Louisville Improvisors, host's and executive producers of Improvapalooza the longest running improv comedy festival in the Southeast are proud to announce the final lineup for Improvapalooza 12.

The 12th annual festival will include

*Very Special Guests from the legendary Los Angeles, comedy group, The Groundlings,

Colleen Smith, Veteran Improvapalooza fans will remember Colleen from last years festival and Candace Brown .

Both are making return visits to Louisville for the festival.

*The Narcotic Farmers, an improv super group combining some of the best improvisers from the Nashville improv group Music City Improv Jill Mothershed and Scott Field and members of the Louisville Improvisors. Narcotic Farmers - Friday only!

*Louisville Improvisors, Louisville's longest running improv comedy troupe and premier teaching facility for the art of improvisation. 

"Whenever you have a chance to work with improvisers this good the answer is always yes." said Alec Volz of Louisville Improvisors. 

And as always under the musical direction of Todd Hildreth

Louisville Improvisors Present

Improvapalooza 12 

Kentucky Center  MeX Theatre

January 6-7, 2012       8pm

Tickets - $17.00

Tickets go on sale 12/14/11 at 10am at the KY Center Box Office


Comedy: Party of Five -- Read the LEO Weekly on Improvapalooza 11.

Louisville Improvisors and Necessary Theatre

click for larger version

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE: Due to a scheduling conflict Michaela Watkins will not be able to appear at this years festival. She will be missed, but she will be very ably replaced by Colleen Smith, another Groundling alumnus.

Louisville Improvisors and The Necessary Theatre present Improvapalooza 11!, their 11th annual improv comedy festival. "As always we are committed to bringing together the best comedy and improv talent in the country, and this year will be no exception." says Alec Volz, of Louisville Improvisors. This years festival will include Stephanie Courtney, (also known as Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.) Stephanie is a mainstage member of The Groundlings, the legendary L.A. improv company that has launched the careers of such people as Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph and many others. Stephanie' s t.v. credits include Mad Men, The Comeback, House, Men of a Certain Age and S#!t my folks don't know. She has also appeared in the movies, Blades of Glory, The Heartbreak Kid, The Brothers Solomon and For your Consideration.

Colleen Smith is a teacher at the Groundlings school. Her t.v. credits include "The Showbiz Show with David Spade", "The Office", The Singles Table", "Carpoolers", and "KIng of the Hill" She is the co-creator of an original series called "Danger Force Five".
She is also the co-creator of "", a fictional dating website, and of "The Smith Brown Project", a two woman show that ran at The Comedy Central Stage and UCB. She was seen recently in an Off Broadway production of Henson Alternative's "Stuffed and Unstrung" An improvised puppet show for grownups, which Entertainment Weekly gave a Grade A rating.

Fresh from the success from their most recent production of "The Buddy Gilm Show" a tribute to old time radio and comedy variety shows of the past, the Louisville Improvisors bring you Improvapalooza 11! Two shows of pure improv. Bringing together the 
talents of two of the best improvisers in the country, Stephanie Courtney and Colleen Smith and add that to the Improvisors, Chris Anger, Alec Volz and Todd Hildreth and you got two nights of great comedy created right before your eyes.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday 12/21/10 at 10 am at the Kentucky Center Box Office or by calling (502) 584-7777

January 7-8, 2011
Kentucky Center MeX Theatre

Louisville, KY
The Buddy Gilm Show is the Louisville Improvisors tribute to old time radio, music and comedy variety shows of the past. "We've done concept shows before, but this time we wanted combine fiction and reality." says Alec Volz (Louisville Improvisors) "It's a fake radio show with real people." says Chris Anger (also of Louisville Improvisors)

Bring together the legendary rock and roll sounds of Bodeco, the hardcore honky tonk of Johnny Berry and his band, mix in The Owl-Stretching Time Repertory Theater, featuring James Bickers (morning host on WFPK) and his cast performing an original "Fibber McGee and Molly" show live and add special guest Gill Holland (Green Building, Film Producer, Louisville Magazines 2009 Man of the Year) who will be interviewed by Buddy Gilm himself and throw in the Louisville Improvisors whose "concept shows walk the tightrope of unscripted theater...combining traditional stage work with the unpredictable element of improv and you've got an adrenaline pumping night where anything goes... and usually does."

