HURRY! You still have time to join Improv Toolbox

20 Jan

Improv Toolbox is inviting improvisers
to join our second season teams, starting Febuary 9th 2014.
No audition needed.

ImprovToolbox_LOGO The Improv Toolbox is a
10-week program
designed to increase your stage power in any team dynamic by gaining experience in group improv (long & short form), two person shows and hosting skills.

Each week teams rehearse Sunday nights, from 6:30-8:30, then jump on stage at 9 to practice the skills they just learned at the Bughouse Theater, 2056 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago.

To join, there is a one time fee of $200 (this covers coaching fees, rehearsal & performance space rental, plus marketing).

Try it out… no matter your skill level. You will see that the personalized coaching and a ton of stage time make this training tool one that will carry with you for a lifetime.

Space is limited, sign up today to receive a payment link.

Improv Toolbox Session 2 Sign Up

Also, we collect LIKE us on Facebook – please become a fan today!


Improv Toolbox Auditions

30 Sep

Improv Toolbox is holding auditions for two new teams.


Monday, October 14th
7-8 or 8-9
Bughouse Theater, 2056 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago

The Improv Toolbox is a 10-week program that combines rehearsals and performances into one exciting night. Our goal is to provide improvisors with the tools to succeed on stage by reinforcing your personal strengths and helping you shape skills that need attention. By rehearsing and performing each week, this program helps you become a more confident improviser in only 10 weeks.

If accepted, you will rehearse Sunday nights, from 6:30-8:30 followed by your show at 9pm for a full 10-weeks, beginning November 3rd. Teams are coached by experienced Chicago improvisers.

To participate in this program, there is a one time fee of $200 (this covers coaching fees, rehearsal & performance space rental, plus marketing materials).

Space is limited.

Sign up for your audition slot today using this LINK!

Switch Committee

3 Jun

Switch CommitteeSwitch Committee

SHOW DATE: May 31, 2013
WHERE AT: Donny’s Skybox
Second City, 1608 N. Wells


Do you remember the first time you saw the fireworks on the Fourth of July?

I do. My head spun with excitement and my heart instantly fell in love with every glittery explosion. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. That’s the very same feeling I get EVERY time I’m lucky enough to catch a Switch Committee show and May 31st was no exception as I attended the Donny’s Skybox show “Blood Feud: Switch Committee vs. Manny Mora.

The five members of this team, who met while taking classes at iO and Second City Conservatory, take the stage, do a little dance and proceed with an honest conversation about the suggestion, which in this case was sour cream. Tonight their fun, truthful dialogue revealed that Ryan tried sour cream for the first time three years ago, Dave hates it and Schwartzbaum thought munster cheese was actually named monster for a substantial part of his childhood. While this wasn’t the only information ascertained this night, their opening is the equivalent to lighting a fuse of a large firework show because in only moments these guys are going to explode with a fast paced controlled chaos that will leave you breathlessly inspired.

Don’t drop anything is what many improvers hear often and Switch Committee has proven to be the master of this rule. Each show is full of emotional characters and beautiful physical play as their scenes tie together with mind-blowing connections by recycling every ounce of information. With quick moves and excepted realities from every player, this team plays hard and fast making their entire show look like a game everyone wants to join in on. It only takes one show to make you want to be best friends with each of them.

Go see this team before they become famous! Luckily for you they have plenty of shows coming up in June, so buy a ticket today.

• Thursdays @ 8 thru June 27 at iO’s Cabaret Theater
• Fridays @ 10:30 thru June 21 at Second City’s Donny’s Skybox Theater
• Saturdays @ midnight thru June 22 at iO’s Del Close Theater

• Complete support of each other
• Their explosion of all ideas
• Full embodied emotional characters
• Their real life friendship

WHO CAUSED A SCENE FOR THIS SHOW: (this is where I give props to 1 team member for move(s) that made me giggle the hardest) Ahhhhhhh….don’t make me pick!!! I’d rather have my toenails pulled out one by one!!!! They were all awesome!

KRISTI’S WISH LIST: (here’s where I tell the team what I’d love to see them try. Hey team, it’s just a suggestion, feel free to ignore)  Stop opening shows… your energy and wit make anyone that follows you feel undeservedly flat while the audience is still giggling as they replay your scenes over and over.

• Collin Dahlgren
• Dave Karasik
• Alan Linic
• Ryan Nallen
• David Schwartzbaum

COACH(S): Timmy Mayse/Jeff Griggs

TWITTER: @switchcommittee



CONTACT INFO: To book this team, contact (not spam)

– – – – –

You too can have me review your independent team. Simply contact me at or apply today with the Causing a Scene Show Info & Application found here.


30 Nov

Gorilla Tango Theater is holding auditions for it’s GTT Improv Zoo and is looking for COMMITTED improvisors that want to not only improv their skills, but also want consistent stage time.

We are holding a second round of auditions – held Dec. 8th at the Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee), starting at 2:30 pm.

The GTT Improv Zoo is a unique improv experience that integrates new and old approaches to the study of improvisation in order to help foster the advancement of improvisation as an art-form plus allows each member to gain valuable experience with real stage time. No other seasonal program in Chicago gives you this much time in front of REAL audiences.

Each team member of the The GTT Improv Zoo Crew will be placed on a team that rehearses weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 for 12 weeks + performing 12 weeks in the show – “Uncaged” on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM

If cast, performers pay $240 for the entire 12 week term (which covers weekly coaching, rehearsal space, marketing, etc – payment plan now available). Coaches of the GTT Improv Zoo have performed with Second City, The Annoyance, i.O. Chicago, ComedySportz and more.

