SUPEREGO w/ Paul F. Tompkins Headlines Austin Sketch Fest!

Achtung! Austin comedy nerds! We are excited to announce that our favorite podcast, SUPEREGO, will be headlining the Austin Sketch Fest this Memorial Day weekend w/ special guest Paul F. Tompkins.

We’re still working booking acts and completing the schedule for the Festival, which will take place Memorial Day Weekend. In the meantime, there are a limited number of early-bird all access FESTIVAL PASSES available that include tickets to the SUPEREGO show. Get them here.

If you’re interested coming to Austin to perform for the 2013 Austin Sketch Fest over Memorial Day Weekend – May 22nd through May 27th – follow this link. Deadline is February 1st ($15 payable via Paypal). If you have any questions, you can email us at info@atxsketchfest.com.

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The 2013 ColdTowne Mainstage Season!

According to the Mayan Calendar, the Austin comedy world is going to end in a few short days. We decided to use this opportunity to announce ambitious plans for 2013, because we won’t end up actually having to follow through on any of this. It’s the perfect crime! We look good. The world ends. And then we don’t actually have to put in any work to entertain you.

You can buy tickets for these shows in advance, or if you’re feeling lucky you can purchase a 2013 GOLDEN TICKET, which puts you on a special list to get into any show all year long. GOLDEN TICKET holders can show up to any regular show all year long and get VIP treatment (a bag of delicious popcorn).* GOLDEN TICKETS stop going on sale January 15th, and there’s a limited number.

ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s only entertainment option, with improv, sketch and stand up shows seven nights a week, featuring local Emmy award wining talent, the hardest working moms in show business.

More below the cut… Continue Reading

Comedy Classes — The Best Laziest Gift That Keeps On Giving

Are you in Austin? Are you looking for a fun and unique gift to give your loved one this year? Too lazy to go to the mall? Might we suggest giving the gift of improv comedy?

Improv and sketch classes change lives. It’s also ridiculously easy. All you have to do is REGISTER FOR CLASSES. Include a note or contact the conservatory. Let us know who the gift is for. If you sign up before DECEMBER 18th, we’ll print up a nice little certificate suitable for  unwrapping.

Some of our most talented performers were pimped into this by a family member for a birthday/holiday! And nothing says “holiday” like forcing a loved one out of their comfort zone.

The ColdTowne Conservatory is Austin’s premier long form improv and sketch comedy training center. In fact, we’re so confident in ourselves that we’re offering you a money back guarantee. If you don’t have fun in our level 1 classes, we’ll refund your money with no questions asked.
Whether you’re an aspiring comedian or just looking for something new and wildly entertaining to do, our classes will help. You will boost your confidence, improve your public speaking, increase your spontaneity, and foster your creativity.

ColdTowne Declares Self “Official Comedy Venue of F1 Racing”

Austin, TX — Austin’s home for alternative comedy, ColdTowne Theater, has declared itself The Official Comedy Theater of Formula One Racing. With the proliferation of events in Austin that feature comedy, it’s only natural that as the Circuit of the Americas makes its debut in Texas, it partners with local comedians for their event.

“We couldn’t have done this at a better time,” says theater General Manager Sam Malcolm. “Especially since the F1 race is coming to Austin next weekend.”

ColdTowne hoping to construct a comedy stage next to the pit crews, the ideal place for racing enthusiasts to be entertained by local comedians during the race. ColdTowne plans on performing their signature “Armando” show, Stool Pigeon, in front of the 70,000 racing fans.

“Improv is kind of awkward with microphones, so we’re really going to have to shout to be heard over the race cars,” says Stool Pigeon director Cody Dearing. “If the audience isn’t into it, we might just play party quirks.”

ColdTowne will also be looking to capitalize on the presence of billionaires in Austin around race weekend by setting aside the couches for people who can prove their net worth, mandating a “black tie” dress code for all shows and providing free cans of Lonestar.

“We can safely say that next weekend, we will have the most billionaire-friendly comedy establishment in Austin,” says owner Michael Jastroch. “I mean, despite the fact that we’re not located anywhere near the actual race track or race-related events.” ColdTowne performers and administrators are very excited to be involved with Formula One Racing.

“We think this will be a good fit,” says theater owner Michael Jastroch. “Whether they like it or not.”

ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s only performance venue with improv, sketch and stand up shows seven nights a week. Their performers have appeared at festivals all over the country and have a national reputation as being some of the funniest and brightest comedians in the United States.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview, please email Michael Jastroch (coldtowne@coldtownetheater.com) or call 512-814-TOWN.

November Workshops! Winter Classes!

Austin! The holidays are just around the corner, and that means that it’s time for winter improv comedy classes! You’re about to be hit by a deluge of ads trying to separate you from your hard earned money. Consider this the first such ad.

We’ve just set the schedule for our winter session of classes. Might we suggest that improv and sketch classes make a fantastic gift? Not to sound creepy, but improv changes lives. If you want to read more about it, you can go here. Or, if you just want to skip ahead and register, click here.

In the meantime, we’re excited to be bringing our good friend and stalwart of the national improv scene, Bill Binder, to do some workshops in November!

Higher Forms of Agreement
Saturday, November 17th (3:15-5:15)
REGISTER HERE
Saying “Yes and” is more than agreement to the facts of the scene. True support relies on saying yes to every level of the scene. Making the leap to great shows requires going beyond simple listening skills and learning to be aware of all the spoken and unspoken gifts all around you. This workshop teaches ways to listen beyond the spoken word, to truly support your partner and the scene even if it means uttering the forbidden word “no”.

The Math of Improv
Saturday, November 17th (5:30-7:30)
REGISTER HERE
Left-brained thinking is great for analytical, logical, critical thinking. But it can also be a bit judgmental, which is why beginning performers turn it off for a while so they can learn to embrace the imaginative, creative parts of their brains without self-doubt. Once that creative part of the brain learns to thrive, however, most of us never allow the left brain to come out to play. That’s only playing with half the tools available to you. Improv – like any art – is filled with beautiful patterns and symmetries; volume, stage position, and status – they’re all variables which can be toyed with in a beautiful equation. This workshop teaches players not to be ashamed of their analytical gifts, but to learn how to apply them in all of their work to build stronger more cohesive shows.

Bill Binder began performing in Michigan in 1994 where he performed for six years before moving to Phoenix, AZ. Bill helped organize the first Phoenix Improv Festival in 2002, spent two years training at iO West in Los Angeles and was one of the founding members of The Torch Theatre.

Oscar Bait! Saturdays in November!

In 1928, Hollywood movie studios created the Academy Awards to bestow trophies on themselves in order to “establish the industry in the public’s mind as a respectable institution.” In other words, The Oscars.

Now, over 80 years later, films tackling social, political, environmental, or cultural issues are dumped by Hollywood studios into the last two months of the year to pander to an organization that they invented for awards that they created in a self-satisfying loop of pleasure seeking in the form of status and reputation.

A king with a stutter. An obese teenager carrying her father’s child. Sandra Bullock teaching a different obese teenager how to play football. These are the over-dramatic, over-acted movies that Hollywood releases in the winter months leading up to award season. In other words, Oscar Bait.

Every Saturday at 8:30 in November, an all star cast of improvisers will take the stage at ColdTowne for an improvised Oscar-caliber performance. The audience will choose a movie that hasn’t yet been released , and – based on the trailer for that film – our cast will perform their artful interpretation of these sure-to-be classics. In other words, Oscar Bait.

Our cast of improvisers have trained at not only Austin’s finest comedy theaters but the finest comedy institutions across the country (iO, Second City, UCB). Their credits include Master Pancake, Stag Comedy, Midnight Society, Stool Pigeon, The Team, and Girls Girls Girls. Watch them craft a completely improvised, live action movie before your very eyes- for you and cinema enthusiasts alike.

