ColdTowne Theater Summer Improv Intensives, July 7, July 28 and August 19

Are you ready?

Get ready for immersion in the principles and training methods that make ColdTowne the home of the next big thing.  After eleven+ years helping performers hone their craft and realize their potential, we’ve built a national r12045718_962224210466930_968500777405351776_o copy (1)eputation for training the best and brightest long-form, improv comedy talent. Soak it all up in our weekend intensives this Summer!

What should students expect?

In the mornings, we’ll focus on the acting skills we believe reliably create quality scene work: deep listening, honesty, character-driven relationships. In the afternoons, we’ll hone our comedy skills, working on games and heightening, as well as explore organic forms that encourage fast thinking and unconditional support of our ensemble.

Who are the instructors?

The intensives will be taught by a cross-section of our seasoned, award-winning faculty. Class enrollment will be limited to maximize individual instruction and stage time.  Each intensive will conclude with a final class performance.

Social stuff? Yes’m!

All students will receive a free pass to all shows during their intensive enrollment and are encouraged to hang with the other students and performers at the theater.

Smaller CTIs it for me?

Whether you’re relatively new to the game, or looking to brush up on years of experience, you’ll walk away with new tools for your tool belt, a sharpened comedic sense and fun memories to spare.

We’ve built a national reputation for training the best and brightest improvisers in the South and our Summer intensives provide a great opportunity to hang in Austin, swim in Barton Springs and uplevel your improv skills by learning the ColdTowne approach.  A minimum of one year of performance or training experience is required, and graduates of other programs are welcome.

How much does it cost?

$250.00

Ready to sign up? Pick your session!

July 7

July 28

Questions?

Contact John Ratliff.

Don’t Look Back: A retrospective on ’16 and look ahead w/Dave Buckman

Now that we’ve closed the books on 2016, we sidled up to Executive Producer Dave Buckman to
talk about his first full year of programming at ColdTowne Theater to see what shows and performers had a break out run or year. 

What mainstage shows from 2016 were your favorites?
Dave: Dinner for Six, famiLIES, Elvis’ Rockin’ Nativity, Express Yourself

February - March 2016 Cast, Express Yourself

February – March 2016 Cast, Express Yourself

Were there specific performers that emerged in 2016 through the main stage runs? What makes them notable to you?

Dave: Jae Long in famiLIES… It was his first time ever doing a play and he just crushed it and carried it.  I wish we could do it this season because now that Jae has transitioned, that lead character of Francis would be amazing and so much more poignant and timely if she was playing Francis now.

Chaz Formichella in famiLIES.  This was a character Chaz had played before in the previous incarnation in 2010, and it could have been such a throwaway part in the way it was re-written, but his turn, this time, as Simon was revelatory.  He brought more depth to that role than I thought was possible, and every line he delivered perfect every night because he was listening while he was acting.

Jared Robertson, Michael Perkins and Chris McKeever in Elvis’ Rockin’ Nativity.  They play the backup band for every number playing actual tunes well, sometimes having to do it in a different key than the original or a slower tempo depending on the person singing and they also portray the Beatles and the Sex Pistols in some sketches.  A complete multi-talented power trio-delight that literally drives the show.

Sanjay Rao of Empty Promises, Midnight Society

Sanjay Rao of Empty Promises, Midnight Society

Also, Molly Moore, Kenah Benefield, Tauri Laws-Phillips, Megan Mowry, Abby Lincoln, Sanjay Rao and Will Sitters all really leveled up and, I think, found and developed the shit out of their comedic voices this year in various mainstage shows.

What show surprised you the most and why?

Dave: Express Yourself was explosive and caustic and compelling and moving.  All done with basically a Living Room format. It was exciting to see Frank Netscher and Ryan Darbonne take a simple concept that we all felt ‘meh’ about (‘An Improvised Dangerous Minds’) and subvert the genre and turn it to something deeper and beyond all of our expectations.

If you could bring back one show, which would it be?

Dave: Dinner For Six.  Which we will.

Or famiLIES….with a transitioned Jae Long

Looking ahead to 2017 and the season that has been decided for the first half of the year, what are you most excited about?  Why did you decide on these particular shows?

