Twenty-three professional comedy groups and three local high schools will perform at the Secret City Improv Festival in Oak Ridge this weekend.
The festival is scheduled Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, at the Historic Grove Theater.
Itâ€™s the third year in a row that the festival has been in Oak Ridge.
The festival consists of eight unique performances featuring 23 professional improv comedy troupes, three local high schools, and workshops and masterclasses with experienced improvisers from across America, a press release said. The Secret City Improv Festival will feature comedy improv troupes from 15 cities representing 10 states this year.
Returning to the festival are Knoxville troupes Einstein Simplified and Playback Reloaded, Nashvilleâ€™s Danger Junior and Louie Yes Anderson, Atlantaâ€™s Vibe Check and Mom and Dad, Greenevilleâ€™s Blue Plate Special, Ashevilleâ€™s Jolo, Houstonâ€™s Magical Lying Hour, and Improv Chattanooga.
New troupes performing at this yearâ€™s Secret City Improv Festival include Mableâ€™s Baby from Asheville, Josh and Tom and Yearbook Committee from Atlanta, The Maybe Pile from Chattanooga, Mick and Tony from Chicago, Nashville Improv Company, TJ Mannix from New York City, Two Gils and a Row from Phoenix, Nick Condon from Portland, Whatever Fate Decides from Providence (Rhode Island), Newt Work from Raleigh (North Carolina), and Bikini Atoll from San Antonio.
Notable performers this year include Nick Condon from Portland, a renowned improv instructor of more than two decades who teaches at Curious Comedy and the Oregon Childrenâ€™s Theater, the press release said. Condon is the director of â€œCurious Comedy,â€ a socially relevant comedy with a cause in Portland. Condon will perform his solo improv show â€œSolitare! The One-Man Musicalâ€ on October 6.
T.J. Mannix from New York City is a veteran improviser, actor, voice-over artist, teacher, and acting coach, the press release said. He has appeared in numerous radio and television commercials and has had roles on â€œAll My Children,â€ â€œAs The World Turns,â€ â€œOne Life to Live,â€ â€œLaw and Order,â€ and â€œLate Night with Conan Oâ€™Brien.â€ Mannix was also a Mouseketeer and was an original cast member of â€œBlank: The Musicalâ€ off-Broadway. He is the director of the New York Musical Improv Festival and is a member of the faculty at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at NYFA, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and Montclair Film. He will be performing his epic one-man musical â€œLimbolandâ€ on October 7.
This yearâ€™s festival will also feature an innovative program called the Slayden Intensives for the second year, the press release said. â€œThese seminars will be led by professional improv instructors and allow students to hone their creativity, leadership potential, and problem-solving skills in a fun, funny, dynamic, and supportive manner,â€ the press release said. Students will have one day to prepare and perform their comedy improv show in front of a live audience at the festival on Saturday, October 7, at 5 p.m. The studentsâ€™ shows will be family-friendly and appropriate for general audiences, the release said. The festivalâ€™s seminars honor the late William M. Slayden III, a founding member of Einstein Simplified.
For those who would like to learn from the professionals, the Secret City Improv Festival will offer two masterclasses and two workshops on October 7. Information is available at secretcityimprovfest.com and on the festivalâ€™s social media pages. Master classes will be three hours in length and will cost $50, and workshops will be 1.5 hours and cost $25.
Tickets for the 2023 Secret City Improv Festival went on sale on August 12 at secretcityimprovfest.com/tickets. Tickets are available at Gaiaâ€™s Wisdom and Calamityâ€™s Coffee in Oak Ridge and Checkpoint Gaming in Clinton. Tickets are available for $10 per night or $20 for a weekend pass.
WHAT: 2023 Secret City Improv Festival
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7
WHERE: Historic Grove Theatre
123 Randolph Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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