We guarantee our versions of these movies will have more stuttering, more obesity and more Sandra Bullock.* In other words, they will be funnier.

CAST:
Addison Billingsley
Cody Dearing
Lance Gilstrap
Madeline Malka
Kyle Sweeney
Nathan Sowell
Katie Thornton
TICKETS HERE.

* Sandra Bullock not a guarantee.

ColdTowne Theater Invades the State Theatre This Friday Night!

What’s the worst thing about a bad movie? You could sight poor lighting, production values or the cheap ass special effects. But really, the thing that makes a bad movie unwatchable is the terrible script, bad acting and shitty soundtrack!

Once again, ColdTowne Theater has come to the rescue. This FRIDAY NIGHT at the STATE THEATRE, we will be replacing a movie’s original terrible dialogue and music with our own slightly less terrible (and infinitely more funny) improvised dialogue and music. We’re flipping the script, making the movies worse and in the process creating improv comedy GOLD – all based on suggestions from the audience.

This Saturday, we will be playing around with the classic shit show The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. Get your tickets for this show here.

Classes Start Next Week! Advanced Improv w/ Dave Buckman!

Our final session of 2012 is starting next week! Now’s your chance to get in on Austin’s most popular improv classes before the world ends.

Our instructors have decades of professional comedy experience — touring and working with some of the biggest comedy institutions in the world — and have trained hundreds of Austin’s best improv talent. One of them was even voted BEST IMPROV INSTRUCTOR by the Austin Chronicle.

If that isn’t enough for you, this session we’re offering a money back guarantee. If you don’t love your class and have a great time, we’ll write you a damned refund check. Read more about our classes or just go ahead and register. Our classes always sell out, and there are limited spaces remaining!

This session, the unimpeachable Dave Buckman is offering up his graduate-level improv class! Keep reading, yeoman!

ADVANCED IMPROV WORKSHOP w/ DAVE BUCKMAN
TUESDAYS 6-8p AND SATURDAYS 1p-3p
(Starts November 17th)
$100/4 classes or $200/8 classes
REGISTER FOR 4 CLASSES
REGISTER FOR 8 CLASSES

Description: You may have noticed, kind improviser, there are a significant number of improvisers in town these days. Many experienced upper level of performers don’t have opportunities to take workshops or get notes any more. This may be you. You are in a rut and haven’t felt like you have had a “good show” in months.

This class is specifically designed for experienced improvisers, graduates of Austin’s Improv Training Centers and Improv instructors. Take an honest and supportive look at your own scene work, get some good feedback and receive notes that are fair and honest, try out some new exercises and leave you feeling re-energized, focused and proud of your scene work.

You’ll see a leap in your performance abilities and tour confidence that first month; Step up your game. Hone your craft. Play with people with different levels and backgrounds with the common goal of getting better and doing something you love.

This 4 week Intensive is designed to Strengthen the skills needed by the participants of the class.

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Making Bad Movies Worse!

What’s the worst thing about a bad movie? You could sight poor lighting, production values or the cheap ass special effects. But really, the thing that makes a bad movie unwatchable is the terrible script, bad acting and shitty soundtrack!

Once again, ColdTowne Theater has come to the rescue. Every Saturday night at 8:30 in September and October, we will be replacing a movie’s original terrible dialogue and music with our own slightly less terrible (and infinitely more funny) improvised dialogue and music. We’re flipping the script, making the movies worse and in the process creating improv comedy GOLD –  all based on suggestions from the audience.

This Saturday we will be debuting our show with the classic shit show Santa Clause Vs. the Martians. Each week, we’ll be picking a new movie for your consideration.

TICKETS HERE

Live Storytelling with Austin’s Funniest!

The Mission is a playful project in storytelling at ColdTowne Theater. Centered around a monthly theme, two performers from Austin’s wide community of talented artists will each share an autobiographical piece, while a variety of other storytelling forms are experimented with throughout.

This month’s theme is Sophomore Effort and features performances from Kristen Henn, Joe Hafkey, Bob Khosravi along side slam poet Isaac Harigle, musical guest Duncan Carson and expressionist Adam Shumate!

red envelope Comedy Variety Show Premier!

Red envelope is a monthly choose your own comedy adventure variety show where audience votes determine the course of the show. We hand pick the finest and funniest Austin performers and have them do, well, whatever you want! Performances are the first Thursday of every month at 10 PM at ColdTowne Theater. Red envelope is hosted by Courtney Sevener & Elizabeth Osterwisch.

This month is the pilot episode! Be a part of history by witnessing: Bad Boys wrecking shop with sketch or stand up (totes up to you), the Nesting Dolls murdering improv, and many more surprises!

Out of Bounds at ColdTowne!

We are eight days away from the other largest comedy festival in Austin: Out of Bounds! With over 500 hundred improvisers, sketch comedians and stand ups descending on Texas in the week leading up to Labor Day, this year is another monster.

This year, OOB is bringing down some of our favorite improv troupes as headliners: the legendary Beer Shark Mice and 30 Rock’s Adsit and Lutz! Shows are happening all over Austin at venues across town, but since this is the ColdTowne website, we thought we’d clue you in to what was happening in our neck of the woods.

Friday and Saturday night, from 7pm to midnight, we’ve got incredible improv and sketch comedy troupes appearing from all over the country. We’re particularly excited about K.C. Redheart (Chicago), Old Milwaulee (Los Angeles) and a rare, home-turf ColdTowne show. Also, our friends at Mascot Wedding are doing a FREE live radio show at ColdTowne Saturday at 6pm! Oh, did we mention we’re BYOB?

In addition to all of that sweetness, many of your favorite ColdTowne Theater house troupes will be performing at the festival. In no particular order, you can see Tears But Joy, Galactic, Elevator Action, Hot Property, Magician Vs. Clown, Oh Science!, Rachel and Dave, Scout, Bad Boys, Ratliff and Jackson, Jorak and Jorak, Nice Astronaut, Sarah 7, The Team, Miller and Purselley, Midnight Society, Mike and Irene (w/ Eric Hunicutt), The Frank Mills, and Stool Pigeon (w/ special guests Adsit and Lutz)!

#IFL 2012 Prelim Recap 2

The claws came out last Friday night in the second preliminary round of the Improv Fantasy League! The Immutably Misanthropic McMeullers of Middle Ridgetop faced off against  The Murchison Middle Schoolers and  The Bee Cave Honey Boo Boo Children of Str8 Death and emerged victorious!

At the top of the show, The Middle Schoolers won the right to pick the first free agent and determine the run order of the show. The free agents – recent NYC transplant Ben Masten and newly minted NYC resident James Patrick Robinson – were passed over in the initial pick for the mystery improviser, Robin Goodfellow. For those not in the know, as a member of Buddy Daddy, Robin Goodfellow is an internationally touring improv star. He is also a dog. The McMeullers picked up JPR, much to the chagrin of Ben Masten, who was a little sad that he got picked last over a puppy dog.

The McMeullers came out of the gate swinging with a no frills, hilarious montage showcasing explosive improv chops. The Honey Boo Boo Children performed a terrific Toddlers and Tiaras-themed Close Quarters inside a prison. The troupe rose to the occaision in pageant worthy dresses, much to the chagrin of Ben Masten, who squeezed himself into a tight little red satin number that showed off his “figure.” Ben gets the prize of suffering the most indignity in the history of IFL. The Middle Schoolers roared back with a strong showing, featuring, among other things, a gigantic puppy erection. Despite having the advantage of going third, it wasn’t enough to overcome the McMuellers, who eked out a victory in the final vote count.

The McMeullers will be performing in the Semi-final Round 2 on Saturday, August 18th. The Middle Schoolers gained enough votes to take the lead in the wild card running. The runner up of next week’s IFL must get more than 15 votes to move on to the next round.

