Each year the Hideout Theatre in Austin assembles a full weekend of improvised one-act plays. The schedule is packed with The Hideout’s own repertoire of shows, exciting new shows from other theaters in Austin, and special out-of-town guest troupes. 

Announcing the 2016 Lineup

Announcing the 2016 lineup of shows! We’re particularly excited to have groups from London, Seattle, and Vancouver coming this year!

Click the Schedule link or the image above to see the whole lineup!


2016 Dates Announced!

The dates of the 2016 Improvised Play Festival will be April 14th-16th this year.

We’re still in the process of figuring out the lineup, but we’re very excited to announce that Jules and Heather from the United Kingdom will be returning with their show, Ten Thousand Million Love Stories. They were a huge hit when they came last time, and they’ll be performing shows and teaching workshops this time around.

Know of something you think would be the PERFECT fit for The Improvised Play Festival? Let us know about it via the suggestion form. IPF is a curated festival, so while we don’t have open submissions, we are very keen to hear your ideas.

Suggest a Show

It’s the fifth year of the festival, and our best lineup yet! Click the image to see our full schedule.ipf-2015-fb-ad-collage-photo

The 2015 Lineup is here!

yearfiveLadies and gentlemen,

Please get excited for the 2015 Improvised Play Festival lineup. Because there’s a lot to get excited about.

First off, our good friends The Dahl House, Nothing and Everything, and The Fitzgeralds Save The World are returning for one last show each.

Second, Jon Bolden​ and Steve Moore​ of Physical Plant Theatre are colluding on a special project called The Half-Written Play, where the first half is a scripted new work by Steve, and the second half is improvised.

Speaking of Steve, he’s also been working with PGraph on a new format/show called Box & String, which will debut at the fest.

Our out of town guests are insane, too. Jinni Lyons from LONDON is coming with her solo show. Vinny Francois​ from Montreal is directing a duo show about relationships and breakups (he’ll hold auditions and rehearsals here). The Black Lodge from Seattle is bringing their improvised Twin Peaks show, and it’s directed by Elizabeth Brammer​!

PLUS, Jill Bernard​ is coming down to teach a FIVE HOUR solo workshop, perform her one woman musical Drum Machine, and host a solo showcase.

Add to that Golden (the what will then be the current Student Mainstage), Hurly friggin’ Burly, The Escorts, Confidence Men, Waiting for Batman, and Danger! Warning! Improv!, and you’ve got a hell of a lineup.

Here it is in less rambly form:

Thursday, April 9th:
8pm: The Dahl House
9pm: The Half-Written Play, a Physical Plant Theater & Jon Bolden Project
10pm: Jinni Lyons is an Only Child (UK)
11pm: The Fitzgeralds Save the World

Friday, April 10th:
8pm: Nothing and Everything
8:30pm: The Black Lodge (Seattle)
9:30pm: It’s Not You, It’s Me (Montreal)
10pm: Hurly Burly
10:30pm: PGraph presents Box and String

Saturday, April 11th:
6pm: Golden
8pm: Austin Secrets
8:30pm: Confidence Men
9:30pm: The Black Lodge (Seattle)
10pm: The Escorts / Drum Machine (Minneapolis)
10:30pm: Jinni Lyons (UK) /Danger! Warning! Improv! / Waiting for Batman

Sunday, April 12th:
5:30pm: Solo Showcase

View the complete schedule here.

The Story of the Spy, by Emma Holder

emmaWhen I was approached by (producer and cast member) Seth Johnson to direct Beware of Female Spies, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I’ve always loved spy stories and according to Netflix, I love films with a strong female lead. (It’s true!) It wasn’t until I began crafting the format of the show that I started doubting myself. I had never directed a narrative improv show before. How could I do this? I have been in narrative shows but I was trained in Chicago style improv.

