I've spent the past year living and working in Portland. The improv community here is something truly special, but it was always only going to be a year's residency, so it's time to head home. I'm grateful for every opportunity I've received in Portland and am very excited to start working with M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica when I go back to LA. Here's to new improv adventures!
I had so much fun teaching workshops at Camp Improv Utopia in Dublin, Ireland and Camp Magnet with Magnet Theater in NY this past spring. If you're looking for an immersive improv experience, surrounded by creative and thoughtful people, please check these places out!
Link to original article HERE
The 14th Annual Providence Improv FEST will be taking place at AS220 Black Box at 95 Empire St. and AS220 Main Stage at 115 Empire St., in downtown Providence on September 21-23, 2017.
This year's FEST hosts over 40 improv comedy troupes from across the country. As always, P!F will feature groups that present a variety of styles from the world of improv. Included in this year's line-up are headliners Orange Tuxedo and Trew +2, and acts from Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Vermont, New Orleans, Boston, and, of course Rhode Island. In addition to past FEST favorites such as Crisis: An Improvised Comic Book and NYC's Airwolf (as well as a free family show), P!F 14 is particularly pleased at the number of all-female groups that will be participating.
This year's FEST will also feature local favorites like Improv Jones (Providence), The Bit Players (Newport) Bring Your Own Improv (Warwick) & Speed of Thought Players (Attleboro, MA) Wilbur, Wilbur, Nealbur of The Contemporary Theater (Wakefield), and Up in the Attic (Pawtucket).
According to Tim Thibodeau, P!F Producer, "The FEST is a great opportunity for people to see the expanding and thriving local comedy improv scene alongside some of the best national acts in the country. We are thrilled to have the talents of Craig and Carla Cackowski as Orange Tuxedo, headlining our Fest along with so many other new and returning acts to Providence. This festival is perfect for any audience--for those brand new to improv, as well as for people who have been an improv comedy fan for years!"
P!F 14's Family Friendly Show will be on Saturday September 23rd and will feature Warwick's Bring Your Own Improv and Boston's over 50 act Elderberry Jam. This show will be a Pay-What-You-Can event with all proceeds going to the Roll for Rob Fund and Manton Avenue Project.
As a testament to the growth of the local Improv scene, this year's FEST is sponsored by two Rhode Island Improv hubs: Pawtucket's new improv center, Wage House, brings Kate & Casey and Poolside to the FEST. Meanwhile, The Providence Improv Guild, which will be celebrating its 5th year, is showcasing acts such as Musical Improv from Large Mouth Bass, Seagull Related Fishfight, Fool's Pudding, Three Different Savers, Sow What?, Newspaper Podcast, The Tim Alan Show, Real Mature, and Starbucks Newest Secret Drink.
Tickets to the FEST are $10 per show, or $35 for a FEST Pass.
For more information, visit the PROVIDENCE IMPROV FEST website at www.providenceimprovfest.com.
Twitter and Instagram @pvdimprovfest.com
Orange Tuxedo is back performing at – the Stumptown Improv Fest (a favorite!) this August. Final details will be available soon. In the meantime, check out The Portland Mercury article for a blurb on the fest HERE.
"From the above list, we're most excited about seeing LA's Dasariski (considered to be one of the best improv groups in the nation), Vancouver, BC's Hip.Bang (an award-winning duo that's whip-smart, fast on their feet, and absurd as all get out), and the return of the beloved Orange Tuxedo (Craig and Carla Cackowski) and Summerland who both killed it at last year's fest."
I recently recorded a podcast for The Junto Presents called, "The Axman Trail". It's a fantasy radio drama and I play a character named Sally Ann Whirlwind.
Check it out HERE
The Junto Presents Episode 8 "The Axman Trail".
This week, Dave and Rob come to you from the Franklin Manor Trophy Room with an old hunting story. In an alternate universe where the heroes of America's tall tales and legends once walked the earth, awful beasts now threaten to annihilate what remains of the human race. In a lonely camp on the edge of the wilderness, a forgotten legend aims to fight the monsters and ensure her name is remembered.
Orange Tuxedo has been invited to perform by friends Paul and Storm on the 2017 JoCo Cruise. We will be doing some improv shows with our pals from Thrilling Adventure Hour - Janet Varney, Mark Gagliardi, Hal Lublin, and more! www.jococruise.com
From the website...
JoCo Cruise 2017 is a full-ship charter, seven night cruise aboard Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam, with music, comedy, and other performances and events from Jonathan Coulton and friends. Since the first JoCo Cruise sailed in 2011, it’s become a popular vacation choice for technophiles, tabletop gamers, and creative-minded people of all stripes. It departs from San Diego on Saturday, March 4, 2017 and returns Saturday, March 11, 2017, and visiting Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, and Bahia Magdalena, Mexico.
LONG FORM MASTER CLASS: CLOSE QUARTERS
This course is taught by Carla Cackowski
You’ll immerse yourself in the popular long form “Close Quarters.” Build ensemble and group mind as you master this exciting long form which explores the different characters and relations taking place at the same time in one single location. There will be two performances in this level.