The next preliminary round happens this Friday, August 17th at 8:30pm and features SoCocoNuts vs. The Gathering of the Jollyville Juggalos vs. Payton Gin & Juice!

 

Schedule Changes Starting… Now!

ATTN: Friends of Austin Improv Comedy! ColdTowne Theater has done some slight schedule reordering that is taking effect during our August/September block of shows. We thought you’d like to know about it, because it means more awesome shows!

Starting in August, all of our regular improv blocks will have a consistent headlining troupes. That means that Austin’s funniest comedians will have a permanent home, joining the elite ranks of improv troupes who have held down a night on their own. (For reference, those ranks include multiple B. Iden Payne Winners the ColdTowne, Frank Mills, Parallelogramophonograph, B. Iden Payne nominees Midnight Society and Austin 360’s “Best Comedy Show” winner Stool Pigeon.)

Our new line up is below the cut! Continue Reading

#IFL2012 Prelim Preview

This Friday night, #IFL2012 continues with a three way grudge match between The Immutably Misanthropic McMeullers of Middle Ridgetop,  The Murchison Middle Schoolers, and  The Bee Cave Honey Boo Boo Children of Str8 Death!

The winner will move on to the Semi-Finals on August 18th. The runner up will be in the running for a wild card spot, assuming they can get more votes than last week’s runner up, The Congress Bats.

We sat down with team captain Brad Knox, cyborg-robot scientist and two time level 6 graduate, to discuss The Immutably Misanthropic McMeullers of Middle Ridgetop’s strategy going into tomorrow’s match.

Greetings team captain! You’re about to dive head first into one of improv’s oldest and most valuable traditions: meaningless competition and stupid bits. What made you get started at ColdTowne in the first place?
I saved up money for lessons. It was gonna be either piano or improv. My last piano instructor recommended improv.

What are the challenges facing your team as you move into the preliminary rounds?
Mostly focus. There are a lot of distractions in IFL. I’ve instituted a strict “no alcohol, no sex” rule for the 24 hours before our show.

How do you expect your team to fare? What do you expect from the other teams in terms of competition?
Judging by the names of other troupes, there’s only a few that need paying attention to. If our team keeps their head straight, keeps our privates to ourselves, we’ll have no problem walking right into the finals.

Any words of inspiration for your teammates?
Remember the McMuellers family motto.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Mitt Romney 2012

TICKETS HERE

Chicago Super Troupe 3033 Comes to ColdTowne!

iO Chicago super group 3033 is coming to Austin for two shows at ColdTowne Theater. Widely regarded as one of the best improv groups on the planet, 3033 consists of veteran Chicago improvisers Bill Arnett, Alex Fendrich, Rush Howell, Danny Mora, and Andy St. Clair. This show is not to be missed!

From the Chicago Reader: “A comedy supergroup consisting mainly of former members of People of Earth, 3033 creates some of the liveliest, most consistently solid improv around. Members Andy St. Clair and Alex Fendrich have been highlights of recent Second City E.T.C. shows; Rush Howell, a lawyer by day, is one of the scene’s wittiest performers; and Bill Arnett and Danny Mora are personable comedians with off-beat senses of humor. Unlike most troupes at iO, 3033 doesn’t stick with the Harold improv format. Instead, they play it loose, letting an audience suggestion and Jason Chin’s playful music and light effects steer them. At a recent show the topic of gangs inspired a hilarious 70s-era game show.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25th:
Tickets Here.

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Fall Classes and Workshops!

What do actors, comedians, musicians, lawyers, software engineers and soccer moms have in common? They’ve all taken our comedy improv classes and can be seen headlining improv shows all over Austin and around the country.

If Austin were the Star Wars universe, ColdTowne Theater would be the Jedi Academy. Except we have more than one Yoda. Also, for this metaphor to work we’d have to assume that improvisers have the force.

In any case, our instructors have taught and directed shows at the country’s biggest comedy institutions and one of them was named Austin’s Best Improv Teacher by the Chronicle.

Read more about our classes here. Or just skip right ahead and register. Or, if you’re an experienced improviser, just keep on reading to learn about our upcoming Master classes and workshops!

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#IFL2012 Prelim Recap

ColdTowne Theater brought the comedy thunder last night with the opening salvo of the 2012 Improv Fantasy League. Three teams entered, but only one walked away triumphant.

At the top of the show, the Greenbelt Greenbelts garnered the most audience support, and were able to pick the run order and get first choice of the free agents. They went with the mystery door free agent, the Speakeasy Constable. the Mopac Mofos picked up Chris Baldenhofer and the Congress Bats picked up the Ghetto Sketch Warlock, Bryan “Lubu” Roberts.

The Mopac Mofos opened the show with a tight La Ronde-inspired montage. Big laughs abound, but it wasn’t enough to eek out a win in this field of competitors.

The Congress Bats boldly decided to dress up as Bats and then do a  Bat, an improv format that takes place entirely in the dark. A bold move, considering that a poorly executed Bat runs the risk of completely alienating the audience. They stepped up to the challenge and performed one of the best Bats to ever happen at ColdTowne.

The Greenbelt Green Belts went on to destroy the competition to advance to the semi finals on August 18th with a show that included two key ingredients to any comedy show: references to balls and karate.

The next preliminary round is on August 10th at 8:30. The Immutably Misanthropic McMeullers of Middle Ridgetop vs. The Murchison Middle Schoolers Vs. The Bee Cave Honey Boo Boo Children of Str8 Death! Tickets here.

#IFL2012!

Mom’s apple pie. The Lincoln Memorial. Making out. None of these things are nearly as quintessentially American as a good old fashioned football. The old gridiron. The pigskin. Two teams of hot sinewy dudes matching wits on a field of battle. And nothing’s more quintessentially hilarious than people fantasizing about playing football.

With that in mind, Austin’s ColdTowne Theater has decided to combine it’s love of sports, arbitrary competition and hilarity into a month of football-style improv comedy competition, replete with drafts, free agents, referees and tailgating.

For the first three Friday nights in August at 8:30pm, three teams made up of ColdTowne Theater performers and students will compete to advance in a tournament style competition. At the top of each show, the audience will have the opportunity to bid actual money on free agents for their favorite teams. At the end of each show, the audience will vote for their favorite team who will then move on to the next round. The semi finals and finals will happen on August 18th, and will be followed by a ticker tape parade. (We’re not kidding.)

Preliminary Round 1 Tickets
Preliminary Round 2 Tickets
Preliminary Round 3 Tickets
Semi-final Round 1 Tickets
Semi-final Round 2 Tickets
IFL FINAL Tickets

SOLID GOLD HUSTLE

ColdTowne Theater’s smash hit comedy variety show, is coming back for a month-long victory lap. Every Saturday in July at 8:30 PM, The Hustle Show will perform a solid hour of their very best material. This ain’t the weak shit, son.

Brought to you by the finest gathering of Austin’s comedic minds this side of I-35, the Hustle Show cast features ColdTowne veterans, FPIA finalists, and members of Stag Comedy, Mascot Wedding, and Your Terrific Neighbors. Expect interpretive boogying, southern millionaires, the afterlife, and more. Come for the sweet laffs, stay because you’re too embarrassed to stand-up. I see you.

Featuring: Courtney Sevener, Jeff Whitaker, Curtis Luciani (July 21 & 28), Scott Raney, Tre Fuentes, Ann Potter, and Ximena Estrada. Hosted by Mac Blake and David Jara.

Tickets:
Saturday, July 7th at 8:30pm
Saturday, July 14th at 8:30pm
Saturday, July 21st at 8:30pm
Saturday, July 28th at 8:30pm

Bad Boys and Elevator Action Double Bill! Thursdays at 8:30!