Friday December 3, 2010 8pm
Alley Theater
1205 E. Washington St.
$10 at the door

Check out the latest LEO article Can you believe it has already been ten years?

Improvapalooza 10

Louisville Improvisors and The Necessary Theatre in cooperation with The Springhill Suites By Marriott, and Hurt Printing present
Improvapalooza 10
Two nights of improv in the round at the MeX Theatre in the Kentucky Center, January 8th and 9th at 8pm.
$20 Tickets are now on sale at the KCA Box office (584-7777) or online at KCA.

The Tranz4merZ
One game. Thirty minutes. A buncha guys.
With only one beginning action, the TranzmerZ spin a stream of consciousness world from gym cops to patrons of a sperm bar using the simple improvisational game of transformations. It’s fast, intense, and funny as hell as they feed off one another and break all the rules.The Trans4merZ began performing in the fall of 1991 in Santa Monica, California The idea was to create a new form of improvisation that didn't rely upon standard game formats, or long form structures that had recently become popular. Many different formats were suggested before the idea of doing transformations as a non-stop, half-hour performance structure was finally settled upon. This has been the form for The Trans4merZ show ever since. Along the way, notable personalities such as Cynthia Stevenson ("Happiness," "Oh, Baby,") and Lisa Kudrow ("Friends," "The Opposite of Sex,") were regular performers with the group. Guest performers have included Jon Lovitz and Conan O' Brian.

Please go to for more info and videos of recent performances.

Bios of the performers scheduled to appear:
Chris Ellis After graduating Manchester University with a degree in drama, spent time in London playing Shakespearian idiots and fools, as well as some contemporary morons. Also, in London, he appeared on BBC TV's "The Young One's" and spent two years as the Associate Director of Inter-Action Theatre Productions. After moving to Los Angeles he became a film editor, editing nine movies, including films for CBS, Disney and Paramount, as well as writing, directing and editing award winning videos and film installations for The Ford Motor Company, NASA'a Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers. He has written and directed a film for Universal Studios theme parks starring Steven Spielberg, as well as a series of original short-form comedy films for Oxygen Media and Saturday Night Live. He most recently wrote and directed the film that can be seen at the U.S. Pavillion at the World Expo in Japan.

Harry Hannigan began his showbiz career talking a small dog off some insulation in a popular commercial, propelling him overnight into receptionist work. His television appearances include "The Tonight Show", "According to Jim" and he recently played the role of Neanderthal Chieftan "Clive" in the low budget film "The Hunters." He now writes for "The Troop" on Nickelodeon and only answers his own phone. He is proud to be the most physically appealing (male) of The Trans4merZ, but realizes the bar is set very low.

Jay Kogen Raised in Los Angeles, Jay first performed on "The Dean Martin Show" in 1968 at the age of 5. He continued acting with small parts on "The Bob Newhart Show," "Newhart," "The Bronx Zoo," "It's Garry Shandling's Show," was future man in “Great Scott” and was recently on Zrock. At 16 did standup and studied improvisation at The Groundlings. Jay started writing for television on "The Tracey Ullman Show," then wrote and produced the first four seasons of "The Simpsons" winning two Emmy Awards..He co-executive produced "Frasier," for which he won two more Emmys, including Best Writing For A Comedy Series and a humanitas award! Jay has written for many shows including “Malcolm In The Middle”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”; “The George Lopez Show”; “Wanda At Large”; “The Class” and he’s currently executive producer of “The Troop” for Nickelodeon. In movies, Jay was shot in the head by Jason Priestly in "Cold Blooded,” tortured by Pauly Shore in “Jury Duty”, wrote and produced the "Wrong Guy" staring Dave Foley (which won Best Writing at the Aspen Comedy Festival) and appears as himself in “The Aristocrats” He has written many movies that never got made and helped out on a few that did including: “The Nutty Professor”; “The Cat In The Hat”; “The Spy Who Shagged Me“; “Madagascar”; “Goldmember”; “Bad Company”; “Shrek II”; “Shark Tales”; “Shrek III”; “Super Hero!”; “Meet Dave”; and “The Love Guru.”

