Last week my improv group, Mayor Karen, performed at the Chicago Improv Festival. It
was a total blast. We’ve only been together for less than a year and CIF is one of the most well known improv festivals in the country and we got accepted! With help from Mayor Nutter and local businesses in Philly we were able to raise enough money to cover our travel costs. The Semifan Chicago Branch, the official fan club of fellow improviser Rachel Semigran, provided housing for all of us.
The festival had over 98 different acts from all over the world, everywhere from Vancouver to Istanbul. It was a really eclectic mix and there was so much to see and do. I think the best part about it, besides seeing all of the great shows, was the sense of camaraderie among the different groups. You really felt like you were part of a larger improv community, with everyone doing their part to push improv, form, and theater in new directions.
I also fell in love with the city of Chicago. When I wasn’t seeing shows, I was hanging out at Millennium Park, eating deep dish pizza, and window shopping in Lincoln Park. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to explore. All in all it was a perfect festival and vacation. I’m hoping that my improv and comedy pursuits lead me back to “The Big Onion” again soon.