Thursdays in July, two of ColdTowne Theater’s best improv groups — Bad Boys and Elevator Action — share a double bill of titanic proportions!

For the unaware, Bad Boys have garnered acclaim as one of the best improv ensembles working in Austin, playing to sold out houses across the city and inspiring audience reviews such as “everyone in the “Bad Boys” troupe wears glasses. They were also hilarious.” One of their members has become internet famous from a series of viral videos from the folks at Humordy.

Similarly, Elevator Action has been blowing up — though mostly in out of town markets. This Summer they’ve performed in Minneapolis, Dallas, New York City, and Oklahoma City. They’re not internet famous, YET.

Guiding you through this evening of high octane comedy excitement will be none other than Funniest Person in Austin Finalist Maggie Maye.

The Thursday Night Social Club at ColdTowne Theater also boasts people’s favorite feature: free booze.

ColdTowne Theater, Live and In Your Town!

Attention fans of Austin Improv Comedy! ColdTowne Theater is coming to a city near you. Near you, that is, if you in the metro areas of the following cities: Minneapolis, New York and Oklahoma City. And in the grand scale of the universe, technically we all live near one of those cities, right?

First up, ColdTowne Theater super troupe Elevator Action is appearing in the Twin Cities Improv Festival at the amazing Huge Theater. They’re playing with the incredible Bearded Men at 11:30, Friday June 22nd.

Next stop is the 14th Annual Del Close Marathon, June 29th to July 2nd. ColdTowne Theater’s comedic powerhouses are descending on New York City for the entire weekend,. At last count, nine improv troupes are performing all weekend long. You can catch the ColdTowne Tourco Friday night at 10pm at the Hudson Guild Theater.  (Called “Consistently Stellar!” on Splitsider).

Finally, Elevator Action returns to the Oklahoma City Improv Festival stage July 21st. Theater owner Michael Jastroch will be teaching some workshops, as well.

Take that, America.

Summer Workshop Series

The 1987 Carl Reiner masterpiece, Summer School, featured a motley gang of misfit students, a high school gym coach forced to teach an English class and, if memory serves, a shocking twist ending (spoiler alert: the school was dead the whole time).

The only difference between our Summer Workshop Series and the movie Summer School is that our motley gang of misfits are there by choice and the closest thing we have to a gym teacher on staff is actually a web developer.

Austin, check out these amazing improv classes from Dave Buckman (Second City, Boom! Chicago), Todd Schanbacher (iO Chicago) and Karen Graci (iO West).

“From Moment One,” 1:00PM-4:00PM, Saturday, July 28th

$30, 14 student cap
REGISTER HERE
Feel overwhelmed in scenes? Thinking too much? Doubting your instincts as a performer? This workshop specifically focuses on how natural, honest choices from the very first moment in scenes lead to solid scene work. Students learn how to build their confidence by tapping into the power of immediate physical, emotional, and vocal choices, and discover ways to create these organic starting points. This workshop challenges students to trust their instincts, all the while balancing character development, scenic relationships and game.

Musical Improv, 1:00PM-4:00PM, Sunday, July 29th
$45 for participation/$20 for audit only, 12 participation spots and 10 audit spots
REGISTER HERE
Register here to Audit
You doing musical improv. If these words make you fear that you’ll look like a complete douchebag onstage, then this workshop is for you. Learn to apply your existing improv skills in song and strengthen your vocal technique in this workshop. We will explore lyrics, rhyming (and effective alternatives to rhyming), song structure, and how to convincingly get into songs from an improvised scene. The goal of the workshop is to not only expand your skills, but expand your confidence as well. Plus it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Taught by veteran Chicago and Los Angeles-based improviser Karen Graci, a Baby Wants Candy alum.

KAREN GRACI
A proud native of Buffalo, NY, Karen performed for Chicago’s The Second City for more than three years. While touring the US and abroad with The Second City National Touring Company, Karen was grateful to perform in The Second City’s first-ever USO Tour, entertaining American troops in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. She was also a resident cast member in The Best of Second City at The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas for over a year.  Karen co-wrote and starred in the sold-out run of Camp Hot, a three-woman sketch show featured at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater and the Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival. Her one woman show, Her Potential, was a 2007 and 2008 Del Close Award nominee for Best Scripted Show at iO West. A veteran of ComedySportz Chicago and Baby Wants Candy at iO Chicago, Karen now performs regularly at iO West with King Ten. Karen is an instructor at iO West and also taught at Second City Las Vegas and Second City Los Angeles. Karen coached the iO West Main Stage Harold Team, Local 132, and is the current coach of Main Stage team Bandit.

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Hot Property: Development Hell

Clear out that 8:30 PM Saturday slot on your June calendars. Dinner with people you don’t even like can wait! Sketch comedy troupe Hot Property (combined credits include Master PancakeMascot WeddingMidnight Society, and Stag Comedy!) brings a month full of comedic fire and brimstone with Development Hell.

Every show will be different because Hot Property never stops writing. They will be constantly updating, trimming, adding, and cutting sketches left and right for you because perfect is never good enough. They will even write sketches before your very eyes!

Tell Siri to make an appointment for Saturday nights in June at 8:30 at the Coldtowne Theater. Nobody soaked in gasoline will be permitted in the theater because this show’s going to be hot!

Tickets Below The Cut:
June 9th at 8:30pm
June 16th at 8:30pm
June 23rd at 8:30pm

ATX Sketch Fest — All Fest Passes Added!

We are three weeks and a day out from Austin’s ONLY Festival — The ATX Sketch Fest! We’ve released a very limited number of All Fest Passes to the event, good for any shows save Paul F. Tompkins Crying & Driving Tour . Good news, however, because it’s entirely possible to purchase pass upgrades with tickets to the Paul F. Tompkins Shows!

The festival kicks off at ColdTowne Theater on May 23rd, with performances from the Encyclopedia Show, the Hustle Show and There’s Waldo. We continue May 24th and 25th at the Hyde Park Theatre with shows from the P! Company, Spirit Desire, Stag!, Ghetto Sketch Warlock, One Across, Astronaut Theatre (NYC), and Fantasy Sex Picnic (LA).

The weekend will be capped off at the 29th Street Ballroom with two performances from Paul F. Tompkins and a special appearance by last year’s festival darlings, LA’s Delicious Moments and Austin’s own Your Terrific Neighbors.

Buy Passes and Tickets

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Saturdays in May! Mike and Irene and Miller and Purselley!

If the creative history of the 20th century has taught us anything, it’s that great ensembles come in groups of four. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Laverne, Shirley, Lenny and Squiggy.

ColdTowne Theater is continuing that tradition in May. Two improv comedy duos are teaming up every Saturday night at 8:30 to bring you half hour long manic tableaux of characters and absurd situations that have never been seen before and will likely never be seen again. It’s ColdTowne, so anything can happen.

Mike and Irene (Michael Jastroch and Irene White) are two veteran improvisers who have appeared in countless sitcoms and movies. More accurately, Irene has appeared in countless sitcoms and movies and Mike was in a commercial once. Mike and Irene perform character driven improvised comedy pieces, focusing on the absurdity of small moments, and the banality of the big ones.

Miller and Purselley (Nat Miller and Pierce Purselley) is a two person improv group that looks to tell a story. They explore the narratives of everyday life, concentrating on the intricacies and nuance of grounded characters and the truth of those lives in the moment. They seek the story that’s already happening on stage and follow it.

The 7th Annual Barbara Walters Middle School Talent Show!

On the last two Saturdays of April, Coldtowne Theatre will be transformed into the black box theater of Barbara Walters Middle School on the night of their 7th annual talent show. Hosted by the school’s new principal, the show is teeming with wacky students who “march to the beat of their own drums” (Mrs.Fromwell, 8th grade math) and really show their stuff.  It’s a fun event you’ll be sorry to miss!

