Improv Festival Oklahoma, now in its ninth year, is a one-venue improv festival in which improv troupes from all over the country converge and have a great time. For performers, the experience is a special blend of performances, workshops, and after parties. For audience members, the experience is a wonderful opportunity to see favorite local improv troupes along with traveling improv troupes that they might not otherwise be able to see.
The first Improv Festival Oklahoma debuted in the summer of 2009 as a way to bring together the growing Oklahoma improv community and introduce audiences in Oklahoma to a variety of forms of improvised theatre. In addition to showcasing improv, local improvisers were able to take improv workshops from well-known improv instructors. Special guests Joe Bill (Chicago) and Jill Bernard (Minneapolis) headlined the festival with their duo, “Scram.”
In the summer of 2010, the Second Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma continued to further that goal, and featured an even more diverse group of improvisers from around the United States. On Friday of the festival, Joe Bill directed an All Star Cast of “The Bat,” an improvised harold performed entirely in the dark. Joe Bill and Susan Messing of Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre headlined the festival on Saturday with the long running Chicago show, “Messing with a Friend.”
The Third Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma welcomed special guests and headliners including Zach Ward, Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro, North Carolina (now of Improv Boston) and Jill Bernard, nationally recognized improviser and Education Director of the HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jill Bernard performed her award winning “Drum Machine” solo show.
The Fourth Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma was held in Norman, Oklahoma, on the beautiful campus of the University of Oklahoma. All of the members of Red Dirt Improv have ties to the University of Oklahoma, which made this festival even more fun. Special guest Armando Diaz taught several great improv workshops.
The Fifth Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma was held at the Sooner Theatre in Norman, Oklahoma. Asaf Ronen and Eric Heiberg hosted Maestro, as performed at the Hideout Theater in Austin, Texas. Asaf Ronen and Karen Wight-Greenberg performed their silent duo "Imp." Also, Jill Bernard returned to perform "Drum Machine" and teach workshops.
The Sixth Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma was held at the Bricktown Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Special guest Jimmy Carrane taught workshops and hosted a special taping of his "Improv Nerd" podcast.
The Seventh and Eighth Annual Improv Festival Oklahoma were produced by both Red Dirt Improv and OKC Improv. IFO7 featured Lee White and Joe Bill in their duo, Paradigm. IFO8 featured Rob Belushi and Jon Barinholtz in their duo, Sheldon.
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