The Do Over and Nightwatch are proven hits.  They’ve been developing their formats in other The Do Over timeslots all during last year and are really going strong in rehearsals right now.  I’ve been to a few rehearsals and they are getting stronger and more confident with their vision.  I think adding Erica Lies as NightWatch’s director was an amazing call.

Kristin Henn’s production of Rezurangur meshes so many of my favorite genres of comedy and theater: mockumentaries, heavy metal, actual live music, and my favrote kinds of characters: over the top showbiz characters mixed with real humans behind the curtain (see: Krusty the Klown or Spinal Tap)  And the cast and live band of improvisers Kristen and Cody have assembled… it’s gonna be a doozy.

Missed Connections ATX was developed out of a short form improv game the Austin Translation cast invented in 2015. Chelsea Bunn, from that cast who hosted and developed the game wtthin that show has developed it into an hour long format.  The herat of the pitch is to  pull Missed Connection listings off of Austin’s CraigList and having them inspire the scene work, characters and relationships of a show.

And then down the road, Cortnie Jones is developing a reality show game show called The Gauntlet for May and June that is like an 8-week competition to whittle 32 improvisers down to a grand champion. I can’t wait for those finals.

If you could sum up the 2017 season in 4 words or less, thematically, how would you describe it?

Dave: Individual vs. The Collective.  Which I think is the great philosophical and political debate of our time.

Which directors and producers are you especially excited to see in the 2017 season?

Dave: Certainly, the return of our previous Artistic Director, Cody Dearing, in his first directorial show, Rezurangur, since stepping down early last year is a big deal. He has put up some of the most memorable shows in ColdTowne history and he’s not only a great guitar shredder in his own right, he’s quite possibly the best improviser/game finder/relationship builder in Austin improv, so I think that’s show is a perfect fit for him.

The co-directing combo of Mical Trejo (Latino Comedy Project) and Ben Bazan (Longtime CTer and outstanding Actor for Youth at Zach) with an all-Latina/o cast in outer space for La Frontera Final is going to bring in some amazing new theatrical perspectives that will be new for ColdTowne

Keith Horvath, who just moved down here from Chicago last summer where he was working at The Second City and The Annoyance Theater, my old haunts.  We speak the same sketch language and it’s exciting to get to share that voice with Austin.  His show, This Is (Not) The Gayest Show You’ve Seen is already in previews and if his Halloween show was any indication, this one is going to ba amazing.

Also, the announcement of any show as being “from the minds of McNichol & May” is always terribly exciting news.  

buckman1-300x300

Dave Buckman, Executive Producer

Thanks, Dave.

Dave Buckman was a director, performer and teacher for Amesterdam’s Boom Chicago (1999-2002), The Second City (2002-2014) and ColdTowne Theater (2006-present). Dave has worked in live sketch and improvisational productions with the likes of Seth Meyers, Ike Barinholtz, Jordan Peele, John Lutz, Kay Cannon, Dave Razowsky, Rebecca Drysdale, Mick Napier, Maribeth Monroe, Stephnie Weir and Jason Sudeikis and dozens more whose faces you know but don’t know by name.  

Since 2005, Dave has been living in Austin, TX with wife and creative partner Rachel Madorsky, teaching and performing with their award-winning troupe The Frank Mills and helping to establish Coldtowne theater as a hotbed for Austin’s alternative comedy scene.  
Dave has won two B. Iden Payne Awards for Excellence in Improvisational Theater, one with The Frank Mills in 2006 and one individually in 2008 and is proud to be a member of the B. Iden Payne committee in 2015-16. He is currently the Executive Producer and co-owner of ColdTowne Theater.

 

You Gave Me a Mountain (of a Show): An interview with Elvis’s director Will Cleveland

Will Cleveland is the Artistic Director of ColdTowne Theater, and has performed, produced and directed shows at the theater since moving to Austin from NYC in 2013. Prior to coming to ColdTowne, he managed UCB’s traveling team and was a producer for UCBComedy. He is a native of Arkansas and you can see him in Play by Play with Chris McKeever every month at ColdTowne.

Tell us about the show.