Tanya Scheer is Lifetime’s new Buzz Girl and can be seen daily at She has performed stand-up comedy at Los Angeles’s “Comedy Store”, “Impov” and “Ice House” and performs regularly at the “Groundling’s” theater in “The Crazy Uncle Joe Show, and was twice awarded Female Performer of the Year at “ACME Comedy Theater”. She is the author of “How to Raise an Amazing Child, Without Getting Upstaged.” and co-wrote “Rush” with Michelle Alexander, author of “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days”. Tanya was a founding member of “The Last Women on Earth”, an all female improv group with Kristen Wiig. She currently appears on various webisodes such as Effenfunny’s “Legend of Neil”, “Stop It”, and “Carol and Diane”. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Eddie, and their 3 year-old daughter Ava Rose.

Jonathan Stark has been performing with this rag-tag band of misfits for the past 18 years. Previous to that Jon was a member of The Groundlings and was a regular in Bill Steinkellner’s, “InstaPlay.” As an actor he has been featured in the films “Project X”, “Fright Night” and the mega-bomb “House 2.” Since he realized, rather early on, that making a living from improv was impossible, to support his family he turned to the world of television writing. He has worked on such series as “Cheers”, “Bob”, “The Nanny” and "Ellen", for which he won an Emmy award for his work on the coming out episode and co-created ABC’s long-running comedy “According to Jim”. He has written a movie about women pirates and one about aliens and is now penning one about a monster under the bed. As you can plainly see, Jonathan is all over the map.

The Louisville Improvisors originated ensemble Improvisation in Louisville ten years ago and continue to explore the unique art form of Theatrical Improvisation. Their concept shows walk the tightrope of unscripted theatre…combining traditional stage work with the unpredictable element of improv. The result is an adrenaline pumping night where anything goes…and usually does. The Louisville Improvisors are: Chris Anger, Josh Lane, and Alec Volz.

Louisville Improvisors to open new Training Center on 4th St.

The Louisville Improvisors are proud to announce the opening of their new training center at 627 S. 4th Street in the old Highland Coffee Co. (HCC) location.

"We are extremely excited to be a part of this burgeoning section of S. 4th St. right near the new Theatre Square Marketplace, all the new restaurants, and not to mention two doors down from the Palace Theatre, Louisville Public Media (WFPK, etc.), and the other cultural aspects of this end of 4th St. Or as I like to call it, ‘The Locally Owned End of Fourth Street Live.’

“This would not be possible without the help and generosity of Greg and Natalie Hofer, the owners of HCC, who have partnered with us on this incredible opportunity.

"Greg and Natalie have always been there for us in the 10 years we have been together – by hosting Louisville Improvisors shows at their Bardstown Road location in the beginning, to brewing a special Irish Hill blend of coffee for our Irish Hill Improv & History Festival in August, to sponsoring most of our major events.

“Though a lot of people are familiar with Louisville Improvisors as performers, they don’t know that we also teach improv. Over the years we have taught workshops throughout Kentucky and Indiana, including schools and universities, corporate clients, and individual instruction. Wherever there is a need for improv training we try to fill it. Which is why getting our own space is the realization of a big dream of ours,” said Chris Anger, Artistic Director of the Louisville Improvisors.

Upcoming fall classes start soon.

Louisville Improvisors Press Picture
The Louisville Improvisors at the Irish Hill Improv Fest
Photo by Bill Brymer
  • Sitting down and trying to record with the Louisville Improvisors for an interview is like trying to step into the same river twice...(read the boys' interview over at backseat sandbar

  • The latest rave review...

    The Irish Hill Improv Festival
    Featuring The Louisville Improvisers
    and The Groundlings

    Reviewed by Keith Waits at Theatre

    Entire contents copyright 2008, Keith Waits, all rights reserved.

