Arts & Entertainment

Grand Rapids Improv Festival kicks off downtown

October 12, 2015
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Grand Rapids Improv Festival
The 2015 Grand Rapids Improv Festival will be staged at Dog Story Theater in downtown Grand Rapids from Oct. 12-19. Photo via

Grand Rapids is in for a comedy treat this week in the form of the Grand Rapids Improv Festival.

The festival, or GRIF, kicks off tonight with a party and performer highlight event from 7:30-10 p.m. at Dog Story Theater, at 7 Jefferson Ave. SE. Networking takes place from 7:30-8 p.m., followed by a series of performer highlight shows from 8-9 p.m. and an open jam from 9-10 p.m.

The festival runs through Oct. 19 and will see about 30 troupes perform in downtown Grand Rapids. Performances will take place at Dog Story Theater.

This is the second-annual Grand Rapids Improv Festival, formerly named the West Michigan Improv Festival.

Katie Fahey, GRIF committee chair and captain of Grand Rapids-based No Outlet Improv Troupe, said this year’s festival saw a response four times that of last year.

“This year, we’ve had an awesome response,” Fahey said. “It really speaks volumes to the Grand Rapids community in particular.”

GRIF lineup

Oct. 12: 7:30-10 p.m., kickoff party and performer highlight/free jam at Dog Story Theater

Oct. 13: 7:30 p.m., improv show featuring Murphy’s Law, a comedy juggling show with Ben Comedy and Will Juggle

Oct. 14: 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., improv shows with Grand Rapids sketch group Late Night Grand Rapids

Oct. 15: Night on the town exploring Beer City, U.S.A.

Oct. 16: 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., shows featuring three improv troupes

Oct. 17: 4 p.m., panel discussion “Comedy — Beyond the Laughter” featuring Bart Sumner, Healing Improv executive director, and humor coach Julie Ostrow; 5:38 p.m., improv show featuring Pure Improv Chaos; and 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., improv shows featuring three improv troupes

Oct. 18: Family Festival featuring youth workshop, high school workshop, family friendly shows and youth show; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., workshop and performance for grades 4-6; 2-6 p.m., workshop and performance for grades 7-12; and 7-8:30 p.m., “From the Mouths of Babes: an Improvised Hilarious Kids Panel”

Oct. 19: 7:30-11:30 p.m., closing night show and party at Dog Story Theater

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