•Tuesdays, March 7-April 25 • $296 REGISTER HERE
More info on my WORKSHOPS and SHOW DATES pages!
I did a new episode of "Spontaneanation" with Paul F Tompkins! Check it out here: http://www.earwolf.com/episode/warehouse/
Paul F. Tompkins welcomes every single person on Earth and in space to this week’s episode of Spontaneanation! This week, Paul’s special guest is hilarious actor/improviser Eugene Cordero of Other Space and Kong: Skull Island! They chat whether silent films had to be pitched in the ’20s, what was behind Eugene’s childhood fear of heights, and ’90s R&B. Paul is then joined by Tim Baltz, Carla Cackowski, and Amanda Lund to improvise a story set in a Warehouse. And as always, Eban (only the best) Schletter scores it all on piano!
I'll be traveling to Denver on November 11th and 12th for the Improv Festival. I'm performing in two shows with "Orange Tuxedo" and teaching two workshops! Two shows, two workshops = the MOST FUN!
Info below or at http://www.denverimprovfestival.com/
Upcoming Tour Dates, Workshops, and videos of past shows are now in one place! https://orangetuxedoimprov.com/
Orange Tuxedo (Los Angeles, CA) is a two person improv show from a husband and wife team who, collectively, have been doing improv for seven hundred years. In this show they aim to create grounded relationships formed by eccentric characters. Craig teaches improvisation at iO West, Carla teaches at The Second City in Hollywood. If you like comedy, you may have seen Craig wear various mustaches and costume pieces on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. If you like drunken history, you may have seen Carla drink various beers on Instagram. They perform regularly at The Second City in Hollywood and recently traveled to Austin for the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival (2015), SF Sketchfest (San Francisco, 2016), Phoenix Improv Festival (2016), Del Close Marathon (NYC, 2016), Stumptown Improv Fest (Portland, 2016), Detroit Improv Festival (2016), and IF Cincinnati (2016).
Park Hills Native is Going for it in Hollywood, Returning Home for Improv Festival
WED, 08/31/2016 - 23:42 RCN NEWSDESK
The first time Carla Cackowski ever did improv was in theatre class at Notre Dame Academy.
“I remember the teacher said we had to say yes in our scenes, so when someone told me we were stopping at a gas station so my character could go to the bathroom I said yes by going into the corner of the classroom and pretending like I was peeing.”
Back then, Cackowski was Carla Snowden, who was born in Ft. Thomas, grew up in Park Hills, and returns to town Sept 6-11 as one-half of a headline act in OTR Improv’s third annual IF Cincy (Improv Festival of Cincinnati.)
She and husband Craig Cackowski are Orange Tuxedo, coming in from Los Angeles, one of the top national improv troupes taking the Know Theatre stage, including companies from Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis and more.
Several local improve troupes from the growing regional scene will be showcased during the festival. Find a complete schedule of performances and workshops at www.ifcincy.com.
“Craig and I will be doing our version of what's called, Close Quarters, a form in improvisation that is typically done in a larger ensemble, but we have modified it for the two of us," Cackowski said. "We'll get a suggestion and show you 8 to 10 different characters who are occupying the same location around the same time of day. We have a tendency to start patiently, really trying to figure out those relationships and what the characters mean to each other, and then finding ways to connect their stories somehow in the end.
“It's a fun and challenging form and I think if the audience is willing to go on the journey with us, they will feel satisfied by the time those characters leave the space! We try to think of it like, "Hey, we're going to spend time with these people today, let's do our best to honor what they have to say and not judge them too much. Also, let's have fun!
“Improv isn't a perfect art, meaning that because we are making it up, anything can happen, but when we are being patient and listening to the characters, things tend to work out.”
Orange Tuxedo will perform in the Saturday, Sept. 10, 9:30 p.m. mainstage slot, sharing a bill with The Improvised Sondheim Project from Chicago.
Cackowski assures that she was the funniest person in town as a kid, “unless you ask my brother. In which case he'd say he was the funniest. And he'd be right.”
She gives a tip of the hat to that high school class, where she first started developing her improve chops, or, as she defines it, "making mistakes and learning what it feels like to elicit groans from the audience."
She liked it enough to move to Chicago when she was 18, “but it wasn't until I moved to LA and was super lonely and needing a community that I fell in love with improv.
“I was in my early twenties and not coping well in Hollywood, but the improv community was so fun and welcoming and I knew, This is for me! All of my closest friends for the past 12 years I’ve met through improv and any job I've gotten since I was 25 came through my improv connections.
“Improv is also how I met my husband. Basically, if I didn't have improv in my life, I would be a shut-in who hides behind closed doors and yells at the neighborhood kids to get off her lawn. (An exaggeration. Nobody has a lawn in Los Angeles.)”
You won’t be surprised that Cackowski’s advice for the lonely is, “Take an improv class!”
It was never the plan to form an improv duo. “My husband is a generation ahead of me in the improv world (and the real world, too), so he was already established and in his own improv groups when we first got together.”
Orange Tuxedo only started touring and performing regularly last summer (nine years into their relationship) as a way to travel together and teach workshops together.