    Comedy improvisation strikes me as a very scary business. Occupying a stage with no script and very little structure and attempting to make people laugh must require some special courage on the part of a performer willing to take on the challenge. To accomplish it demands certain talent and great confidence.

    These qualities were on display in abundance this weekend during The 1st Annual Irish Hill Improv Festival. It was hosted by a veteran local group, The Louisville Improvisers, who are Chris Anger, Alec Volz and Joshua Lane. Following improv tradition and taking their cues from audience members, they displayed the quick wit and fertile imagination that must be the stock-in-trade of any good comedy performer throughout a loose and funny 45-minute set.

    One of the most interesting aspects of watching such a performance is the on-the-fly decisions that the group employs to structure the evening. Like jazz musicians the three men play off of each other's ideas and actions, lifting or alternating the rhythm or tone and finding the right moment to stop and change direction so that the audience is constantly challenged to keep up. If a bit isn't working, it barely registers before a member will move in with a fresh idea to keep the ball in the air.

    In the final piece, an audience member is brought onstage to describe his or her day so far, a mundane exchange made funny through Chris Anger's scabrous wit, but it is merely the setup. The group then used those events as an outline within which to build a concerto of silliness that brought tears to my eyes.

    The second half of the evening was given over to members of the legendary Los Angeles based improv troupe, The Groundlings. This is the second time this year that they have traveled to Louisville  to perform with The Louisville Improvisers, and it is a tribute to their local hosts that they were eager to return. For more than 30 minutes, Kevin Berntson, Jordan Black, Candace Brown, Stephanie Courtney and Colleen Smith delivered a master's class in improv technique, creating myriad bits and pieces of comedy gold with quicksilver timing and endless invention that were a pleasure to witness. The quick and agile manner in which the members communicated with each other was fascinating, and it easy to see why this group has given birth to so many stars throughout its illustrious history.

    Here's to next year's festival!

  • Check out the boys in the latest issue of Louisville Magazine! It's on news stands now.
     LOUISVILLE Magazine, January 2008
  • Local Public Radio favorite WFPL's Studio 619 conducted an interview on February 18th, 2007 with Alec & Chris. Enjoy!
  • Chris improvises a few answers about this weekend's Improvapalooza 7 for Velocity.
  • In a September article for the LEO, Chris and rising star comedian Doug Stanhope discuss the mayoral elections and the dire need for more trained monkeys.
  • ‘Instant Cinema’: The movies are B but the talent is A+: In an April 2006 article, writer Cindy Lamb reviews the Louisville Improvisors first foray into the world of B grade movies and F grade dialogue.
  • The Louisville Improvisors lead a full slate O.C. Arts Center events: March 2006 - Roundabout interviews the group and gets a lesson in the basics of improv. The second rule is, never say "no."
  • In June, 2005, the Louisville Improvisors conducted a workshop for students at Spalding University MFA Program in Creative Wrtiting.

    "Well, it's official: Your session for the MFA in Writing Program was a resounding, bell-ringing success! It's safe to say we've never gotten such universally positive feedback for any other arts event in our program's history. You could probably tell our crowd loved you by the laughs you got, but to quantify things, on our evaluation forms, your session received almost universal 4s (the highest rating).

    Here's a sample of the feedback we received:

    "Louisville Improvisors were a gift to us. Not only was it such a release of tension, which accompanies many of us at the residency, but an incredible learning experience. The presentation, with its emphasis on trust, became a metaphor for my own work and life. The follow-up session, which I could not even imagine doing, was yet another great learning experience on so many levels."

    Many of our students expressed that they had dreaded the idea of actually performing improv but said the small-group session turned out to be transformative They came away with new insights into their own work and fresh ideas for revision. Writing is such a solitary business; you succeeded in opening up many minds to the possibility of approaching their work in a whole new way.

    A thousand thanks!


    p.s. My personal favorite moment of your session:
    Alec: "I heard a fly buzz when I died."
    Chris: "I heard a bus."

2005, Louisville Improvisors