“The Cottage” – A Comedic Rendezvous

By Michael Nichols and Becca Jennings A well-kept garden, scenic views, and a beautiful patch of countryside – an English cottage provides the perfect setting for family vacations, reunions, and, of course, the occasional smoldering affair. Sandy Rustin’s comedy of manners, The Cottage, sets the stage for a whimsical tale of romance that quickly unravels into one of revenge. Set in 1923 in the English … Continue reading “The Cottage” – A Comedic Rendezvous

Bringing Ethel to Life

Ethel Waters’ determination and dynamic voice enabled her to escape the slums of Philadelphia and become a Broadway and Hollywood star. The road to success was anything but easy – she overcame racism, abuse, and violence along the way. FST favorite Jannie Jones brings Larry Parr’s powerful musical biography Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow to life this summer in a performance critics … Continue reading Bringing Ethel to Life

Stacey Smith – Up Close and Personal

Stacey Smith can’t sit still. Mediocrity and stasis are anathema to her. The idea of performing the same improv style or format forever scares her, so nothing is off limits to her. She describes her new show, StaceJam, as “A 40-minute party that is chaotic fun.” She’s party of not one, not two, but FOUR improv groups – STACKED, Brouhaha, ImprovBoston, and StaceJam. We sat down with … Continue reading Stacey Smith – Up Close and Personal

2 Men. No Limits.

Do you love the circus? Did you die from laughter watching The Three Stooges or The Marx Brothers? Canadian tag-team duo 2-MAN NO-SHOW has performed high stakes, highly physical improv across North America for a decade, and has become one of Canada’s top comedy acts. We sat down with Isaac Kessler, one half of 2-MAN NO-SHOW, to learn more about his adventures with comedy partner Ken Hall … Continue reading 2 Men. No Limits.

Kaci Beeler – Up Close and Personal

This year’s 11th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival will bring over 20 troupes from around the world to Sarasota for a whirlwind weekend of laughter. One person you will see sprinting from one performance to another is Kaci Beeler. Kaci is a member of  not one, but TWO Austin-based improv groups, Available Cupholders and Parallelogramophonograph (Pgraph, for short). Keep reading to get to know how Kaci juggles being … Continue reading Kaci Beeler – Up Close and Personal

A Guaranteed Fun Time

Love karaoke? Love improv? Musical improv troupe Happy Karaoke Fun Time blends the two to create a completely original, never before seen musical on the spot. Instead of a piano, they use karaoke tracks and improvise entirely new lyrics to some of today’s most popular songs. We sat down with Philip Markle, Creator of Happy Karaoke Fun Time, to get to know the group better before … Continue reading A Guaranteed Fun Time

Welcome to the StaceJam

On July 12 and 13, over 20 of the top improv troupes from across the country and as far as Canada and the UK will travel to Sarasota for a whirlwind weekend of laughter. Featured at the Sarasota Improv Festival for the first time, StaceJam is a one-woman musical improv show performed by comedy veteran Stacey Smith, who you’ve also seen perform with ImprovBoston and the all-female … Continue reading Welcome to the StaceJam

Ethel Waters – The Forgotten Pioneer

By Dr. Justin P. Cowan 1840s: Minstrel shows are developed to provide an entire evening of black-face entertainment for white audiences. These shows developed racial archetypes that are still prevalent today, such as the archetype of “The Mammy,” and continue to be popular until the early 1900s. 1890s: Vaudeville becomes so popular that “Circuits” are formed in an effort to tour vaudeville shows all across … Continue reading Ethel Waters – The Forgotten Pioneer

Improv Fest Spotlight: Available Cupholders

At this year’s 11th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival, over 20 of the top improv troupes from across the nation and as far as Canada and the UK will travel to Florida’s Gulf Coast for a whirlwind weekend of laughter. One of those groups is Available Cupholders of Austin, TX, who – in true improv fashion – say they came up with their odd troupe name by pulling the two … Continue reading Improv Fest Spotlight: Available Cupholders

“Come Together” with Carole J. Bufford

Carole J. Bufford grew up in a tiny town in Lincolnton, GA, listening to her mom play “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” on the radio. Now she is bringing that song, and many other classics from the ’60s and ’70s, to life on the stage in Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s. Carole has become one of the brightest stars of New York … Continue reading “Come Together” with Carole J. Bufford