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Take An Improv Class

Learn more about why tens of thousands of performers have chosen to learn at iO!


Chicago's Best Improv

Shows five nights a week featuring Chicago's premier comedic talent.


The Home of Longform Improv

Since 1981, iO Theater has inspired and trained generations of America’s greatest comedic talents.


Premier Event Venue

Plan your next conference, celebration, or team-building event at the historic iO Theater. It's the perfect one-stop shop and a welcome break from your typical stuffy hotel conference room.


Harold Night

Come see iO's signature longform style of improv, The Harold, performed nightly by one of our house teams.


Featured Shows

We love all of our shows equally but here’s some we think you’ll really like

Meadows, Walsh, & Friends

iO Alums Tim Meadows, Matt Walsh, Brad Morris, and Joe Canale reunite for two special improv performances as a part of iO Fest 2024. Do not miss these shows! First show now sold out!

The Sloppy Boys
The Sloppy Boys are a “party rock” band from LA consisting of comedians Mike Hanford, Jeff Dutton and Tim Kalpakis. They’ll be recording a live episode of their cocktail-making episode at iO Fest, as well as performing live in concert. Grab tickets to both performances today!
Ryan Asher and Her Famous Hollywood Friends!

Ryan Asher hosts and performs with her EXTREMELY FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD FRIENDS! Stand up, music, characters, and HOLLYWOOD INSIDER GOSSIP! Come see Chicago favorites turned Tinsel Town Divas: Tien Tran (Candyman, Work In Progress), Jeff Murdoch (Shameless, Fargo), and Rashawn Scott (Abbott Elementary, Southside). and Brian Heveron-Smith.

Afternoon Delight w/ Brendon Walsh

Hosted by the master of mischief Brendon Walsh, Afternoon Delight is a hilarious, unpredictable show that fuses stand up comedy and the chaos of live prank phone calls. Featuring special guests Ian Abramson, Rebecca Spectre, Kristen Toomey, and Joe Fernandez

Improvised Shakespeare Company

Inspired by one audience suggestion, these dazzling players create a brand-new Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes.

A Better Trip with Shane Mauss
One night only! Journey into the mind of a psychedelic astronaut with a consciousness-expanding comedy experience. At the intersection of science, humor, and psychedelics comes “A Better Trip,” the latest work from Shane Mauss.

A free weekly show featuring Dumb John, Birdlady, and other iO House Teams. Never been to an iO show before? This is a great way to check out longform style improv from some of the best!

Whirled News Tonight

The audience provides inspiration by picking their top stories from the day’s news. From these journalistic suggestions, a team of experienced improvisers create a fast-paced, topical, intelligent, & hilarious show.

The Movement You Need by Brendan Hunt

Two special Chicago shows! Don’t miss this chance to see this one man show!

Loose Four
Let loose and test out roughly four minutes of material every Thursday at iO Theater. Hosted by Maureen Nolan. Sign ups start at 6:30pm.
Made Up Thrills w/ Sand

Chicago improv legends Sand return to the iO Theater with this weekly improv show featuring musicians, giveaways, special guests and much much more.


Chicago’s longest running short-form improv show (founded in 1987) and the only comedy show in Chicago EVERYONE is welcome at – from age 8 to 80, our inclusive ‘everyone is welcome’ approach to comedy makes us perfect for patrons of all ages.

Food & Drink

Grab a bite before, during or after the show

Bar and Kitchen open at 6 pm

No tickets required, all ages welcome

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The skills we use to train talent on our stages are the same skills applied in collaborative settings across the entertainment and corporate world, in writer’s rooms, board rooms and beyond.

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