Chicago Improv Festival Ends Its Run After Two Decades

Chicago Improv Festival Ends Its Run After Two Decades

One of Chicago’s nicknames is The Second City- there’s even the venerable improv comedy venue with the same name.But when it comes to that theatrical art- Chicago -it can be argued is the first city. The art form took shape here in 1955 with the Compass Players- an ensemble that was born in a Hyde Park bar. It just kept growing from there and 20 years ago two guys decided to take it a step further with the Chicago Improv Festival. Like the Compass Players it was a humble beginning but over those two decades it grew to what’s been described as the biggest sketch and improv festival on the planet. Some of its alums include Tina Fey, Seth Meyers and Fred Willard. But now- the organizers are calling it quits. Festival co-founder Jonathan Pitts and festival board member David Fink joined us with some reflections on the festival and improv’s deep Chicago roots.