TICKETS

Featuring:
Byron Brown
Danny Catlow (duh)
Ed Reed
Addison Billingsley
Kate Bojanek
Mitch Harris
Sam Malcolm
and Bob McNichol

Sketch Night at the Drafthouse!

It’s no secret the Austin comedy scene is blowing up. Like awaken-a-sleeping- monster-with-atomic-breath-blowing-up. Like buy-stock-in-it-now-and-then-retire-in-3-years blowing up. Like you-don’t-need-a-third-example-because-you-get-it blowing up.

The proof is in the pudding and you can find a ton of that delicious pudding* at the Third Annual Austin Sketch Fest, a four-day festival bringing you the best in local and national sketch comedy this Memorial Day weekend. Want a preview? On April 22, come to the Alamo Ritz for a one-night only sneak peak. Austin Sketch Fest and ColdTowne Theater bring you Sketch Comedy Night at the Alamo. One stage. Multiple groups.

Featuring
Stag Comedy
Your Terrific Neighbors
Beef and Sage
P! Company
There’s Waldo
Spirit Desire
Ghetto Sketch Warlock
Hot Property

*No actual pudding, unless you’re a baby about it, in which case I’ll get you some pudding.

Austin Sketch Fest Schedule Is Live!

The third annual Austin Sketch Comedy Festival is happening May 23rd – 27th over Memorial Day weekend and will feature two headlining shows from comedian Paul F. Tompkins as well as other incredible local and national acts.

2011 Austin Sketch Fest favorites Delicious Moments (The Tonight Show) return this year debuting their brand new Sitcom-inspired show, alongside national acts Fantasy Sex Picnic (Second City LA) and Astronaut Theatre (New York). The festival will also feature a performance of One Across, Mystery Science Theater 3,000 alumna Mary Jo Phel’s one woman show.

The Austin Sketch Fest was founded in 2010 to showcase Austin’s exploding sketch comedy scene. Featured Austin acts include Your Terrific Neighbors, Stag Comedy (recently appearing at SxSw), Spirit Desire (The New Movement Theater), Hot Property (with members of Midnight Society and Mascot Wedding), Ghetto Sketch Warlock, There’s Waldo, The P! Company, The Hustle Show and more! There will also be a special edition of the monthly Encyclopedia Show.

The festival will take place at ColdTowne Theater (4803-B Airport Blvd), the Hyde Park Theatre (511 West 43rd Street) and at the 29th Street Ballroom (2908 Fruth St.). Tickets for all shows are available through atxsketchfest.com.

Lock-In II: The Quickening!

Everyone knows that sequels are always better than the original. That’s why they call them squeakquels. Think about it: the Godfather II was better than the Godfather. Ditto Empire Strikes Back and Ghosbusters II: Attack of the Clones.

The ColdTowne Theater Lock-In is no different. Lock-In II: The Quickening has more of everything. More special effects! More villains! More plot holes! But most importantly, Lock-In II has more stupid bits and an after party.

If you’re uninitiated, the Lock-In is our mostly annual attempt to squeeze every dumb idea we’ve had over the last year into an evening of all-you-can-watch improv. That’s $10 to sit and watch our collective fever dream for as long as you want to. The only rule is that once you leave, you lose your seat. (You are allowed to go to the bathroom or get more beer. This isn’t EST.)

Hilarious? Absolutely. Chaotic? You betcha. The Lock-In is Saturday, April 14th. Seating begins at 6:45pm, and the show starts promptly at 7:00pm. Tickets are available at the door only. This is the first and last time many of these projects will see the light of day. Lock-In III: The Quickening Part II will feature an entirely different line up.  Keep reading for the full line up!

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The ColdTowne Conservatory’s New Dean: Irene White

ColdTowne is excited to announce that our good friend, the talented IRENE WHITE is taking over as Dean (’cause why not?) of the ColdTowne Conservatory. Along with the talented and awesome Cortnie Jones, she’ll be directing all manner of improv comedy education business at ColdTowne, from helping to improve our syllabus to creating elective and graduate programs.

Irene hails from Texas, where she graduated from UT. She has studied at the Second City in Chicago and IOWest in Los Angeles, where she also taught improv for many years. Irene can be seen in lots of commercials and in episodes of Brothers & Sisters, Friends, Will & Grace, and Scrubs. Her recent credits include Carpoolers, Man Stroke Woman and the film Green Hornet.

Irene is joining our stellar team, who’s teaching and directing credits include Second City, Boom! Chicago, iO and more. If you’re interested in finding out why we’re one of the largest improv training center outside of New York, Chicago and LA, sign up for one of our upcoming classes or read more here.

REGISTER FOR CLASSES
Session 1202 – Saturdays 1-3pm (Starts March 31st) Click Here to Register Now
Session 1202 – Mondays 6-8pm (Starts April 2nd) Click Here to Register Now

Paul F. Tompkins Crying and Driving Tour Headlines ATX Sketch Fest!

Paul F. Tompkins makes his triumphant return to Austin for the third annual ATX Sketch Fest, performing two shows Memorial Day Weekend (May 26th and 27th at 8:00pm) at the 29th St. Ballroom.

Paul F. Tompkins is regarded as one of the best stand ups working today. His credits include Mr. Show with Bob and David, Community, Comedy Bang Bang and his own podcast, the Pod F. Tompkast. Paul is appearing as part of his Crying & Driving Tour!

The third annual Austin Sketch Comedy Festival is happening May 23th – 27th over Memorial Day weekend and will showcase Austin’s exploding sketch comedy scene and the very best scripted comedy America has to offer.

The full Austin Sketch Fest schedule will be out soon, but for now you can get tickets here and here.

Townsville Presents: MacDaddy’s Bar and Grill

Named after a small fictitious community “Townsville”, the show presents the events of a Saturday night at the local bar and grill, MacDaddy’s. Following different events that take place over the course of the same 30 minutes, the production seamlessly weaves scenes together and connects the characters until all the action converges at the end. You can expect to see scenes including a televangelist-like food trailer owner with fanatical patrons, a forgotten teenage promise being called into fulfillment, a “Star Trek”-esque fight sequence, mixed in with a series of initially recognizable bar happenings that end up taking unexpected twists and turns.

MacDaddy’s is your local bar like you’ve never experienced it before.

Click on a date below and buy your tickets now:

Saturday March 3rd 8:30pm SOLD OUT!

Saturday March 10th 8:30pm

Saturday March 17th No Show. 

Saturday March 24th 8:30pm

Saturday March 31st 8:30pm

Your Mom Is A Show

Want to laugh your ass off?

Bryan Roberts, homegrown sketch-writing veteran becomes the Ghetto Sketch Warlock for ‘Your Mom Is A Show,’ a random smattering of absurd sketches and characters brought to life by the man himself and a posse of his friends. Expect an evening where you sit in a chair and stare at a stage and laugh at the things you see on that stage for a time.

 

Click the links below, but tickets, and reserve your seat now.

Saturday, Feb 4th 8:30pm

Saturday, Feb 11th 8:30pm

Saturday, Feb 18th 8:30pm

Saturday, Feb 25th 8:30pm

 

Thursday Night Social Club

Spend some time with Scout and The Team.

Party Starts at 8:10pm…..Show Starts at 8:30pm

 

To celebrate being named ColdTowne Theater’s “Outstanding New Troupes”, Scout and The Team have decided to throw a party.

Every Thursday in January, the theater will open a full 20 minutes before showtime where you can enjoy free beer, snacks, and an atmosphere fit for a swinging soiree in the deep, dark 1970s. Dress up or dress down. There will be holiday lights and rhythm & blues until the Social Club’s amiable host — the undeniably hilarious Mac Blake — sets the evening’s tone with a short set of stand-up comedy and introductions of the host-troupes.