Elvis’ Rockin’ Nativity is a throwback variety show from TV shows like The Johnny Cash Show, The Dean Martin Show, Sonny & Cher, and The Smothers Brothers. It’s final conception asks what if Elvis had a Christmas Variety Television Special and things didn’t really go as planned. Elvis is the host of the show and his friends play different roles in the Nativity Christmas Pageant like Johnny Cash and June Carter who play Joseph and the Virgin Mary.

What inspired you when creating this show?

I grew up watching reruns of the Smothers Brothers, Sonny and Cher, and sketch shows like Laugh-In, and Carol Burnett. Also, I’ve always been a big Elvis fan. I wrote and directed a version of this show in 2012 at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater East in New York. I was on a video production team for UCBComedy and wrote it as a commercial parody first, but couldn’t really see us producing it as a short video, so I pitched it to the theatre as a full show. So, we put up a 25 minute version that was a lot of fun, but one night only, so it really left me wanting more.

Kim Lowery plays Elvis, and there are several other male characters played by females. Tell us about the thought process behind that casting decision.

Kim Lowery as Elvis.

Kim Lowery as Elvis.

Yeah! When I was in high school, I found a “lost” episode of Seinfeld online, and directed it as my senior project for theatre class. Jerry, Elaine, and George were no-brainers, but nobody in my class could play Kramer. Except Rachel Harding. She was taller than anybody and she was really funny. And then, of course, she crushed the role. After that, I never really questioned casting roles based on gender – especially for comedy. When casting Elvis for this show, I thought about some awesome dudes to play Elvis, but something was holding me back from asking or even holding auditions. I went to see a play at Vortex in the summer and Kim was there too. After the play, we were having drinks in the courtyard, and it just kind of hit me. I think it was something about Kim’s rock and roll style and her very open mind, but I thought she should play Elvis, so I just asked her right then and there. Once we started our writers meetings, all bets were off and every role that was written was on the table for anybody to play.

If someone isn’t familiar with Elvis, will they still enjoy the show?

No doubt about it. We have a short film intro to Elvis and who he was at the top of the show. And, even though it’s set in 1970-something, the sketches are very contemporary and satirical to issues we’re still talking about today. There’s something for everybody in this show.

Why Elvis?

There’s so much to explore with Elvis – Rock Star, Movie Star, Soldier, Karate Master, Spiritualist, “Government Agent”…all these things are ripe for parody. but Elvis is already such a big, larger than life character – almost a myth, like John Wayne, Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart. Of all the things Elvis accomplished in his career, he never made a Christmas movie or TV show. He made some Christmas albums, but of the 31 movies he starred in, there wasn’t a Christmas Movie or TV special, so it was just kind of up for grabs so to speak.

What else should we know about the show?

It’s about 70 minutes long. BYOB if you’re into that. We have a very merry atmosphere in the lobby before and after the show.

Elvis’s Rockin’ Nativity runs through December 17th, Saturdays at 8:30pm. Tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door, with advance tickets strongly recommended due to the popularity of the show.  Pick up your tickets here, darlin’.

Arts Eclectic Interview on KUT: 10th Anniversary Weekend

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: it’s Fall in Texas! Also, October means that ColdTowne celebrates another year of the audiences, students and performers that make us great. This year is an especially special one: we’re turning ten years old. You’ve probably heard the origin story by now: five comedy nerds (including founders of The New Movement) pooled together a few hundred dollars, some used lumber and rescued chairs to start a comedy theater in the storage room of a video store. Cut to ten years later, and ColdTowne hosts 21+ shows a week with an average of over 800 audience members and has seen almost 500 students come through our doors.

ColdTowne’s Managing Director, Erika May McNichol and Executive Producer, Dave Buckman spoke with KUT’s Michael Lee about our 10th Anniversary Weekend, October 20th – 23rd.

Listen to the interview that aired last week, and make sure to nab your tickets to shows now!

BettyFest Interview with Patio Talk: A Legendary Improv Troupe who Happen to be Female

BettyFest was founded in 2014 by Patio Talk (Chrissy Shackelford, Juliet Prather, Amy Wright, and Kasey Borger), a comedy team based in New York City that originally formed at ColdTowne Theater in Austin, TX. Their members have been trained at UCB NY, iO Chicago, and of course, ColdTowne. We sat down with the ladies of Patio Talk to learn more about how they came together as a troupe, why they started BettyFest, and what their hopes and dreams are for the future of women in comedy.

