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Friday, January 27, 2023

Gainesville Improv Festival returns for ninth year

The Gainesville Improv Festival will return with 24 improv groups Wednesday for its ninth year of unscripted sketch comedy.

The festival will run through Saturday with performances at the High Dive on Wednesday and Thursday and the Phillips Center for Performing Arts’ Squitieri Studio Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

Each night will feature a show at 8 and 10 p.m. with three performances per show. Ticket prices vary.

The Gainesville Improv Festival was formed in 2005 by UF and Theatre Strike Force alumni Tom O’Donnell and Skyler Stone.

Stone said the two created the event as a way to highlight great local and national improv comedy, and the festival is a celebration of improv and the performers.

Danny Mora, an alumnus of UF and Theatre Strike Force, will perform with the Chicago ensemble 3033.

“We love coming back to our college town,” he said. “And not just because we like wearing shorts while it’s snowing back in Chicago.”

Rachel Greenberg, a 19-year-old UF sociology junior, said she plans to attend the festival because she respects improv performers.

“I don’t have the confidence to get up and make a fool of myself,” she said. “They have no problem doing it and enjoy doing it.”

[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 1/28/2014 under the headline "Improv festival comes back for ninth year"]

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