Then the “outstanding” begins: two deep-dish sets of conceptually-hearty and physically-demanding improvised long-form comedy from Scout and the Team –with a brief intermission of surprise proportions.

 

Click on the date below to buy your ticket and secure your seat:

Thursday 1/5 

Thursday 1/12

Thursday 1/19

Thursday 1/26

Saturdays in December: Best of 2011

ColdTowne Theater has been pleased to host some pretty awesome runs this year, and for December, we will be putting up the crème de la crème.   These shows are all featured Saturdays in December and cost you a mere $5-$10.  You come in from the cold, and we’ll provide the hearty, jolly laughs.

December 3:  Bad Boys Presents:  SIN

The boys explore the things that we oh-should-not do in their upbeat,

energized style.  More info…

Buy Tickets Here.

December 10: Slaughter Your Shorts

Salute Your Shorts meets slasher film in this bloody, hilarious display.  Bring a poncho as you will get splattered More info…

Buy Tickets Here.

December 17: Family Tides

Dysfunctional is the functional these days.  This show presents a funny spin on real family stories.  More info…

Tickets purchased here.

Nice Astronaut Presents: It’s a Tolerable Existence

It’s cold (not really) and we’ve all got our coats on (sweaters), and everyone is ready to be indoors and drink the company party punch.  It’s time to be with family, to eat like you’re about to hibernate, and of course, to laugh.

Come on down to ColdTowne as this holiday season improv comedy troupe Nice Astronaut is proud to present, “It’s a Tolerable Existence” directed by Dave Buckman.

In the spirit of “It’s a Wonderful Life” Nice Astronaut takes you on a journey through what a volunteer from the audience’s life would have been like if they had taken the path not chosen. Come experience with us the holiday magic of watching a new Christmas classic come into existence right before your very eyes!

Thursdays in December at 8:30 pm.  $5, BYOB.

Buy Tickets:  December 8th,  December 15th

ColdTowne in November: Stag Comedy, Miller & Purselley

  ColdTowne Theater brings two comedy delights to you this November:  Stag Comedy performing sketch on Friday’s and Miller and Purselley bringing the improv on Saturday’s.

Stag member Mac Blake tells us a little bit about their run entitled “The Jerk Parade:”

Our show is about being really, really funny. Dumb characters with real emotions, smart characters in dumb situations, and just little things that crack us up.

Almost all of our pieces’ premises could be boiled down to one sentence, like “people hate janitors”, but then we put so much emotion into it and nuanced dumb thinking that it’s not necessarily wrong. We have a lot of moments where you can look at one of our dumb characters and think, ‘well they’re not wrong but at the same time they’re so amazingly wrong.’

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ColdTowne Awards and Five Years of Comedy in Austin

ColdTowne Theater recently celebrated it’s 5th year as Austin’s finest Airport Boulevard comedy establishment by hosting a combination birthday party/awards ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of our community of performers over the course of the past year. There was cake, drinks, confetti, breaking glass and even our brand new adopted dolphin, Lumpy, a gift from our good friends at the Hideout Theatre. Performers, faculty and students were all recognized for their accomplishments and we were even treated to a highlight reel of show moments in a video put together by the P! Company’s own Kyle Sweeney, based on community nomination:

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Check out the list below for the troupes and performers honored during the ceremony:

Outstanding Troupe: Bad Boys

Most Valuable Performer: Erika McNichol

Outstanding Teacher/Coach: John Ratliff

Outstanding Sketch Troupe: Your Terrific Neighbors

Outstanding Show Run: Slaughter Your Shorts

Outstanding New Troupe: Scout & The Team (tie)

Best Absurd Characters: Danny Catlow

The “Do Your Work Here?” Award Honoring Intern Dedication: Gil Cardenas & Tre Fuentes

Best Straight Characters: Bob McNichol

Best Laugh: Dave Buckman

Most Supportive Performer: Jericho Thorp

Most Improved Performer: Sam Malcolm

Most Underrated Performer: Ed Reed

Most Fearless Performer: Danny Catlow

You can read all about these talented performers of ours here.

Overall, the event showed how talented and supportive our community was in celebrating the last 5 years of ColdTowne Theater as well as taking the time to recognize all of the hard work put in to making you laugh. Come check us out soon!

John Ratliff, Best Improv Instructor 2011

We were happy to see that one of our instructors, John Ratliff, was chosen to be Best Improv Instructor of 2011 in the Austin Chronicle.  Recently, we caught up with him to discuss his philosophy on improv and his thoughts on ColdTowne.

CT:  How did you get involved with the ColdTowne Conservatory? What makes you passionate about teaching improv?

JR:  When I first found out about ColdTowne, I was the musical accompanist for Girls Girls Girls and was pretty happy staying on my side of the piano. I enjoyed improv and had taken some classes from my friend Shana Merlin, but I wasn’t really driven to pursue it onstage until I saw Tight (a forerunner of The Frank Mills) and a McNichol & May show, and my synapses all lit up and I said, “I want to do THAT.”

And then I found out that ColdTowne Conservatory was teaching this style of improv and that Bob and Erika and Dave and Rachel (of the Frank Mills) all taught here, so I signed up, and as it turned out, I was basically saying goodbye to my life as I knew it. I was in the second graduating class with Leah Moss of Look Cookie and about half of Midnight Society.

I love teaching improv because I still remember how I felt like this whole new world was opening up for me. It was like a life-experience supercollider banging together all these different things I’d learned in other areas, but in really surprising ways. It was a way to make sense of things that was simultaneously fun and freeing and challenging, and seeing people discover that for the first time always affects me.

I completely understand that for some people improv is just a way to have a good time and blow off a little steam, and it’s great for that, but I feel like even at that casual level it has the potential to change the way you live your life.

Needless to say, I sometimes have to throttle back a little when discussing this in class, but that’s how I feel about it.

CT:  What has been your favorite thing about your experiences in class? Generally and specifically?

JR:  Obviously, I like it when someone says they really enjoyed a class or got something out of a specific exercise. But really, just seeing people grow so fast right in front of my eyes never ceases to amaze me. Over the course of eight weeks, people make these astonishing leaps, and of course most of the time they don’t even realize it. In fact, they usually think they’re getting worse, because their awareness grows so much faster than their ability to execute. It’s frustrating for them, but it’s a natural part of the process: you can’t get better until you see where you’re at.

But where you’re at is so much more interesting than you think it is! Beginning students think we’re just blowing smoke when we tell them they’re awesome, because they’re comparing what they’re doing to polished, experienced improv and they’re painfully aware that they’re not there yet. But a lot of it really is awesome, and I think a huge part of the teacher’s job is to try to make people aware of how much they’re bringing to the table before they’ve even had a chance to develop any technique.

A scene can be a mess technically but still be an amazing, hilarious, real moment that none of us will ever get to see again, and I try to draw people’s attention to that when it happens.

CT:  What moments from shows or scenes from classes have inspired you?

JR:  When they were in Level 1, Nathan Livni and Rick Heineman did a scene in which they danced around the stage singing “We’re daffodils, we’re daffodils!” There was no dialogue, there was no plot, there was no stopping the dance and justifying it or telling each other they were doing it wrong. There was only a couple of supposedly grown men rigorously and insanely committed to singing and dancing about being daffodils. This went on for about a minute while everyone else in the room was convulsed in hysterical laughter. If all my improv could be half that good, I’d be happy.

UCB’s Matt Besser at ColdTowne!

UPDATE 2: To accommodate more people, the class will be held at Salvage Vanguard Theater at 2803 Manor Road.

UPDATE: To reserve a spot in the class, send an email to ColdTowneBesser@gmail.com with “Workshop Registration” in the subject line. Priority admission will be given to people who see the movie and register in advance. Thanks!