AND SAVE THE DATE: BettyFest is an all-night-long event happening on Friday, 10/14 at 6pm at Spiderhouse Ballroom, featuring all-female improv and sketch troupes. All ticket sales will be donated to SafePlace, so be sure you buy yours now: http://bit.ly/2b5PEYY

How did Patio Talk become a troupe? Can you give a little history on how it all started?

Juliet Prather: We were all obsessed with how the others played so we made a Cagematch team just to have fun and get a chance to play together. It felt like magic so we decided to never ever break up. I guess it’s important to note that unfortunately at the time none of us had gotten to really play with just women or had seen only women performing together that much, so we think that was a big part of what brought us together and what made Patio Talk feel (and still feel) so special.

Kasey Borger: We really came together like any cagematch team, we just really enjoyed each other’s style of play, respected the heck out of each other and wanted to have some fun. We didn’t intentionally set out to be a team of only women, but when we did we realized it actually played a big role in how we played together and probably the fact that we didn’t get to see that or be a part of it often made it feel so magical.

Chrissy Shackleford: We met up and decided to submit to cagematch. We met up at Spiderhouse cafe to come up with a name and landed on Patio Talk because we liked the format of opening with everyone on stage character matching. Our first rehearsal (or one of the firsts) was at Juliet’s place. We just sorta goofed around and did some scenes and I remember it feeling so fun and easy and I was so legitimately amused by everything everyone else was doing and that’s something that is really rare that we just stumbled upon – this insane on stage chemistry we all have together.

Amy Wright: We talked about the form at Spiderhouse and wanted to do something very easy and fun that was as freeing as a montague without it just being a montague. My favorite moment from one of our initial cagematch runs began with Chrissy as a single mom hosting a sad Christmas and ended with us all going to the mall to see our deadbeat dad playing Santa. We respect and love each other offstage and it translates into onstage chemistry that’s hard to find just anywhere.

Where did the idea for BettyFest come from?

KB & JP: There are so many nights when you can show up to a comedy theater and see a lineup of all male performers and no one bats an eye, because that’s just the norm. We wanted to create a night that made it seem like seeing a lineup of all women performers was just as normal. That idea inspired the original tag line “a night of comedy by comedians who happen to be female”. We wanted to make it seem like that was something you could just accidentally waltz into as an audience member and enjoy just as much, because guess what, you can and you should. We thought, wouldn’t it be ridiculous if a comedy event read “A Night of Comedy by Comedians Who Happen to be Male?” It’s completely unnecessary because it’s pretty much what someone would unconsciously expect to see at a comedy theater. We wanted to sort of point out the ridiculousness of it. Who cares if the performers are all women? Women rock lol. Our idea was to showcase some of the most talented comedians we knew and, whoops, they all happened to be female. We wanted to make sure that, yes, it was about women but not just “lol a night of women”, but a night of very talented women who are comedians first and foremost.

KB: One thing that really stuck with us was when a teacher came to see a cagematch show that happened to be two teams of women up against each other and commented that he noticed the energy in the room was different when it was a night of all women performing. That was important to hear for me because it illuminated how rare of a night this was that not only was it taken note of that it was all women, but it also truly felt different than other nights at ColdTowne. We wanted to bring that same energy again in a bigger way.

CS: Agree with everything said, one thing that was important to us was that on the actual night of the show there was really no mention of “ISN’T IT CRAZY THAT WE’RE ALL WOMEN?” or “HERE’S A NIGHT TO CELEBRATE WOMEN IN COMEDY!” It was just a killer show with big laughs.

AW: Also a large part of it was an effort to encourage more female-identifying teams to perform at ColdTowne. We wanted to motivate women who might not have played otherwise/women who might be new to the community/women who might have been a bit intimidated by the typically male-dominated scene to play together. We hoped BettyFest would inspire these teams to continue playing together after the show.

What was the first BettyFest like?

JP: So fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was good.

KB: It was the best!!!! The turnout and support really blew us away for being such a new run of shows. One thing that was so cool was to see women look around them in their classes or in their theaters and create teams of people they thought were talented, respected the heck out of, wanted to have a good time with and whoops! they were also all women. It was just great to see right in front of us a bunch of teams of women whereas our experience coming up in the theater was watching mostly teams of all men. This is not to say these teams wouldn’t have already come together or were already together, it was just really great to look at the submissions and see how many talented women there have always been in the community and then see them teaming up.

