The Syracuse Improv Collective’s mission is to create a fun and happy place for comedic performances in Syracuse. They exist in order to promote improv troupes in and around Syracuse, NY. The SIC holds monthly variety shows, conducts educational workshops, engage in special appearances and stunts, and are the driving force behind the Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival. We blow minds.

Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival 2015

First – come out to the CNY Playhouse at Shoppingtown Mall on March 6th for our monthly Bank Show! $5 gets you a night of fun improv at 8 PM.

Enjoy the comedic stylings of No Friends, Just Benefits – Heavy Metal Heat Wave – Satan’s Closet and HAZMAT Love



Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival returns April 3rd & 4th at the Landmark Theatre!

Join us in our jubilant celebration of improv, featuring talented performers from CNY and beyond.

The event will showcase 16 improv comedy teams who will ‘WOW’ you and make you laugh pleasantly!

For the first time, the festival will play at the historic Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse, from 7 – 11:30 PM on 4/3 and 4/4. Tickets will be $12/night, or $20 for both nights. Performers get in for $10/person, with a team cap of $50.

If you and your improv team would like to perform at this year’s Thumbs UPstate Festival, please complete and submit the form below ASAP.

We are thrilled to bring this annual show to the Landmark. See you there soon!

January 2015: Bank Show, Classes

Come help us ring in the New Year, kick the new year off right with our monthly Bank Show and our upcoming Intro to Improv class.

As a resolve …

  • To keep you entertained
  • To keep you laughing (even though you may cry at one point … from laughing)
  • To help you step out of your comfort zone
  • To encourage and support you to try something new
  • To welcome you to the Syracuse Improv Collective family. The more the merrier.


On January 2, 2015, we’ll be bringing back the Bank Shows for another year. It’s going to be an incredible year as well. Our classes are continuing, and the SIC is continually growing. We love that you love improv to be a solid part of the Central New York arts and entertainment scene.

The show will be at The Central New York Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall. The Show will begin at 8 PM, and the doors will open a half hour prior.

The cost? Still $5.

We can’t wait to see you there.

The lineup is as follows:

The Modells
[New Improv Team]


Hazmat Love
Satan’s Closet


On Saturday, January 10, our Intro to Improv class will be returning. We love new faces, new interested people willing to try something they never knew they would enjoy: performing improv.

Registration and info can be found on the classes page. (<— Follow that link.)

The cost is only $75 per person. It’s a perfect gift for yourself and someone you love, whether these people are a partner, a friend or family member.

During the six-week-long class you’ll be trained by one of our veteran and skilled improv performers. You’ll meet and interact with other members of the collective — people whose excitement will probably rub off on you. The improv community is growing, and we want you to be a part of it. We want you to enjoy this, we want you to perform regularly, and we’d like our family to grown.

Hughie Stone Fish’s Musical Improv Workshop

STONE FISHThis one is hot and there’s no time! We’ve got an opportunity to learn some musical improv from this Californian dude. Check out the deets below! Then register here!

Hughie Stone Fish is a songwriter, composer, and performer with a Bachelors of Music in songwriting from Berklee College of Music. When he’s not at Second City getting philosophical about the similarities between songwriting and improv, he’s producing hip hop tracks, making videos for his YouTube channel, playing honky tonk piano, and promoting his album Siren Songs. His workshop will focus on improvising full songs from one word suggestions through the use of strong comedic points of view, a heightened understanding of song structure, character development, and performance technique.

When: Saturday, November 22, 12p – 3p
Where: Solvay Tyrol Club, 213 Lamont Ave, Syracuse


Save the Date for Thumbs UPstate!

thumbscoverIt’s coming. The fourth annual (kinda) Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival will be April 3-4 2015.

We’ve decided on something kinda special this year. While we’re so grateful for the use of the St. Clare Theater for Year 1, and indebted to the Central New York Playhouse for Years 2+3, it’s not every day we get to host an improv festival in the historic and beautiful Landmark Theatre. So that’s what we’re going to do.

We’re also going to cast our nets a little bit further afield for performer this year so make sure you let us know so you can be the first in line when we open up registration in January.

It’s on like neckbone.

A Short Lived Cancellation

After 24 hours of somber reflection (and bitter wailing and gnashing of teeth from those denied their SIC Improv classes) we have decided to change the “Cancelled” label for the Harold class to “pushed back a week.”

The new class will be held:

  • Saturday, October 25, 1pm
  • Saturday, November 1, 1pm
  • Saturday, November 8, 1pm
  • Saturday, November 15, 1pm
  • Saturday, November 22, 1pm
  • Saturday, December 6, 1pm

All at the CNYP (probably… maybe not the last one).


We cannot deny the people their instruction by Ken Keech. We are nothing if not benevolent.

We’re Sad – Harold Class Cancelled

The Syracuse Improv Collective is super disappointed to announce that the Harold Class scheduled for this Saturday, October 18 through Saturday, November 22 is, sadly, cancelled. We will pick classes back up again in January.

