“Performance, to them, is more important than anything else in the world, even survival …” – YesAnd.com
“…one of Austin’s top troupes…” – The Onion
“…talented and enthusiastic performers.” – The Austin Chronicle
“…combining old school commitment and tenacity with a new school sense of exploration and thrill-seeking…” – Jose Gonzalez, Phoenix Improv Festival
“…that shit’s mad-impressive-pressure-awesome. And what they’re doing for the cultural development of our fair city shouldn’t go unnoticed.” – The Austinist
Coldtowne formed in March of 2005 from members of two Comedy Conservatory student teams in New Orleans, Louisiana. For several months, they performed weekly at one of the Crescent City’s premier theater venues, Le Chat Noir, becoming key players in the city’s budding comedy improvisation scene.
After Hurricane Katrina, a handful of ColdTowne’s original eight members fled to Austin, Texas, living together, begging for food together, and building a group mind that borders on codependence. Performing at Austin’s Out of Bounds Improv Festival, Coldtowne established a new existence as relentless and adaptable performers come hell or high water. Since then, Coldtowne has performed long-form improv regularly at Austin’s Hideout Theater, won “Best Improv Group” in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll, and opened its own theater and training center.
The residents of ColdTowne come from a variety of backgrounds: absurdist art, journalism, and business. Together they populate ColdTowne with long- and short-form improv, sketch, stand-up, screenwriting, guerilla film, music, and lots of nerdy blogging.
In addition to their training at New Orleans’ Comedy Conservatory, residents of ColdTowne have trained and performed with Improv Olympic West and Chicago, Second City, the Annoyance Theatre, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, and as regular members of New Orleans’ charter ComedySportz team. They’ve also participated in numerous workshops and master classes taught by improv luminaries. ColdTowne has performed at the inaugural Southern Improv Festival, Harrah’s Casino, IO West, IO Chicago, ComedySportz (in Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, and Dallas), Louisiana State University, the Dirty South Improv Festival, Austin’s Frontera Fest, and the Phoenix, Chicago, and Toronto Improv Festivals, as well as Dallas’ West End Comedy Theater, the Del Close Marathon in New York City, and Austin’s Out of Bounds Improv Festival and Miniature Golf Tournament.
ColdTowne is Arthur Simone, Michael Jastroch, and Justin York.