To sign up for an audition slot today – email your headshot and resume to

Monica Barcelona: Bitch, I’ll Cut You

17 Jun

Monica Barcelona: Bitch, I’ll Cut You –
Makes it’s debut at the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival

SHOW DATE: 6.10.12
Stage 773
1225 West Belmont Ave.


Comedian and licensed cosmetologist, Monique Madrid (AKA Monica Barcelona) debuted her new show “Monica Barcelona: Bitch, I’ll Cut You” for the first annual Chicago Womens Funny Festival. Monica Barcelona, along with her styling assistant (played by Erica Elam) play over the top characters that combine improv and audience make overs in a truly unique show.

The stage is set with a table full of beauty products and a high backed chair and enters the assistant. She explains to the audience how the amazing Monica Barcelona is like “holy shit” and that because of the recent Groupon, she might not be able to make it through all of the appointments today. She also explains that Monica is also like a therapist to her because of her (motions to the audience for a suggestion) “alcohol” problem.

Without giving away the rest of the show too much, a couple of audience members are invited onto the stage to get both make-overs and an actual haircut. I really felt like I was watching a reality talk show. The sassy Monica Barcelona is both inspirationally entertaining and refreshing in her comedic timing as well as the captivating concept of this show.

KRISTI’S WISH LIST: (here’s where I tell the team what I’d love to see them try. Hey team, it’s just a suggestion, feel free to ignore)  It was fun to Erica Elam play multiple characters during the show and I’m wondering if there’s a way for Monique to incorporate another character or two of her own. She obviously can hold her own with Monica, but what else can she do?

• Monique Madrid
• Erica Elam


TWITTER: moniquemadrid

CONTACT (not spam): if anyone is interested in hiring her for Monica Barcelona character for parties etc, or for a styling service outside of the show.


11 Jun

LACE – Performing in the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival

SHOW DATE: 6.10.12
Stage 773
1225 West Belmont Ave.


Performing Sunday evening in the first annual Chicago Womens Funny Festival, LACE was able to take conventional fears, such as death and water, and engineered one long, melodramatic scene based on the friendship of two of the most awkward people you could imagine. Their slow, methodical style of play kept the audience captivated as they explored these two characters lives in a realistically truthful manner, dashing time chronologically to expose one tearful anxiety after another.

One of the things I noticed right away was this teams ability to “yes” every suggestion. I mean literally, I heard the word “yes” at least a dozen times, but filtered through their awkward characters that showed real hesitation from the women they were playing. This choice not only strengthened the bond these characters have (which I’m sure translates to Erin & Andrea’s real friendship) but it was fun to watch a character have a visable internal struggle on stage and see the decisions they landed on.

LACE will be appearing June 15th at Crocodile Lounge starting at 9pm, and trust me, these ladies are well worth the trip to Wicker Park.

• They “YES” everything
• Slow play
• Character realism

WHO CAUSED A SCENE FOR THIS SHOW: (this is where I give props to 1 team member for move(s) that made me giggle the hardest)  While the humor of this show was divided pretty evenly, my favorite lines of the night was uttered by Erin Lane’s character Sara when she said “Dead people live in your heart, like tiny dead spirit smurfs.”

KRISTI’S WISH LIST: (here’s where I tell the team what I’d love to see them try. Hey team, it’s just a suggestion, feel free to ignore)  I truly appreciate your slot style of play, however I would love to see more intensity in your reactions to each other. No need to contrast your form, just giving your reactions even more weight would propel the stakes even higher.

• Erin Lane
• Andrea Wallace


CONTACT (not spam):

Liz Reuss Solo Show

8 Jun

Liz Reuss – Performing in the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival

SHOW DATE: 6.7.12
Stage 773
, 1225 West Belmont Ave.


Tonight, during the Chicago Womens Funny Festival, Liz Reuss performed her solo improvised show, bringing to the stage a slew of fun characters in very grounded, hilarious scenes. Starting with the suggestion of lemonade, we witnessed an 8 year old selling a water downed version of Sunny Delight. Through an improvised song, we also learned of the awkwardness of this self-proclaimed introvert as she tries to please her father by acquiring the skills of an entrepreneur.

Loaded with beautiful patience and silent moments, the following scenes took the audience on a journey into the worlds of former sorority sisters, Mandy, the drunk maid of honor at her younger sisters wedding, a magic show in which she had an audience volunteer whom she tried to cut in half, and (my personal favorite) a silent scene about the dirty and unsolicited flirtations that are all to familiar on the CTA. What was delightful to watch was not only did Liz play multiple characters is almost every scene, but she mastered the physicalization and vocal tones she gave each of these characters to help the audience to clearly understand what was going on.

Back in September of 2011, Liz competed in the U.S. of Improv Tournament held at i.O. Chicago Theater, as the only performer representing her home state of Kentucky. Coming in 2nd in the competition (loosing only by 4 votes), Liz’s solo improv career has earned it’s wings and has been flying high ever since. In fact, I can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented improvisor.

• Deliberate silent moments
• Distinct details
• Pronounced character physicalization

KRISTI’S WISH LIST: (here’s where I tell the team, um, Liz, what I’d love to see her try. Hey Liz, it’s just a suggestion, feel free to ignore)  While I understand the limitations of a 15 minute set, I would love to see how these characters would relate to each other if and when their worlds collided. Tie them all together into a nice little ending package and watch the audience’s mind explode.

CONTACT (not spam):