FST Improv Festival opens in Sarasota

The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company headlines the annual fest

mclear@bradenton.comJuly 10, 2014 

FST Improv troupe members, clockwise from left, Angel Parker, Christine Alexander, Darryl Knapp, Rebecca Hopkins, Emily Levin, Patrick A. Jackson, Steve Turrisi and Adam Ratner. PUBLICITY PHOTO


For Bradenton area residents, the funniest two days of the year are coming up.

The Florida Studio Theatre's annual Improv Festival is slated for Friday and Saturday. Some of the best improv comedy troupes from around the country will be in town for two evenings of virtually non-stop comedy, starting at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.

Fans of the festival will recognize some of the most popular acts from years past who will return this year: Available Cupholders (Austin, Texas), Dad's Garage (Atlanta), SAK Comedy Lab (Orlando), ImprovBoston (Boston), the all-female musical improve group Stacked (Chicago), The Third Thought (Tampa), Hawk & Wayne (St. Petersburg), Dear Aunt Gertrude (Tampa) and, of course, FST Improv.

One of the best-known improv troupes in the country, The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, will be making its FST Improv Festival debut.

UCB has two theaters in New York and one in Los Angeles. It was founded in the late 1990s by Amy Poehler and a few other big-name comedians.

The touring company that's coming to Sarasota has 16 members, including Langan Kinglsey.

"We do long-form improv," she said. "We have no script and no plot. We start with a suggestion from the audience. It could be a word or a song lyric. Sometimes we'll do an audience interview and see where that takes us."

Here's the whole schedule:


6 p.m.: FST Improv, Goldstein Cabaret

7 p.m.: The Third Thought, Goldstein Cabaret; ImprovBoston, Keating Theatre

8 p.m.: Hawk and Wayne, Goldstein Cabaret; Dad's Garage, Keating Theatre. Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, Gompertz Theatre

9 p.m.: Six Degrees, Goldstein Cabaret; Villain Improv, Keating Theatre

10 p.m.: Available Cupholders; Keating Theatre


5 p.m.: Post Dinner Conversation, Goldstein Cabaret; Dear Aunt Gertrude, Keating Theatre

6 p.m.: North Coast Improv, Keating Theatre; Improv Against Humanity, Goldstein Cabaret

7 p.m.: Dad's Garage, Goldstein Cabaret; Big Bang Improv, Keating Theatre

8 p.m.: STACKED, Goldstein Cabaret; SAK Comedy Lab, Keating Theatre

9 p.m.: Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, Gompertz Theatre

10:30 p.m. All Play, Gompertz Theatre

Details: July 11-12 at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Show times: 5 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $10 single show, $49 for one-night passes, $59 for weekend passes. Information: 941-366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org.

Marty Clear, Herald features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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