DENVER — The Denver Improv Festival is back! Don’t miss the unscripted hilarity hitting four performance venues across downtown Denver when the festival returns November 10-12th 2016. DIF 2016 features more than 175 performers from across the country.
The festival headliners are married couple Craig and Carla Cackowski (Los Angeles, CA) performing as Orange Tuxedo, and Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto (Chicago, IL), who are Here: the Musical.
Craig Cackowksi is best know as “Officer Cackowski” on NBC’s Community and is a recurring performer on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Carla Cackowski performs and teaches with Second City Los Angeles and has toured Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean as part of their touring company.
Tara DeFrancisco was awarded “Funniest Person in Chicago” by the Free Press. She and her partner, Rance Rizzutto, are Here: the Musical, a duo that is one of Chicago’s most lauded shows presenting the original two-person improvised musical. Chicago Tribune Critic-Recommended and called “Nothing Short of Genius” by NPR, this show has been brought to 14 countries and 40 cities worldwide.
The festival starts on Thursday, November 10th with High School Night, which features five teams of student performers from around the metro area. Tickets for High School Night are $ 10.
Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 11th feature nine shows at the Bovine Metropolis Theater, the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse and Backstage at Beryl’s. Each show has top-notch improvisers from Denver and across the country. Tickets for standard festival shows are $ 15.
Festival workshops will be held during the day on Saturday, November 12th and will have offerings from Craig Cackowski, Carla Cackowski, Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto, as well as guest instructors from San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The festival culminates in the “Big Show” on Saturday, November 12th at 9pm at the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The “Big Show” features headliners Orange Tuxedo and Here: the Musical, as well as the Denver Center for the Performing Art’s improv team, Cult Following.
More information is available at www.DenverImprovFestival.com
More about our headliners
Craig Cackowski is an actor, improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He has been involved with the iO and iO West theaters since 1992, and is the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous improv festivals around the country with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico) and his duo Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla!). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City, and helped create such improv forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen in recurring roles on such shows as Community (as “Officer Cackowski”), Bajillion Dollar Properties (as “Todd the janitor”), Veep (as “Cliff”) and as part of the ensemble cast of Drunk History. Other film and TV credits include Son Of Zorn, Girlboss, Comedy Bang Bang, Newsreaders, Welcome To The Family, The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Year Of The Dog, 21 And Over, and The Kings Of Summer. He may be heard frequently on such podcasts as The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Spontaneanation and his own podcast Craig’s List, in which he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies.
Carla Cackowski is an improviser, actor, writer, teacher, podcaster, and nap-lover. She toured all over Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean performing sketch comedy and improv with The Second City and currently teaches improvisation and directs sketch shows at The Second City Hollywood. Carla is also a solo performance artist, having written and performed five solo shows that were produced in Los Angeles. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and has done voiceover work on shows for ABC Family, TBS, and Disney. She is the host of “Improv Yak”, a shop-talk podcast about improv comedy. Her comedic monologues have been published in anthologies by APPLAUSE BOOKS. Most recently, Carla has written for sketch shows on PBS Kids and Dreamworks TV. www.carlacackowski.com
Tara DeFrancisco was awarded “Funniest Person in Chicago” by the Free Press, “30 Under 30” in the Windy City Times, and “25 Funniest Females 2009” in Curve Magazine for her ventures in stand up, sketch, and improv. She teaches improv courses and workshops to people of all ages and backgrounds across this nation, and that’s about the most rewarding thing ever – traveling to elementary and high schools, colleges, and offices all over the country as both an introductory instructor and a professional Comedy Consultant. Tara has taught for all ComedySportz, iO, and Second City in Chicago, both in-house and on location. Tara is a 3-year veteran of Second City Touring Company, a decorated ComedySportz 3-time MVP, and an iO teacher, coach, house performer, and enthusiast. There are no words for how very thankful she is.
Rance Rizzutto has performed, coached and taught improv for years. Long-form with iO Chicago (Chaos Theory) and other various independent groups. Short-form with ComedySportz and Second City Theatricals (aboard NCL ships). Musical and hip-hop/rap with The Deltones, Baby Wants Candy, and The Beatbox. Even silent improv in The Silent Treatment. Rance has coached and designed team building and provided services for Intel, Nike, AT&T, Wells Fargo, IBM, Hewlett Packard and more. He’s even done improv all over the world, mostly in Here, a two person musical with Tara DeFrancisco herself! He is also known for his photography, hypnotism, and hosting.
About the GroupMind Foundation
The Denver Improv Festival is produced by the GroupMind Foundation, a 501(3) organization that is dedicated to “bringing improv to the community and the community to improv.”
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