A new start for me and the Improv Resource Center

Over the past few years, I’ve been a co-owner and the Artistic Director of Under The Gun Theater in Chicago. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of producing many shows at our space in Wrigleyville, and being a part of an incredible ensemble of performers. On the whole, it has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned much about producing and marketing shows. And I’ve sharpened my vision of the kinds of shows I’d like to direct and perform in.

However, after discussions with my business partner, we agreed to part ways. Our projections for the company were different. And week by week, our visions for the theater and our strategies for getting there were diverging more and more. In the end, she offered to buy me out and I agreed. As of about a month ago, I resigned as the Artistic Director of Under The Gun Theater and notified our ensemble and staff shortly after.

I also formally started a new company, one that I founded nearly 20 years ago, the Improv Resource Center. For the first time, the IRC will have a physical place in the real world to call home. From there I will be offering classes in improvisation and sketch comedy. And I will produce a number of shows in the next year, but at a much more reasonable pace. Instead of directing and producing a dozen new shows a year, I look forward to working on 2-4 shows instead.

Continue reading “A new start for me and the Improv Resource Center”

Hump Night, January 16

Hump Night returns this Wednesday with an amazing lineup of guest performers. Hump Night is a night of improv, comedy, storytelling, music and more.

7:30 – The Improv Hour with guest teams:

  • Graystar 
  • K-Star
  • Salsation

8:30 – The Variety Hour with:

  • A story by Ever Mainard
  • Stand up by Natalie Jose
  • Stand up by Cody Melcher
  • Music by Andy Eninger

Also a special appearance by Ryan Nallen and his 31 days of Improv project.

9:45 – Mullaney Chain with:

  • Mark Raterman (Cook County Social Club)
  • Sue Gillan (Second City Mainstage & e.t.c.)
  • Beau Golwitzer (The Reckoning)
  • Hans Holsen (Improvised Shakespeare Company, Second City TourCo)

Holy crap. Look at that lineup for Mullaney Chain! I’m excited.

Come when you want!
Pay what you want!

Strawdog Theatre
3829 N. Broadway



Mullaney Chain line up, January 9th

Here is the line up for this Wednesday’s Mullaney Chain: I asked Dina Facklis (Second City Tourco, Virgin Daiquiri, Armando), she asked Jeff Murdoch (ButchMAX), he asked Jo Scott (Henrietta Pussycat, Super Human, WiseSnatch, Meow Meow Ruff) and she asked Tim Reardon (ButchMAX).

Dina Facklis Jeff Murdoch Jo Scott Tim Reardon

By the way, this is the second time Tim has been asked to be a part of Mullaney Chain. Matt Manley asked him to be in the show a few months back when we played at Upstairs Gallery. One thing I’m noticing is that not only do people choose good improvisors when they get a chance to invite someone, they tend to ask super nice people as well. The show always seems to be filled with generous, cool people and it’s one reason why I love doing it.

What is a Mullaney Chain?

I’m trying out a new show called Mullaney Chain. It’s a bit like Messing with a Friend, but instead of asking one friend to play with me, I’m going to assemble a team for each show. It will work like this: I’ll ask one person to sit in with me, they will ask a third person and then they will ask a fourth. I like the idea that I won’t be picking that third and fourth person. I’ll just trust that each person in the chain will ask someone fun to play with us.

The first couple of shows will be at the Underground Lounge (952 West Newport Avenue), Tuesday July 12th and Tuesday July 26th, at 8pm. I’ve sent out some invites for the initial shows, but I’m still working on lining up the guests. I’ll announce my guest performers here and on my twitter feed when I have them confirmed. I hope to do many more of these shows in the coming months.

Oh! And those shows at the Underground Lounge are FREE!