UCB founder and improv legend Matt Besser is coming to ColdTowne! The Upright Citizens Brigade’s latest film Freak Dance, directed by Besser and starring fellow UCB founders Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Horatio Sanz, is screening at the Austin Film Festival, and Besser will be teaching a class at ColdTowne, FREE for anyone that attends Freak Dance’s first screening on Friday, October 21 at 10PM.

On Saturday, October 22 at noon, Besser will teach a 3 hour class featuring a discussion about the most misunderstood and debated concepts in teaching and learning improv. Not everyone will get on stage, but some audience members will be asked to get up to try different openings, exercises, etc. Admission to the lecture is free for anyone with proof that they attended the Friday screening of Freak Dance, and $25 for everyone else, space permitting. This is a great opportunity to learn about the UCB style of improv from one of the guys that invented it for FREE.

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Coldtowne Level 1 Improv Class Review

by Janelle Revord

If you have even the slightest, tiniest urge or desire to take classes, you should just jump in with both feet and give it a try; you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. The faculty at ColdTowne do a beyond amazing job of making class the highlight of your week and you end up having so much fun that sometimes you forget that you’re actually learning something and start to question why learning everything else is like lukewarm oatmeal in comparison. Each class makes you want to dive deeper and learn and experience more, and Coldtowne is so amazing because they do Continue Reading

What Our Students Are Saying

Our students have life-changing experiences through improv.  Read what current Level 5 student Jeremy Logan had to say on his improv blog about ColdTowne classes and our community:

“This sense of community is what has kept me there for 8 months now…The theater has come to define my life since I started there, improv and sketch comedy has become an obsession for me. I can’t get enough reading or watching of improv, I’m constantly hearing about troupes I need to check out and such, and I’m meeting a ton of new people in Austin through workshops and new sessions starting at Coldtowne every 8 weeks. And the one thing that keeps me there and keeps me coming back is the ability to

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ColdTowne Welcomes You in October

Slaughter Your Shorts

Slaughter Your Shorts is ColdTowne Theater’s newest marquee improv comedy show. Slated for Saturdays at 8:30pm in October, the show will weave Nickelodeon’s 90s-cult favorite “Salute Your Shorts” with 80s slasher movie conventions, complete with live blood and gore.

The show’s concept is the brainchild of ColdTowne Theater veteran performer and faculty member Cody Dearing. Taking a cue from live horror stage shows like Splatter Theater and Evil Dead: The Musical, Dearing knows that fans of the genre will not be happy unless there is blood; the more the better.

Cody: The venue is intimate enough that every seat in the house is in the splatter zone. Ponchos will be given out to the front row of to help protect the audience from projectile blood, but all audience members are encouraged to dress down for the performance.”

 

Buy Tickets:

Saturday Oct 1st 8:30pm  SOLDOUT!

Saturday Oct 8th 8:30pm  SOLDOUT!

Saturday Oct 15th 8:30pm 

Saturday Oct 22nd 8:30pm 

Saturday Oct 29th 8:30pm 

 

Minotaure

“We sat down with ColdTowne’s own, Arthur Simone.”

CT: Tell us what we can expect as an audience member.

Arthur: Comedy, with an oft-overused rhythm and beat, can be so much more fluid when you just roll with the absurdity instead of trying to explain or explode it. Minotaure is a tapestry of fucked-up people who are cruel and deluded and myopic and FUNNY. Even though the title is a nod to a surrealist magazine, I wouldn’t say anything we’re doing is “surreal”; everything is very much rooted in human behavior. The show isn’t about the Minotaur myth or anything like that, it’s about humans and beasts and human-beasts. Expect to laugh, scratch your head, be uncomfortable, then laugh at yourself for being uncomfortable while your head still itches.

CT:  What attracted you to create this show?

Arthur:  Simply, I wanted to write and perform a show with a cast. With Dear Frailty, there was a great deal of reliance on the activated imagination of the audience, which is an apple to the orange of the power of action with other bodies in a theater space. Other actors open doors of possibility, and I like opening doors, because nobody likes stagnant air in a box. Plus, I really wanted to put up a movement piece or two, which is why I recruited a choreographer in addition to the ‘usual’ sketch comedy fare. ColdTowne Theater’s space is so small and so intimate–there are many staging conventions that would never read in a larger space that really work well here.

CT:  Tell us about you and your cast.

Arthur:  I’ve enjoyed working with everyone in the cast and crew, and getting the chance to really dig into scene work and characters with Kelli Bland has been a blast. She and I come from actor training backgrounds similar enough that we can kick the whistles and bells to the curb to get to the meat and the core of a scene faster. If a troupe is coming from a fundamentally silly core with raw believable emotion you can begin to see the lines between Comedy and Tragedy twist and tangle, and this cast really nails it!

Buy Tickets:

Thursday Oct 6th 8:30pm SOLD OUT!

Thursday Oct 13th 8:30pm

Thursday Oct 20th 8:30pm

Thursday Oct 27th 8:30pm

Halloween Spooktacular IV: Midnight Gallery

Lance Gilstrap of Midnight Society tells us about the show.

CT:  You guys do a Halloween-themed sketch show every year, correct?

Lance:  Yes, this is Midnight Society’s fourth Halloween sketch show. We’ve said it before, but Halloween is our Christmas. It speaks to us. There’s nothing like a Ghost or Ghoul to get the comedy fires burning.

CT:  Who is in this show?  What will we see?

Lance:  Rod Serling, Wolfmen, Ghosts, Ghouls, Surfers, and the coolest party you’ve ever seen.

CT:  For those readers who do not know Midnight Society, tell us a bit more about yourself.  We heard you were recently recognized here in Austin.

Lance:  We have been performing sketch and improv for over four years. We perform every Saturday night with the Frank Mills and have twice been nominated for the B. Iden Payne award for improv.

Buy Tickets:

Friday Oct 7th 8:30pm

Friday Oct 14th 8:30pm

Friday Oct 21st 8:30pm

Friday Oct 28th 8:30pm

Introducing “The Morning Sausage”


Austin Comedy Audiences, prepare for that next big thing. Coldtowne has been making an effort to bring you some of the most well produced, cutting edge comedy. And Coldtowne’s latest project is no different. It was only a matter of time before Coldtowne’s ever-expanding schedule started to look at the one area it had neglected until this point- daytime talk.

Introducing “The Morning Sausage”, a new morning daytime talk show from the minds of the P! Company.

The Morning Sausage with Andy and Kyle is full of witty banter, special guest interviews, games, and all the daytime talk and gossip we can get our hands on. The duo fills their block with bits, improv, and that all important talk- with plenty of kooky characters. It’s all the fun of a daytime talk show with none of the boring parts.

The Morning Sausage features the unique comedic talent of long time friends and collaborators Andy Petruzzo (Midnight Society, P! Company, The Night Show) and Kyle Sweeney (P! Company, The Team). The duo is supported with a who’s who cast of local improviser talent ushering the program beyond all that morning minutia and into the comedy endzone (so to speak).

Regis and Kelly, eat your heart out. Mornings are never going to be the same again.

Wake up, Austin. It’s time for The Morning Sausage with Andy and Kyle – this Thursday, 10pm at Coldtowne Theater. Tickets are $5 and the Sausage is complimentary. Get em here and spread the word to your friends-

http://coldtownetheater.frontgatetickets.com/choose.php?a=1&lid=60120&eid=68420

Fall Cage Match Schedule Announced!

Once a week, ColdTowne throws two teams of comic gladiators into the pit and gives each of them exactly 20 minutes to claw their way into your heart. Desperation never smelled so sweet.

This is the improv show where your vote counts. For only five bucks, you can come make life-or-death rulings on the future of these doughty warriors! You’ll be drunk with power, and you know you like that.

