Our collectivists have documented events and classes hosted by the SIC over almost a decade. Check back to our blog to read stories, testimonials and features of our improv community.

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.

Update: Thumbs UPstate Festival

This year’s Thumbs UPstate Festival is no longer being held at the Landmark Theatre. Stay tuned for more info for the new venue, and the new dates!

You can still register your team in advance at this page.

See you at our next Bank Show, 3/6 at 8 PM at CNY Playhouse!

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.