2016 Festival Workshops

Philly Sketchfest 2016 will include sketch comedy workshops held by 2016 festival performers…

GWB Alex Schaefer Photography

Becky Chicoine & Samantha Reese

Girls With Brown Hair
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater – NYC

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Murph+Headshot

Murphy McHugh
Brick Penguin
Dojo Comedy – Washington, DC
IncredibleShrinkingLogo

Matthew Schmid & Jacquie Baker
The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie
Philadelphia, PA

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
&nbsp#
amandaxeller

Amanda Xeller
Peggylouloulouloulou
Magnet Theater – NYC

All 2016 festival workshops will be held at The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104 – during the afternoon of Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd. All workshops are single-day workshops and must be signed up for in advance via the links below.

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Becky Chicoine & Samantha Reese – Sketch For You, By You
Saturday, April 2nd from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104

*Some improv experience recommended but not required*

GirlswithBrownHairThis workshop will focus on writing sketches that represent your voice as a comedian and writer. Together we will pitch ideas and beats, use improv to create material, and get the sketches on their feet. The goal of this workshop is to walk away with a solid sketch written for you and by you!

Register Here – $40

Known for their off-the-wall characters, theatricality, and seemingly endless supply of wigs, the Girls With Brown Hair have developed a signature world populated by craft aunts, overly-involved Dads, and a newly chartered city occupied only by women. In addition to touring the U.S., GWBH just wrapped up their second running show at UCB NY, Through the Back Door, and we are both members of the Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show OSFUG which performs monthly at UCB Theatre East. Their first sketch show WOMANTOWN ran at the UCB Chelsea Theatre for 8 months.

Girls with Brown Hair has headlined all over the U.S. at theaters and festivals such as Austin Sketchfest, Seattle Sketchfest, Chicago Fringe Festival, Boston Comedy Arts, NYC Sketchfest, Jangleheart Circus in Chicago, Hell Yes Fest, Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Improv Theater. Their work has been featured on Splitsider, Mashable, Slate, CollegeHumor and more.

Photo courtesy of Alex Schaefer Photography

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Solo Characters with Amanda Xeller
Saturday, April 2nd from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
amandaxellerIn this workshop, Amanda Xeller will provide guidance, tools, and insight towards creating solo characters and solo material. Come prepared with a character to receive feedback on or just come ready to move, write, and play. We’ll be using improv exercises, games, and scenes to shape what will become these solo pieces. Please bring pen and paper to take notes.

Register Here – $40

Amanda Ariel “Peggy” Xeller is a writer, improviser, and clown residing in New York City. She co-heads the annual Lady Sketch Lab at the Magnet Theater. She has improvised with several Megawatt Teams and was a part of Baby Shoes; a TimeOut Chicago pick and highly-traveled Magnet Theater sketch house team. Her solo show, Peggylouloulouloulou, has been a part of the L.A. Scripted Comedy Festival, Ladyfest, NYC Sketchfest, and was named a “stand out” and “audience favorite” at Montreal Sketchfest ’15 by Mobtreal.

Amanda has studied comedy at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Magnet Theater, Annoyance BK, Movement Theater, Barrow Group, and with Complicité in London, England. She’s an alumna of the National Theater Institute. Amanda also holds a BA in Theatre from Fairfield University where she received The Award for Outstanding Service to the Theater Arts Program for her achievements and pursuits in improv. Amanda grew up across the street from an alligator-filled bayou in Houston, Texas. She wishes she could sing like Justin Hawkins.

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Murph McHugh – Brain to Page
Saturday, April 2nd from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Murph+HeadshotThis is a pitch-positive workshop where people bring five pitches or premises and we work through a fairly objective process to get clear ideas if not outlines or full sketches. Maybe it’s a fully formed idea, maybe there’s just something funny that you can’t figure out how to nail down, we’ll work on it and make it happen!