In other news we’re super psyched that Brandon Gardner’s Game of the Scene class is full up! Future registrations will be put on the wait list.

The Game of the Scene with Brandon Gardner

brandon_headshotThe Syracuse Improv Collective knows what you need. You need a four-hour intensive workshop on the Game of the Scene with the Upright Citizen Brigade Theater’s Brandon Gardner. With an hour break in the middle. For the low, low price of $60. On a brisk Sunday, October 19 afternoon from 2p-7p with a one hour break for tea. At the Tyrol Club in Solvay? That’s what’s up.

This two-part workshop will introduce the concept of The Game of the Scene, the central component of UCB’s approach to long form improv.  Through exercises and scene work students will come away with a knowledge of how to recognize the first funny or unusual thing in a scene and then heighten and explore it to give their scenes a clear comedic focus.  This workshop is appropriate for people with no experience with Game and those who are  looking to deepen their understanding.

Brandon has been a teacher and performer at UCB in New York City since 2007.  Currently Brandon performs weekly with his teams The Improv Nerds, A Tribe Called Yes, and The Curfew.  He’s a senior instructor who has helped develop the training center curriculum and he is the performance director for UCB’s Touring Company.  He’s taught workshops at colleges and theaters all over the world.

We’re accepting registrations. There are only nine spots left so put your name on the line that is dotted RIGHT NOW.


A Little Spark Fundraiser

Our next monthly Bank Show is Friday, October 3, 2014. The proceeds from this show will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The show will take place in The Central New York Playhouse, which is located in Shoppingtown Mall. The show will start at 8 PM, and the doors will open a half hour in advance.

We love entertainment, comedy, fun, and drama as much as everyone else. We love to laugh, and we love to cry. Entertainment is about being affected. It’s about feeling passion toward performing and being an audience member.

Mental health is a sensitive topic across our nation and throughout the world. It’s something that has to be addressed and not brushed under the carpet.

It’s about raising awareness. It’s about being able to seek help when it’s needed. It’s about your being available and ready to help others — those close to you and even strangers. If it’s simply “being there” temporarily before those in need seek the treatment they need, your role is still important.

We lost many this year. We may have lost friends and family. We lost entertainers and role models we looked up to. Whether their depression led them to acting out violently, their resorting to drugs and overdosing, or ending their own lives — there are now holes.

There will be a $5 minimum donation, a suggested donation of $10, but there is no donation that is too large.



August Antics

We have two shows coming up next month, our standard Bank Show and a nonSICuitur Thursday, and both nights are going to keep the promise of containing all new material. Please, be sure to reflect upon shows of the past and enjoy those memories and moments, but you’ll have more to enjoy.



On Friday, August 8th, our monthly Bank Show is back!

The night is already packed-full of music, stand-up and improv for your enjoyment.

The Witching Hour returns with to play and boast their indie folk talent, kicking the evening off with great spirits and energy.

Our newest troupe, Hazmat Love, keeps their performance streak going. Doing what they are continually doing better and better, showcasing their long-form style through the constructed Harold.

The very funny Anna Phillips will standing up at the mic for a set. This well-known comedian in our area has such a charm when it comes to storytelling. Her personable style will definitely keep you laughing.

Two Fat Ladies from Rochester will be our improv guests of honor. These guys are big in the 585, but are very familiar to the 315.  Their long-form style improv is not to be missed.

Satan’s Closet graces the stage as the show’s improv headliner. Being one of the two original troupes of the SIC, the long-form troupe is made up of five seasoned improvisers geared to surprise you with improv like you’ve never expected.

And, as always, the very talented Frank and Meghan will be returning to show off their improvisational art skills. Their products will be auctioned off at the end of the show.

As always, the show takes place in the Central New York Playhouse, which is located next to the food court of Shoppingtown Mall. The show starts at 8 P.M. (doors open at 7:30 P.M.).  The show is $5.


Come one, come all! Join us at our signature open mic night on Thursday, August 21. This is the night where we celebrate artistry and talent of all kinds: improv, music, stand up comedy, sketch, dance, poetry, spoken word, and more!

We guarantee a no-pressure, judgement-free atmosphere for everyone who wants to perform. Let us know ahead of time so we can put you on the schedule.

The show will be at The Central New York Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall.

The show starts at 8 PM, and the cost is only $3.

Please let us know in advance if you would like to participate.


The July Bank Show!

The Syracuse Improv Collective cordially invites you to their monthly Bank Show, which is taking place on July 11, 2014. The show will be taking place at The Central New York Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall.

The doors will open at 7:30 PM for this 8 PM show. Tickets will be $5 as always.

Trio Nouveau headlines, showing off their improvisation skills.

HAZMAT Love will be making another appearance, showcasing the Harold form with a simple suggestion from the audience.

Austin Lafond and Vince Louis will be standing up while making you laugh.

Malvinas will be providing the tunes.