The Cagematch has returned to its tournaments structure: Eight teams, seven weeks, and, as always, one winner! This fall’s tournament is called Pretty Pretty Ponies of Death, cause why not? Keep reading for the schedule! Continue Reading

ColdTowne Theater Premier Week!

Out of Bounds is over, but the Austin Comedy train is just getting rolling at ColdTowne Theater. This week marks the full debut of our newly revamped schedule, which includes new feature shows and marquis runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights!

We’ve got three shows debuting this week! Family Tides, our exploration of family dysfunction, begins Thursday along side the soft opening of our new monthly game show, the Game Show Show. Friday is the debut of our new mainstage sketch comedy spectacular, After School Special Victims Unit, which runs Fridays and Saturdays in September. Keep reading after the break for more information and tickets! Continue Reading

ColdTowne Theater During Out Of Bounds!

The Out of Bounds Comedy Fest is nigh! In just about seven days, 500 comedians from across the country will begin flocking to Austin to participate in the largest comedy festival in the south. From August 31st to September 5th, seven different venues will host improv, stand up and sketch comedy shows from New York, LA, Chicago, Canada and right here in Austin, TX!

Once again, ColdTowne Theater is participating by opening our doors for the third annual Out of Bounds ColdTowne Marathon! $10 – $12 gets you in for as much comedy as you can stand Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Tickets will be available at the door. Come early and stay all night! As always, we are BYOB!

Keep reading to find out when you’re favorite ColdTowne Theater troupes and performers are playing in Out of Bounds… Continue Reading

Bring Your Weird Family Baggage in September!

Thursdays at 8:30 in September, Coldtowne Theater wants you to bring your baggage. Watch as Family Tides takes your dysfunctional family and shows you just how funny they really are.  Share your story or just watch others share theirs.  Laugh as this mischievous group explores what it really means to be dysfunctional.  Need family therapy?  We’ve got couches… and popcorn.

Family Tides features a hand-picked cast of Austin’s funniest improvisers: Mac Blake, Kate Bojanek, Cody Dearing, Ashley Franks, Brad Hawkins, Lisa Jackson, and Brad Temple.  The cast’s experiences include Master Pancake Theater, The Mascot Wedding Show, and classes at IO Chicago, Second City, Annoyance, and of course, Coldtowne Theater.  Thursdays in September, come see why dysfunctional is the new functional.

Get your tickets on our events page! Continue Reading

IFL Week 1 Recap, One Week Late!

Week 1 of the 43rd year of IFL had was a hard fought battle fought with bits. Bits welded by Goths, Yuppies and the elderly who try to keep trim by walking indoors.

During free agency at the top of the show, The Highland Mall Walkers and their supporters outbid the Greenbelt Gentrifieds and 66Sixth Street for the services of improv veteran and  Your Terrific Neighbors ensemble member, Curtis Luciani. The second deepest set of pockets belonged to the sullen cast of 66Sixth Street (and their parents), who successfully bid for the services of improv veteran/beagle mix Robin Goodfellow. Though the Greenbelt Gentrifieds added to their bid with a cold bottle of Shiner, too much of their liquid cash had been spent on sub-zero refrigerators and hybrid vehicles in their up-and-coming neighborhood, so they were saddled with mystery guest/Improv Royale cast member/former professional wrestler, Psycho Billy. Continue Reading

Mainstage Sketch Show Has a Name, September Debut!

Murderers and con artists. White collar fraud and suicide bombers. Bernie Madoff and Rupert Murdoch. There’s a crime wave sweeping the nation, and it has absolutely nothing to do with any of those things.

The real crimes against humanity are being perpetrated every day by the very people that birthed you. Your parents are guilty of turning you into a neurotic, self-obsessed basket case with commitment issues, and you will do the same to your kids in a never ending mobious strip of dysfunction. Never fear! ColdTowne Theater is on the case.

After School Special Victims Unit blends the manic, primary-colors of children’s programing with existential sadness of parenthood to create a comedic blend of sketch comedy, music and satiric nihilism. Featuring a kids show written by phobic parents, grossly inappropriate puppets and more terrible career advice than you can shake a stick at, After School Special Victims Unit promises at least several uncomfortable moments with your mother and father. Continue Reading

ColdTowne Theater Heads To NYC!

Hello, what’s this? Half of ColdTowne Theater is emptying out of Austin next weekend, just in time for the heatpocalypse. We’re all headed for New York City for the 13th annual Del Close Marathon. The Marathon is three days of non stop long form improv put on by the UCBTheater at four different venues all around Manhattan, which is an island you may have heard of.

This is our fifth year appearing at DCM, and we’re looking for another 48+ nonstop hours of raucous, inspiring fun. This year, a few of our troupes have also booked shows with our friends at the Magnet Theater. If you’re in the area, catch our shows and say, “Hi!” Keep reading for the schedule: Continue Reading

The Radio Smoking Jacket Comedy Hour debuts Thursday, August 18th!

Greetings and salutations, stout yeomen and consumers of infotainment! In bold defiance of scripture, ColdTowne Theater and McCormick Lint Seed Oils proudly present a gluttonous buffet of comedy bits, recorded live for the slothful pleasures of the housebound and the lustful indulgences of widows! (Also: wrath! envy! greed!)

Each month, The Radio Smoking Jacket Comedy Hour will present a full hour of comedy sketches, comedy jokes, and comedy comedy along side interviews and musicians of local and world (but mostly local) renown. Huzzah!

This month’s special guests include sketch comedians Your Terrific Neighbors, Bryan “Lubu” Roberts, and stand up extraordinaire Ramin Nazer!
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Yo, Austin! Fall Comedy Preview at ColdTowne

Hey guys, now’s as good a time as any to go ahead and formally announce some big-time schedule changes happening at ColdTowne Theater. Austin comedy nerds rejoice! We’re moving to seven nights a week of live comedy as well as offering a broader range of special events and runs of shows with better production values. We’re also using this opportunity to institute a PAY WHAT YOU WANT pricing structure for our off night shows.

Don’t panic! You can totally get in for free if you’re super broke and we totally won’t guilt you or anything. Asking for a dollar or two from the people who can afford it will enable us to produce better shows and more of them!

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Stool Pigeon Moves To Tuesdays! Pay What You Want!

The cast of Stool Pigeon reads like a Who’s Who of ColdTowne improv, a collection of our most prodigous graduates and teachers. Each week, a special guest will be the “Stool Pigeon”. The pigeon relates several stories from their (real) life, providing a bevy of details and thematic do-dads for the others to take and run with in an all-out improv set. You never know who’s going to show up to tell stories! Definitely not one to miss.

The Austinist’s TrueCraig on Stool Pigeon: “…that shit’s mad-impressive-pressure-awesome. And what they’re doing for the cultural development of our fair city shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Bad Boys Present: Sin

Thursdays at 8:30pm in August, join Bad Boys as they mine sin for all of the laughs it can yield.  What causes people to commit adultery? Overeat? Cut you off in traffic when you’re late to a movie? Bad Boys will get to the root of these daily transgressions and then blow them out of proportion to discover the laughter in what truly causes people to be awful to each other. You’ll wish all comedy could be this divine.

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Improv Fantasy League is Go!

Saturdays in August! Mom’s apple pie. The Lincoln Memorial. Making out. None of these things are nearly as quintessentially American as a good old fashioned football. The old gridiron. The pigskin. Two teams of hot sinewy dudes matching wits on a field of battle. And nothing’s more quintessentially hilarious than people fantasizing about playing football. With that in mind, ColdTowne Theater has decided to combine it’s love of sports, arbitrary competition and hilarity into a month of football-style improv comedy competition, replete with drafts, free agents, referees and tailgating.

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