As far as actually creating the festival, we treated it very seriously and put a lot of work into the marketing and making a show that would sell out every night. We learned a lot from that and took what we did for the first show into the second and improved on that. It was a great learning experience, personally.

And as far as just the logistics of the show, it was the exact same as the second iteration and, if I’m not mistaken, this third iteration– with a stand-up and two improv teams comprised of all women.

CS: Dude, it was dope. It was the first time I had seen a show sell out so fast that we had to turn away basically a whole second audience the night of the show – which was a great marketing tool – because if you’re already at the theater and the show sold out then hey why don’t you just buy a ticket for next week’s show! Which was so rewarding because we all worked our asses off to produce that festival. We put so much time, effort, creativity, and money into marketing the shows and it was such a joy to see the theater straight up lit for the fest.

AW: It was so moving to see the support from the community. Everyone got hyped up and involved. We learned so much from the first year and, like Kasey said, we really tried to step it up for the second year. The photobooth idea we borrowed from Waterbed and it really made it feel like an event. It was also a great marketing tool because people started sharing BettyFest photos on Facebook and Instagram. It was sweet to see a bunch of people with profile pictures of them holding maxi pads and champagne for a while.

What do you hope for in terms of the future of BettyFest?

KB: I hope no boy identifying boys are ever allowed!!!!!! Lol jk! But seriously, I just hope that it keeps on truckin’ and everybody keeps on having a good time with it. It’s our lil bb and something that is still so important to us. It’s great and exciting to see it blown out so much this year and in such capable hands. Maybe my true hope is that it actually becomes so completely redundant because of how many nights a week women are playing in comedy theaters that it becomes a relic of comedy’s past??!!??? Idk I guess I have a lot of hopes and dreams.

CS: I’d love to start burning penises at the 10th annual BettyFest. I think it’s great that it’s moving over to a bigger venue – since that was the biggest problem we faced that very first year – high demand and not enough seats. I guess I hope that in its future it still means as much to everyone involved as it meant for us creating it.

AW: I hope to see BettyFest end sexism in comedy by the year 2035. If this does not happen, I’ll assume it’s bc no penises were burned or even singed just a little bit. I hope that more and more teams form and begin rehearsing in order to submit for BettyFest and then they eventually take over the scene and destroy all barriers and live full, happy lives.

What are you all up to now? Any plans on making a surprise appearance this year? 🙂

JP: We’re all doing the UCB thing and working on our own stuff, but we still play a lot together which is rad. I feel really lucky to have Patio Talk, and I think BettyFest was a big huge influence on the entire team and the love we have for each other. But no, no surprise appearances planned. Unless that was a sneaky invitation ??? Hehe.

KB: I am incredibly famous now and you can catch me in the hit TV show “Seinfeld” or signing autographs for my current autobiography ”Still Kasey After All These Beers”. If we do all make an appearance it will literally be a surprise to us all!!!

CS: I’m moving from Brooklyn to Queens soon so understandably that’s pretty emotionally taxing for me. I mean, I’m taking my brand from Lena Dunham to Leah Remini, for crying out loud. Other than that I’m still grinding away, I teach at UCB now and my “solo” comedy show just got picked up for a run at UCB Chelsea starting this fall which includes surprise performances from Kasey, Amy, AND Juliet….so basically Patio Talk will live forever.

AW: I’m filming a partly improvised film in Connecticut and then heading back to NY to continue with UCB classes. PATIO TALK FOREVER. TEXAS FOREVER. CLEAR EYES, FULL BEERS, STILL KASEY.

More on Patio Talk from the archives.

Interview with Title Fine: We Got Game’s Laura de la Fuente

Title Fine: We Got Game is ColdTowne’s newest MainStage production. Featuring an all-female cast of eight players and one coach who play game-based improv in the off season, the cast is entirely composed of women who played sports in high school or college. We interviewed some of the cast to talk about their athletic experience and how they developed their characters for the show. We interviewed Laura de la Fuente of Express Yourself and all-lady super group SheSheSheShe to find out how she sported as a kid, and how she approaches her character, Madi “HAM” Bacon.

