Two week engagement!
Legendary Conan writer Brian McCann brought his new one-man show, Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour, to iO as part of our grand opening celebration and Charna Halpern simply demanded he return as soon as possible. Lucky for us, Brian complied, and you’ll have eight chances to catch one of the funniest shows to come through our doors in years.
Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour will run Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 in the Harold Cabaret and Saturdays at 10:00 in the Mission starting October 8th. Tickets are $15 for the Cabaret shows, $20 for the MIssion, and are on sale NOW.
Don’t miss out. This show is a real treat. Read more about it here:
Reviving an old tradition for a short time
As you know, we’re celebrating our 33rd-and-one-sixth anniversary this month. The traditional gift for this anniversary is two more free shows on Wednesday nights than usual, so that’s what we’re asking for! Drop off your free shows at the box office, attention: Charna Halpern.
We’re also a reciprocal folk, so we’re going to offer all of YOU the same beautiful gift. For the whole month of October, all Wednesday night shows in our Del Close Theater are FREE. This includes the amazing Virgin Daiquiri & The Late 90’s at 8:00, and the powerhouse duo Search Engine (Ryan Archibald and Craig Uhlir) at 10:00. And as always, you can catch Carl & The Passions for free in our Harold Cabaret at 8:30.
Three free shows. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting us all these thirty three and one sixth years.
Full service kitchen and top shelf drink options abound!
We’re thrilled to team with Andy Kalish to present our full kitchen menu. Andy’s put together a terrific spread that goes well beyond what you’d expect from traditional theater fare. From Banh Mi Red Pork Pizza Flats to Panko Rolled Mac & Cheese Croquettes to a late night weekend taco bar, there’s something for everyone to love.
We’ve also expanded our beer and cocktail offerings, maintaining our commitment to providing a wide selection of excellent craft beers and cocktails for the discerning boozehound. Bar Managers Kyle McCabe and Steven Plock have curated a spectacular beer list and some delicious new cocktail options like the Death’s Door gin Deconstruction and the Bulleit iO Old Fashioned.
Check out both menus here. The kitchen is closed Mondays. Late Night Taco Bar on Fridays and Saturdays. Come early. Come thirsty. Come hungry!
1501 Kingsbury facility is open for students
Even as we’re finishing up work on our new theaters, the iO Training Center is open for business! Classes are in session now, and enrollment for next session, beginning the week of August 24th, is open! You can find more information here.
Registration for improvisation level one, the writing program, and our electives is open and ongoing. Contact our Training Center director at 773-880-0199 to register today. All classes will meet at our new facility on 1501 Kingsbury St in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.
Teen Improv Level 1 Begins in October
iO is excited to announce that we are relaunching our Teen Improv Program. We are offering a Teen Improv Level 1 class on Saturdays from 1-3pm beginning October 25th.
You can register for the class
Space is limited. This class is intended for teens ages 14 to 17.
with Mark Beltzman
The Art of Allowing Improv Workshop is for the ensemble actor and improviser who desires to cultivate the ability to flawlessly and spontaneously create magic on stage and in life. “IT” comes from a place of joy and connection to one’s source intuition, and is attained by giving yourself to the art form through LISTENING rather than thinking, from ALLOWING rather than forcing, from being FULLY PRESENT in the moment and FOCUSING on CONNECTION with your partner and your environment. You will understand why making your partner look good makes you in turn look twice as good and makes the work flow. Ultimately, you will understand that this is how ensemble is created.
This workshop will focus on scene work as well as Long form Improvisation. You will learn to develop tools to let scenes emerge organically, including:
• cultivating a heightened sense of listening
• cultivating a heightened sense of awareness of the scene around you, i.e. environment, textures, emotions, body languages, sounds, etc.
• learning the game within the scene
• making your partner look good
• finding the joy in the exploration
• getting out of your own way to allow creativity to flow
• understanding that the true magic lies in the synchronicity of you, your partner and the audience all discovering a point of focus at the same time
MARK BELTZMAN has been acting, writing, and directing since 1981. He was one of the founding members of Improv Olympic in Chicago and of the legendary group, Barons Barracudas. Mark has worked and directed at the famed Second City in Chicago. He directed many improvisational and theatrical productions at Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles, including the Second City Alumni Jam. He was also instructor/ director at The Second City Training Center, Improv Olympic West and the Upfront Comedy Showcase,as well as all over the UK, London, Brighton, Bristol, and Paris, France. Mark has also acquired a great deal of knowledge about the creative process of producing, writing and directing while performing in such notable productions as: Mo Money, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, Speed 2, Star Maps, Lovely and Amazing, and Employee of the Month, Factory, Seinfeld, Rosanne, Norm, Curb Your Enthusiasm, According to Jim, Cold Case, House, True Jackson VP, The Young and the Restless, and Pretty Little Liars.
In his distinguished career, Mark has worked with; Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carrell, George Wendt, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Jim Belushi, Adam Sandler, John Goodman, and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyways’ alumni Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Brad Sherwood, Joel Murray, Pete Hulne, Pat Finn, Dave Koechner, Neil Flynn, David Pasquesi, TJ Jagodowski, and David Razowsky
"Mark Beltzman is the funniest and most talented improvisor that I have ever worked with. I have worked on stage with him at Second City, done radio shows with him, we did movies like “Red Heat” together, and half a dozen episodes of “According to Jim.” Our scenes always got the biggest laughs."– JIM BELUSHI
“Mark Beltzman walks the walk and listens to the talk. You WILL have fun. And that’s what it’s all about!” – GEORGE WENDT
I have known Mark for 30 years he was an original member of Del Close’s first Harold team Baron’s Barracudas and we have been performing together and pursuing our love of improvisation since then – DAVID PASQUESI
When I was still in my improv diapers, Mark Beltzman was already hitting homers out of the park. I love this man and his work.
Mark Beltzman teaches acting, feeling, connecting, communicating, listening, awareness, mindfulness, and joyfulness.
Oh, he also teaches improvisation!
When: Saturday September, 27th from 10am-5pm with a 1 hour lunch break.
Where: 2nd Beat Room
How much: $200 Early Bird Price of $150 if you register by Monday, Septmeber 22nd.
How many: 16 maximum
Prices slashed on iO t-shirts and hoodies!
If you’ve ever wanted to rep iO with a stylish hoodie or a sharp t-shirt, you’re in luck. Our prices are now, in fact, INSANE. Check out these GREAT DEALS on QUALITY TEXTILES!
Del Close “Follow the Fear” T-Shirt (grey or red) – $10
“Formerly Improv Olympic” Hoodie (grey or red) – $35
Available for purchase in our box office! Swing by after a show!
Late Night host and iO alum's priceless advice
Seth Meyers dropped a little anecdote from his time at iO on Wednesday’s “Late Night.” If you ever find your improv team desperately wanting to throw your Cagematch show, you’d do well to heed Seth’s advice.