AFSP Benefit Show!

Our next Bank Show is Saturday, November 7, 2015. All proceeds from the show will benefit The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It’ll take place at the Bank located under Open Atelier Architects on 451 S Warren St. The show begins at 7PM. Doors open at 6:30PM.

While progress has been broadly made to combat depression in America, there’s still a prevailing fear and shame associated with mental illness. Some people ignore biological and environmental circumstances, claiming it’s a measure of choice and character. The more we can educate the public on mental health and suicide prevention, the more we can make a difference.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports survivors of suicide loss and those at risk. Come join us for an evening of improv, stand up, art, and music to raise money a valuable cause.

Performers include:

Quick to Blush – an improv quartet
Sarah Benson – a stand-up soloist
Heavy Metal Heatwave – another improv quartet
Fugulele – an all-ukulele Fugazi septet

Improvised Art by Meghan

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


Return of the Return of the Bank Show


Salmon are spawned in pools and then rivers being them to another place and they swim around then their urge to return to the place of their… spawning… is SO strong that… they swim back up to the pool… and then they die.

You know, this metaphor would work a lot better if we knew about fish* and nature and stuff. But we don’t. We know improv. And we know how to do shows in abandoned banks. And as long as there are abandoned banks, we will return to them to spawn. If by spawning we mean putting on a kick-ass show for cheap.

Your menu for the evening:

Amateur Squad – A sumptuous melange of Rochester improvisers.

Satan’s Closet – A front-forward Syracuse improv team, bold and unpredictable

Hazmat Love – A not at all unsafe delicacy that is absolutely approved for human consumption. Trust us.

Fugulele – Gluten-free, aged 20 years, redolent of rebellion and ukuleles

Bring a chair, maybe bring a little refreshment, bring $5. We’ll bring lights and funny people.

*PIGEONS! Should have gone with homing pigeons.

Thumbs UPstate 2015: Improv Has Found a Home


Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival
May 1st and 2nd, 7-11 PM
Location: Jazz Central
441 E. Washington St., Syracuse


We want this year’s festival to be really special. Faithful readers will know this is the second time the festival venue has changed. The third time is truly charming, and it will take a horrendous disaster to separate us from Jazz Central.

We have performed at Jazz Central before; it is an excellent, intimate space well suited for improv. Come out with us for a couple of magical nights of comedy!

Team registration is nearly full – please apply within the next week if you haven’t already – we will publish the bookings within ten days.

Stay tuned for more awesome info about the festival!

Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival 2015: Back to our Roots


Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival
May 1st and 2nd, 7-11PM
Location: The Bank.

Return with us to our Collective roots – this year’s festival is being held at The Bank on 451 Warren St. The Collective’s first home for jubilant, moving and hilarious improv, The Bank is the perfect location to remember why you love improv – or meet up for the first time.

ALSO: we will prime the pump with a Bank Show at The Bank on April 3rd (8PM).

Now is a great time to register to perform. We are still accepting applications from improv teams, local or otherwise, to rock this fun festival. Register your team here.


Disclaimer: Bob Dylan is not booked to perform at Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival.

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.