Register Here – $40

Murphy has been writing, performing, and living comedy for over ten years, starting with standup and then moving to improv and sketch. He discovered his love for improv after auditioning for a college group and getting fully hooked. In 2008 he started training at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and The People’s Improv Theater. Murphy has trained with Shannon O’Neill, Kevin Hines, Neil Casey, Billy Merritt, Gavin Speiller, Joe Wengert, Anthony King, Kurt Braunholer, Pat Shay, Rebekka Johnson, and Matt Donnelly, among others. He moved back to DC and has been teaching, coaching, directing, and playing in Washington since then. Murphy currently performs improv with Season Six and sketch with Brick Penguin, as well as jumping into a variety of other shows.

Students say: “Presented info clearly, dug deeply into each topic and question asked.”

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Murph McHugh – Second Draft Joke Pig
Sunday, April 3rd from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Murph+HeadshotThis is about taking a first draft and polishing it, holding yourself accountable for what’s funny and punching it up to get as many jokes as possible out of it. Participants should bring sketches with them that they want to work on. Final drafts of things are welcome but will probably have less proportionally to polish.

Register Here – $40

Murphy has been writing, performing, and living comedy for over ten years, starting with standup and then moving to improv and sketch. He discovered his love for improv after auditioning for a college group and getting fully hooked. In 2008 he started training at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and The People’s Improv Theater. Murphy has trained with Shannon O’Neill, Kevin Hines, Neil Casey, Billy Merritt, Gavin Speiller, Joe Wengert, Anthony King, Kurt Braunholer, Pat Shay, Rebekka Johnson, and Matt Donnelly, among others. He moved back to DC and has been teaching, coaching, directing, and playing in Washington since then. Murphy currently performs improv with Season Six and sketch with Brick Penguin, as well as jumping into a variety of other shows.

Students say: “Presented info clearly, dug deeply into each topic and question asked.”

&nbsp#
&nbsp#
Killing The Straight Man with Jacquie Baker & Matthew Schmid
Sunday, April 3rd from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104

Pre-Requisites: Participants must have sketch experience, either through a training program or at least one year of experience writing/performing with a troupe.
matt-and-jacquieA workshop designed to help writers eliminate or flesh out “straight men” characters in sketches. Straight men tend to be two-dimensional characters that serve to “point out the crazy” to the audience instead of letting the crazy speak for itself. Through this workshop, writers will discover that when all of their characters buy into their reality, interactions between characters become much more interesting and realistic. Participants should bring something to write with.

Register Here – $40

Jacquie Baker is a sketch comedy writer and performer from Philadelphia. She writes and performs with PHIT house team The Flat Earth (SF Sketchfest, Chicago Sketchfest, Toronto Sketch Fest) and the sketch comedy duo The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (2013 & 2014 Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia winners, Philly Sketchfest). She is a former member of ManiPedi (NYC Sketch Fest, Best Sketch Group – 2014 & 2015 WitOut Awards) and Alley of Nightmares (UCB’s Spank, Philly Fringe Festival, Toronto Sketch Fest). Jacquie co-starred as Rudy in the web series, Helmets of Righteousness and appeared in the web series, Welcome To Anhedonia. She is the sketch director for Barbara Bush, produces shows bi-annually for Five Dollar Comedy Week, and co-produces Hey, We’re Cool, a monthly variety show.

Matthew Schmid is a sketch writer and performer for the Philly Improv Theater house team the Flat Earth (San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto sketch comedy festivals) and one half of the duo The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (Toronto, New York sketch comedy festivals, 3 time Dirtiest Sketch In Philadelphia winner). Matthew has appeared on and won the Philadelphia edition of Nerdist’s Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction Podcast and his writing can be seen on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Matthew also teaches sketch comedy writing at The Philly Improv Theater.

&nbsp#

All 2016 festival workshops will be held at The Community Education Center (CEC) – 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104 – during the afternoon of Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd. All workshops are single-day workshops and must be signed up for in advance via the links in the descriptions above.