Laura de le Fuente, who plays Madi "HAM" Bacón,

Laura de le Fuente, who plays Madi “HAM” Bacón,

What sort of sports did you play as a kid? 
I played rec soccer in Plano, TX for eight years on a team that was really really dominant in our league for all eight years. We were called “The Phantoms”. And, before every game we would all put our hands in and say “ONE! TWO! THREE! (then whisper) *phantomssss*” Now that I think about it, that was a really creepy chant.  No wonder we won all the time.  That’s a good lesson – “Fear intimidates.”

I also played basketball and volleyball in middle school and softball as a freshman in high school. I did marching band in high school which is a hell of a workout in the Texas heat, so I’m adding this as a sport. I marched with the trombone, and I marched hard.

What is a favorite story from traveling with your squad? 
-While riding in the back of the bus trying to be a cool kid, the actual cool kids taught me how to make little baby feet in the foggy windows with your fists. I still make them whenever I’m in a car with foggy windows which I’m sure EVERYONE loves bc then when the fog subsides you have the cutest trail of little baby foot prints on your windows forever.

What drew you to this show? 
It’s a cast of bad-a** ladies led by a bad-a** lady coach. What more could you want?

How did you go about creating your character for the show? 

Laura de la Fuente as "HAM"

Laura de la Fuente as “HAM”

My character, Marisol (Madi) Bacón (but you can call me Ham), is loosely based on my softball coach in high-school who would say things  in a deliciously deep Texas accent like “Unhook the plow!” and “Five  minutes early is ten minutes too late!” Plus, I love how heartfelt she was about saying sports clichés like she was the first to ever say them, and her sincerity to loving softball as a way of life is something that’s in Ham for sure.

Do you think you’d be friends with your character in real life? 
Ham would make me laugh real deep, and I’d appreciate her sincerity with a fond heart, so yes.

Who do you think will like this show? 
Everyone.  Jesus, this cast is so funny and this show is so funny I seriously can’t think of a better way to spend every Saturday night at 8:30P in August and September than at ColdTowne Theater.

Recipes from the Garden

As seasoned hostesses, all the ladies of Gardenalia have a signature recipe that they delight in making and sharing with their fellow adherents. From cocktails to substantials, their recipes pair well with repressed feelings and overshares alike.

12916380_10156774399910204_8382063846891112251_oVivian’s Spring Fling Punch
Perfect for Weddings, Garden Parties, and non-Religious Wakes
– 2 liters sparkling water (if you haven’t tried carbonation yet, you’re in for a treat!)
– The juice of 10 lemons
– 2lbs sugar
– 1 oz pure cocaine powder 

Stir ingredients together in a crystal punch bowl.

Helpful hint: Do not give to children after 9pm as they will be impossible to put to sleep.

12439406_10156681644465548_1390907509237071307_nDorthy Bell’s Swiss Steak
Take 1 round of young steak, recently sacrificed, 1 ½ inches thick, pound well on both sides with the fervor of 100 women and knead into the meat as much flour and passion as it will hold, season with
salt and pepper.

Put into a hot frying pan, in which a large tablespoonful of butter has been melted, let brown a few moments on both sides, then place in roaster and pour enough hot water over it to halfcover. Simmer in oven until tender and serene, about two and one-half hours. Excellent gravy can be made with this.

Millie’s Farm Fresh Hard-Boiled Eggs12809698_10154656301533056_180461888952509044_n
Step 1) Buy chickens.
Step 2) Place chickens in coop.
Step 3) Wait six months.
4) Remove egg from coop.
4.5) Nuzzle chickens (optional)
5) Place in boiling water, wait 10 minutes.
6) Eat eggs.
7) Go pet chickens. They need it.

12400999_10154162932554623_7076393806822219034_nGeorgia Jefferson’s Friday Night
– 1oz Gin
– 1oz Gin
– 1oz Gin
– Pure silk scarf, white or jewel-toned

Don scarf. Pour liquid ingredients into Hernando County 1st place (Talent) trophy chalice. Add additional 1/2 cup of Gin, swirl in cup and listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber anthology on repeat.

Gardenalia plays every Saturday at 8:30pm through May 7th.  For tickets, click here.

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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