Improvised Shakespeare Company
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Improvised Shakespeare Company

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States
Band Comedy

Calendar

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Oct
22
Improvised Shakespeare Company @ C-Haus

Beloit, Wisconsin, USA

Beloit, Wisconsin, USA

Oct
08
Improvised Shakespeare Company @ Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Jan
14
Improvised Shakespeare Company @ Colonial Theatre

Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Comedy Festivals:
Just for Laughs
Bumbershoot
UCB Theatre
Piccolo Spoleto Festival

Awards:
2009 New York Nightlife Award – Best Comedic Performance by a Group
- Sophie K. Entertainment


"Downright Hilarious"

"Staggeringly Brilliant"

"It's a night of Elizabethan tomfoolery that's not to be missed. The nimble players capture the spirit of the Bard without ever lifting material directly from his work. In short, outstanding." - Time Out Chicago


“Set aside your preconceptions about Shakespearean theater. It's not all pretentious, puffy-garbed players trained to speak foreign English at the Raised Hand School of Acting. IO Chicago's rollicking hit show "Improvised Shakespeare" is smart and knowing enough to delight Elizabethan drama fans and charming enough to win over the most avowed Anglophobes.” - Centerstage Chicago


"Improvised Shakespeare, quite possibly the most handsome, winning, smartest, wittiest, silly, talented, ambitious, intelligent troupe in Chicago. They completely improvise a Shakespearean play complete with references, archetypes, allu sions, and sometimes even iambic pentameter. They can do high brow, low brow, fast, slow, topical, and historical AND have it all be funny."

- Chicago Comedy Examiner


I found myself watching Blaine Swen, Thomas Middleditch, and Ross Bryant play a dozen or so characters in a completely improvised Elizabethan play called South Korea Has Soul (don’t look at me — another audience member came up with the title).

As you might imagine, South Korea Has Soul opened with an exposition-filled soliloquy from a young man — the spindly son of a powerful Duke — who’s kneeling in prayer, sharing with God his concerns over leaving his childhood home at the local monastery and returning to his birthright and home. “I know you know all this already, God,” Bryant deadpanned. “I’m just saying.”
What followed was a mind-blowing 50-minute play about the effeminate young nobleman’s return to his house; his brutish, self-adoring father the Duke; his devoted, downtrodden mother who’s “like a flower whose petals are wilting,” a fraternal order of manly-men called The Elkish Society and a pair of Asian agents who scheme to corrupt England by infiltrating the Society; the Duke’s noble half-brother, now his servant and in love with his wife; and several diamond-studded codpieces — all of it delivered convincingly in the language of Shakespeare, often in iambic pentameter and rhymed couplets and sewn up neatly at the end. It was one of the funniest, most amazing things I’ve ever seen. –Patrick Sharbaugh

- The Charleston City Paper


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

"A smash hit at our 2009 festival" - Robbie Praw, Manager of Programming, Just For Laughs Festival

"Staggeringly Brilliant... Downright Hilarious" - Time Out Chicago

Mind-blowing It was one of the funniest, most amazing things Ive ever seen.
-The Charleston City Paper

** 2009 New York Nightlife Award for Best Comedic Performance by a Group **

In 2005, Blaine Swen (an original member of The Backstreet Bards & The Spontaneous Shakespeare Co.) founded The Improvised Shakespeare Co. in Chicago. After a successful fall run on the Donnys Skybox stage at The Second City the show was taken to the famous Improv Olympic in Chicago. The very place where Mike Meyers, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, and Amy Poehler (to name a few) got their start. The Improvised Shakespeare Company has had a sold-out run every Friday night at IO for the last 3 years.

Now, The Improvised Shakespeare Co. has found itself on the road, including a trip to the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Fringe Festival in Charleston SC (where The ISC was reviewed as one of the top shows in the festival) The group also performs at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City to sold out houses and was featured in the UCB Theatres Del Close Marathon. In July, 2009, The Improvised Shakespeare Co. will be featured at the prestigous Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada and in September the show will be featured at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.