Laugh, cry, improv: SD Improv Festival returns


The third annual San Diego Improv Festival will be returning on Thursday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 14 to Finest City Improv with workshops, special guests, live performances and chances to learn more about the world of improv.

The San Diego Improv Festival aims to gather comedy-lovers to North Park at Finest City Improv to see popular traveling improvisation groups perform, take special workshops from expert improvisation teachers and celebrate all things comedy.

The local festival launched in 2013 by San Diego founder Amy Lisewski, who also started Finest City Improv, the only improv club in the city. Lisewski has seen monumental success at Finest City Improv and with the San Diego Improv Festival, both ushering in big name performers and teachers, as well as a great guest turnout.

Lisewski came to San Diego from her hometown of New York with dreams of turning San Diego into a booming improv city. She believes that improv truly enriches the life of those who are involved in it.

“Improv has the ability to change lives and make us better people, and this festival gives us a concentrated dose of that special magic,” said Lisewski. “We hope all San Diegans with a sense of humor and itch for learning will join us, for the love of improv.”

The festival offers a variety of different workshops to get involved in. Some of these include “Keeping it Real,” a lesson on how to free yourself from the burden of sticking to a plot, and “Deep Tissue Listening,” on how to listen on a deeper level when working with another actor on stage. Headlining guests include Susan Messing and Rachel Mason, both Chicago-based, professional improvisers, who will teach workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

If actually learning to do improv comedy or acting isn’t up your alley, you are welcome to watch the professional improv groups from across the country each night of the festival. There will be over 10 different performances providing big laughs throughout the festival. Acts like Mike & Chris, The Boys, Speed Goat, Minor Suspension and License to Krill will be taking the stage over the course of the four-day festival.

The best part of the San Diego Improv Festival? According to Lisewski, it’s pretty simple. “Life is just more enjoyable when you are laughing,” she said.

For a full listing of performers, visit

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 14

WHERE: Finest City Improv, 4250 Louisiana St., North Park

PRICE: Tickets to the workshops are $40 each; single performance show tickets are $15; VIP tickets are $95 and include a reserved seat in the VIP section, access to all shows at the four-day festival and a free festival pint glass.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Source: DiscoverSD