The return of the Chicago/Raleigh Improv Festival

Comedians from the City of Oaks and Windy City are collaborating for a weekend of improvisation.


The Capital City Culture Club will perform at the festival.

Courtesy of ComedyWorx

More than 15 years ago, comedians from Raleigh and Chicago first gathered at ComedyWorx’s downtown theater to take the stage for a weekend of improvisation. After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-standing Chicago/Raleigh Improv Festival is returning this spring.

“It’s almost like a new festival, because it’s in a new space [on Hillsborough Street] under new ownership, with a lot of new, very cool indie teams that started during the pandemic,” ComedyWorx long-form producer Adam Bakst told RALtoday.

From Friday, April 28 to Saturday, April 29, more than 16 long-form improv teams from the City of Oaks and Windy City will perform in six shows. Look out for groups like the Capital City Culture Club (who often bring out local celebrities), Mmm Hmm, and the Chicago/Raleigh Super Group.

Bonus: Bring your funniest (or weirdest) ideas, because teams will take suggestions from the audience.

“Everything is made up on the spot,” Adam said. “It’s never been done before and it will never be done again. Every show you see is a unique experience, only for the people in that room at that time.”

Additionally, comedians and improv coaches Joe Bill and Elizabeth Byland will lead three workshops, and Newt Work is hosting an improv jam on Saturday.

Come to watch, or come to join in. And definitely come to laugh. Browse all of the events and purchase tickets, including all-inclusive weekend passes, online. Tickets are expected to sell out, so don’t wait.

Can’t get enough of local comedy? Check out more places to catch a show in Raleigh.

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