After freaking out and looking back at every narrative show I’ve been in and how it was crafted I started to calm down. I really liked all of them and they all approached story in different ways. I thought more about it and realized that every improv show I have ever been in has had a story. They may not always be linear stories that go from point A to point B but the human brain loves to create stories and that is what all improv does, even if it is in seemingly unrelated vignettes. If a long-form narrative improvised play is like a novel, Chicago style improv is a collection of short stories. Each scene tells a story and there is a reason each scene is in the same collection. Continue Reading

2014 Passes are Now Available for only $45

imageBig News!

We’re selling All-Access Festival Passes!

They’re only $45, and they get you into every single show over the course of the 3 days… be it PGraph, Bunker 13, Stephen Kearin’s Project, Beware of Female Spies, Kenjutsu, or any of the other shows. That’s over a $105 value.

Don’t miss…

BeauMoMa, Beware of Female Spies, Breaking Beckett, Bunker 13 (from Seattle!), Camp Madeuponthespotta, Confidence Men: Improvised David Mamet, GOOFS, In Our Prime, Kenjutsu: The Art of the Sword, Parallelogramophonograph, Past Lives, Strange Worlds, The Black Vault, The Escorts, The Instant Movie (from Atlanta!), The Next Chapter, The Stephen Kearin Project!, The Steve Moore Project, and What the F@#$

Buy Your Pass Now

Breaking Bob

By Bob Olmstead

“Hi, my name is Bob and Im a recovering executive” followed by the obligatory “Hi, Bob- it works when you DON’T work it.” No, not a typo and no, not a recovery meeting. My first year in improv at The Hideout felt like that every single time I showed up to class. I was so riddled with defense mechanisms that getting an honest moment out of me was like trying to hug an enraged Bantha! Almost four years later to the month, I return to The Hideout Theater with a dramatic improvised play that I produce, direct and narrate; a show- ironically, about emotional transparency. Could someone please cue “Circle of Life” from the booth? Thanks!

My first exposure to improvised narrative was at my first PGraph show, Roy sitting with the audience yelling out emotionally charged dialog to a rather intense (this will be a shocker) Kareem, who Im sure was flying through the air or something like that. They bantered back and forth and yet in their comedy, heartfelt moments of purity just organically appeared. Wow, you can do that? I then spent an entire weekend studying narrative improv with PGraph, changing my view of improv forever.

Continue Reading

The 2014 Schedule and Tickets are Up!

stephen-kearinAs we approach the beginning of the festival, the complete schedule (and ticket links) are up. Every group performing has its own page, so feel free to click around to learn more about theacts in the festival.

Pay particular attention to our out of town guests: Bunker 13 (Seattle), The Instant Movie (Atlanta), and our two special projects directed by Stephen Kearin (LA) and Steve Moore (Physical Plant Theatre).

See the complete schedule here.

The Festival Begins

F Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald having too good a time at the 2013 festival

The Fitzgeralds having too good a time at the 2013 festival

THIS IS IT! This is the weekend you see something fun, different, and affordable! This is the weekend of the one and only Improvised Play Festival. Now in its 4th year, hosted by us at The Hideout Theatre right here in Downtown Austin! Each show is in a different genre or style, such as Summer Camp Tales, 1960s Female Spy films, Mamet, Samurai epics, Vietnam bunker war stories, Beckett, 1940s pulp, 1920s cosmic horror, and more. Plus, hilarious challenges and special directed projects by guest directors Steve Moore and Stephen Kearin. Yeah, it’s gonna be *that* good. Tickets are 5 to 15 dollars (festival passes are $45), and you can see the whole schedule at http://ImprovPlayFest.com/schedule Let’s do this, Austin!

Passes and Workshops for 2013

TTMLS_Vintage 10Big news! Here are a couple of “firsts” for the Improvised Play Festival.

For the first time ever, we are offering festival passes that will get you into every show. They are only $45, and that includes admission to every show over the course of the 3 days.

For improvisers, there’s another first: workshops! Specifically, Jules and Heather from the United Kingdom are teaching a 3 hour workshop on Finding Love in Improv and Improvising Love Stories. That’s Saturday, April 13th from noon to 3pm, for $35.