Featuring Nicholas Riggs (Post Dinner Conversation Inc in Tampa), Patrick McInnis (American Stage/The Third Thought in St. Petersburg), Darryl Knapp (Dear Aunt Gertrude/Florida Studio Theater in Tampa/Sarasota) and Will Luera (Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota), Bay to Bay will be the first team in Tampa Bay history that brings veteran players together from all major improv institutions of the 3 major Bay area cities for a public long form show.
One small step for improv, one giant leap for Tampa Bay. Another first for TIF2015
Don't miss it! All weekend FestPass are on sale for $33 at www.tampaimprovfestival.com.
We've always valued all the performers who leave their hometowns and travel to Tampa each year for 3 days of comedy awesomeness. We never expected they would come from the widest reaches of the country and beyond. This year marks the furthest reach of our performer-base, featuring 3 awesome players making a special effort to grace our space with their talents.
Chris Fair of Laser Comedy is doubling down and joining us from Philly, flying down after performing at the Philly Improv Festival earlier in the week. His show (which is unlike anything else in the improv world) is the closer Friday night at 10p.
All the way from the UK, our good friend Mark Tindle is making his improv festival debut at TIF2015, joining Aspen Webster from Austin, TX in a collaborative show that's sure to feature a unique cultural pairing of make-em-ups. He'll also be appearing in Kevin Miller's History Under the Influence show Saturday night at 8p, a live show inspired by Comedy Central's Drunk History.
Finally, founding member Max McCal of Endgames Improv in San Francisco will be filling in for Joe Tuzzi from Philly Improv Theater's Rommies, a TIF crowd favorite in 2014. Together, Max and Rob Alesiani will be appearing as Bicoastal in the Friday 6p time slot.
The festival is fast approaching! You can get your tickets for the whole weekend for just $33! Don't miss these awesome players who are coming to add to the Tampa improv scene from left, right and center.
Get tickets here: www.tampaimprovfestival.com/tickets.html.
If you're a local improviser or if you'll be in town early, join a bunch of us at The Box Theater on Wednesday Nov 4th for their monthly Playground Jam! Everything gets kicked off @ 7:30PM.
The Box is the home of TIF2015 teams Alpaca Suitcase and Dear Aunt Gertrude, who perform Thursday and Saturday night. It's just a stone's throw from Silver Meteor in Ybor City at 1925 2nd Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605. Head in the main doors, into the theater area and jump in. It's free! Here's a map just in case you get lost:
So, if you haven't yet noticed or tried to book a hotel yet, then you haven't discovered that the Hampton Inn Ybor City is not offering a very good rate, even with our 15% discount (call (813) 769- 6886 to book). That's a shame, too, because they totally said they'd hook us up and then apparently changed their mind last minute, didn't tell us, and now are refusing to lower their rate.
(Shaking head)...Shame...(Ringing Bell).
If you're gonna stay at Hampton, cool. It's walking distance from the Theater and Afterpaty and it will make your life easier, so it's not like you're throwing your money away. Split the room with another person or two and save money.
But if you're not planning on staying there at Hampton and would rather just Uber or Cab your way back to a further away hotel after the shows and party, here's a list of options that are still near Ybor City and are way more affordable:
AirBnB - There are a few nice places in Ybor left for that weekend!
Quality Near Inn Ybor - About a 5-10min drive from the theater @$68/night
Howard Johnson Near Ybor - About a 5-10min drive from the theater @$36/night
Roadway Inn Near Ybor - About a 5-10min drive from the theater @$72/night
Days Inn Near Ybor - About a 5-10min drive from the theater @$56/night
Floridian Palace - Historic Hotel in Downtown Tampa 10-15min drive/20 min by StreetCar @$120/night
University Inn - A privately owned hotel in Downtown Tampa near University of Tampa
10-15min drive/20 min by StreetCar @$120/night
**The TECO Line Street Car - Runs from Downtown to Ybor City from 11A to 2A Fri & Sat
We hope this helps make your trip planning easier and we're looking forward to an awesome festival. Don't worry - once you get to the theater there will be plenty of shows to see, places to hang out and other fun stuff and drinks happening to keep you occupied! Not to mention, Ybor is the center of nearly all Tampa nightlife.
We have an amazing lineup of workshops this year from all over the country. There's never been a more eclectic package of improv classes offered in Tampa!
Our featured workshop, Jimmy Carrane's award-winning Art of Slow Comedy workshop sold out the first week it was posted. We thought, "Damn...there's probably a bunch of people who wanted to take that. We should add another workshop from someone amazing just to help them out!"
So we did.
In addition to classes on Saturday offered by Washington Improv Theater/Baltimore Improv Group's John Windmueller, Magnet Theater alum's Justin Peters and Kelly Buttermore, and Kevin Miller from Merlin Works in Austin, we pleased to have KC Improv's Tim Marks on Friday offering a diagnostic workshop for folks who want special attention on their scene work and Duo play. There is literally a workshop for everyone, no matter how experienced you are. The best thing about improv is you can never stop learning.
Read up on all of the workshops and instructors here! Each one is only $15. Why? Because you don't need to spend a fortune to learn how to be awesome.
So be awesome.
TIF2015 Teaser Trailer
We've been waiting for this all year!
Submissions for #TIF2015 are now open through the National Improv Network. There's so many new cool things about the festival this year, it's astounding. Here's a list of 'em:
This is our third year, so we really wanted to do something special. This year, all tickets are $33 for general admission to the entire festival! So if you have friends or family that want to tag along, it's super affordable.
Also, SAK Comedy Lab has been cool enough to sponsor us this year, helping bring Jimmy Carrane down from Chicago for a live recording of Improv Nerd. That's the #1 Improv podcast in da world coming to TIF2015!
Got a workshop idea? Want to partially fund your own trip to TIF? We're particularly looking for innovative, ground-breaking stuff this year! Shoot us proposals here.
Don't wait to submit! DEADLINE is September 3rd, 2015.
PS - All submissions are through the National Improv Network (NIN) this year. If you've never used NIN, we think you should. Especially if you're from Florida. It's an amazing tool that connects you to the rest of the improv world. Click the tab above for submissions, sign up for NIN, and then it's one-click submit to TIF and other amazing festivals...forever.
In our final Afterthoughts interview this year, Richard Regan Paul talks about his experience in Tampa for TIF2014. Not only was Richard essential in bringing workshops to the festival last year, but his workshop, one person show, and appearance with SAK Comedy Lab this year helped make TIF2014 a tour de force of the Orlando comedy scene.
What was your favorite aspect of the festival this year?
How did you feel about your show?
Can you talk about how the stage and the audience felt from up there, and maybe what the response was like?
What was your favorite show of the weekend?
Any specific memorable moments from any team?
What do you think you'll take away from it?
Anything memorable happen when you weren't on stage? Maybe in the Green Room, Lounge, or just in Tampa over the course of the weekend?
Was TIF2014 everything you expected it to be?
What do you think we could do in the future to make the festival even better?
What would you say to folks who are thinking about coming next year but are on the edge of deciding?
If you could capture your experience at TIF2014 in one sentence, what would it be?
Big thanks to Richard for being so pivotal in helping TIF come together in the past 2 years. We look forward to seeing more of him and SAK next year. If you want to catch Richard in action, you can find him on stage every week at SAK Comedy Lab in Orlando, along with a slew of other blockbuster improvisers!