Improv Chattanooga will soon have its own theater space, which will allow the organization to create its own schedule and better serve audiences.
“We’ve always wanted our own space, so when this became available, we jumped on it,” Improv Chattanooga co-founder Steve Disbrow said via email.
Improv Chattanooga co-founder Kevin Bartolomucci started in the mid-’90s with a Dalton, Georgia, group called Run With Scissors.
Disbrow and Bartolomucci met in 2002 and founded First Draft Productions in 2006.
In March 2016, the duo rebranded the group as Improv Chattanooga.
“Our goal is to make Chattanooga an improv destination like Chicago, NYC or LA, [to make it] something that will live on after Kevin and I both have ‘scene’ called on us,” Disbrow said.
The group performs around town and hosts classes for students who want to learn the art of improv.
The new space, on Rossville Avenue next to Wayne-O-Rama, is slated to be ready by the end of the month.
The group of actors has been working out of a space next to Granfalloon and performing at various venues around town, including Barking Legs Theater, The Comedy Catch and Cine-Rama.
The group, made up of about 16 main troupe members, has enjoyed performing at other venues, but those spaces are generally booked on weekends. So the group performs on Mondays, which isn’t a great day to draw huge crowds, Disbrow said.
Having their own theater will mean leaders can set the schedule, including weekend shows. It will also mean that the group can provide more classes on different days, which should be more convenient for students with busy schedules, he said.
Fees from classes provide the biggest part of the organization’s operating funds, but moving into an independent space will also help with the group’s budget.
“Having our own space means that we won’t have to pay fees to other venues,” he also said. “So we’re hoping that the shows themselves will begin to pay for day-to-day operations. Also, we’ll probably be trying to obtain our beer license in a few months, which should help tremendously.”
The team is currently building out the space to make an office area and lounge where people can wait for the show to start. They are also adding a second restroom.
Being located next to Wayne-O-Rama is ideal, Disbrow also said.
“The folks at Wayne-O-Rama are kindred spirits, and we all dig what each other is trying to do,” he said. “Between us, Wayne-O-Rama and the Escape Experience, this little strip of Rossville Avenue is going to be the place to have fun on the weekends.”
The first show in the new space is slated for June 30.
There will be four shows weekly-two on Fridays and two on Saturdays at 8 and 10 each night.
The format for each show will be different, so audience members could see all four in a weekend and still get different experiences.
Tickets are $10 a show, but there are still $7 tickets floating around that were for the Monday shows. The organization will still accept those tickets.
Thursday nights will be experimental nights.
Click here for more information and to keep up with future developments.
Updated @ 10:39 p.m. on 6/7/17 to update the weekend showtimes.