One of my favorite things that has started happening since I was in college is the surge of college improv festivals all over the country. Not only do these festivals give college teams a nice chance to meet each other and play to new audiences, but they also create an atmosphere where college teams can view each other’s imagination and stretch their own definitions of improv. If you’re in a college team, here are just a few festivals happening around the states.
- As noted yesterday, the 3rd Annual college improv tournament is happening now which is The Chicago Improv Festival’s baby.
But I also wanted to highlight two other festivals.
- Fracas! is the first ever purely collegiate improv festival, hosted by Second Nature Improv at the University of Southern California.
They’ve got a nice list of college teams started on their site and I know it’s not even close to complete, so add your own.
- The National College Comedy Festival happens every year in Saratoga Springs and has been happening for many years. They just celebrated their 20th anniversary and if you’re into any chatter on the boards you’ll see that this event has inspired many young improvisers.
“Founded in 1990, NCCF is an annual gathering of both college and professional comedy groups for a weekend of performances and workshops at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. The event is put on by Skidmore’s improv group, The Ad-Liberal Artists. Each college group gets fifteen minutes to perform during one of the two nights. Professional groups perform and teach workshops to each participating group. College groups stay with Skidmore students and watch all the shows for free.”
I know that lots of little festivals happen all over the Boston area every year and Florida’s got a happening college improv scene as well. It should also be noted that many of the “regular” improv festivals happening around the country have special showcase shows where they have college teams perform and sometimes even high school teams.
If you know of any other college festivals, list them in the comments below.