“It has just kind of taken off in a really fun and exciting way. We've played and taught together in Austin, San Francisco, Phoenix, New York City, Portland, Detroit and now Cincinnati. And this fall we're going to Denver, London, and D.C.," Cackowski said. "We have a regular show at The Second City in Los Angeles. If we had known we'd get so much work and have so much fun, we'd have done it sooner!”
Cackowski’s very full improv schedule includes directing shows, teaching classes and coaching improv groups for Second City.
“It's the best gig in the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything,” Cackowski said. “You can make money doing improv! You can't own a home in Los Angeles and you will probably drive a used car for the rest of your life, but it does help you eat and pay rent and even own a dog!
“Also, you will travel a ton and meet people from all over the world. And it will be awesome.”
Also awesome, Cackowski wrote scripts for a couple of years for Lishy Lou and Lucky Too (on PBS Kids) and wrote on another kids’ sketch show this summer for Dreamworks TV. She’s looking forward to watching when they’re released.
“I'm always working on something new on my own and trying to find ways to get it out into the world. That's just part of living and trying (not dying!) in L.A. - always creating, always producing, always putting it out there.”
Her monologues have been published in anthologies by Applause Books, and she’s a member of the theater company The Solo Collective and much, much more.
Cackowski hosts the podcast Improv Yak on iTunes, which is everything improv. At the end of each show, Cackowski and her guest improvise a scene in which she “attempts” to utilize the technique they’ve discussed.
Improv Yak will record its first live episode at IF Cincy.
“We just hit episode 40 and it has been such a blast. Improv Yak has opened up a lot of opportunities for me, and I'm always stunned when I receive e-mails from people all over the world who listen to it. Someone recently emailed me from Iceland! Or when people approach me at festivals to tell me that they love it.”
The IF Cincy episode will be released in October. “I'll do my best not to screw it up!”
Cackowski will lead a workshop on ensemble building Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon at Know. Participants will be led through a series of exercises building ‘group mind.’ “It’s great for established improv groups, as well as individuals looking to start an improv group or take the exercises back to rehearsal for their existing group. "
Appropriate for all levels, the cost is $30.
Cackowski has loads of relatives in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. That ‘loads’ isn’t an exaggeration.
“Just on my Dad's side there are something like 50 cousins. I've never performed at home before so this will be the first time most of them see me improvise.
“Assuming they come see the show...Hear that family? Come see the show!“
Check out Orange Tuxedo on vimeo and Improv Yak on iTunes.
3rd Annual Improv Festival of Cincinnati (IF Cincy), Sept. 6-11. OTR Improv, Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. Tickets Single events: $5 Tuesday, $10 Wednesday, $15 Thursday, $20 Friday and Saturday. All Access Pass: $75; Weekend Pass: $65; One Night Pass: $35 (Friday & Saturday). Complete schedule of performances and workshops at www.ifcincy.com.
Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts
Starring Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster as those married mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle. Also starring Hal Lublin as the Spooky Narrator; Craig Cackowski, Annie Savage, Jenny Wade, Carla Cackowski, and Janet Varney as a creepy family; and Marc Evan Jackson as the bartender.
Music by Andy Paley, Jonathan Dinerstein, and Becky Ward.
Written and produced by Ben Acker & Ben Blacker.
Recorded May 23, 2015 at the Opera House in Wellington, New Zealand.
Listen here: http://nerdist.com/thrilling-adventure-hour-229-beyond-belief-dead-breakfast
Paul F. Tompkins welcomes all who who hear his disembodied voice to this week’s episode of Spontaneanation! This week, Paul’s special guest is Kristian Bruun of Orphan Black! They chat about whose hair he’d like to find in his soup, his childhood crush on a Jurassic Park star, and sneakily smoking “darts” during his military school days. Paul is then joined by Carla Cackowski, Gary Anthony Williams, and Jean Villepique to improvise a story set in The King of Prussia Mall, The Biggest Mall in America on Opening Weekend. And as always, Eban (only the best) Schletter scores it all on piano!
This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon, Leesa.com, Seeso, and the Now Hear This Podcast Festival.
LISTEN HERE: http://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-king-of-prussia-mall-on-opening-weekend/
Photos are property of Earwolf
Cincinnati's OTRimprov proudly presents the Third Annual Improv Festival of Cincinnati (IF Cincy). This year's Festival features improvisors from Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Portland (OR), Minneapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati. The festival runs September 6-11, 2016 at Know Theatre of Cincinnati in Over-the-Rhine. If Cincy is excited to expand this year's Festival with an episode of the Improv Yak Podcast on Tuesday September 6 and an additional performance night on Wednesday September 7.
Craig Cackowski, known for his roles on Community, Veep, and Drunk History as well as earning three Del Close Teacher of the Year awards at iO West in Los Angeles, and Amber Nash known for her role as the voice of Pam Poovey on the hit animated show Archer and her work with Dad's Garage, Atlanta's Best Improv Theater for the last 15 years, are in two of our headlining troupes, Orange Tuxedo and Fun Bags, respectively.
Produced in partnership with Know Theatre of Cincinnati's Jackson Street Market, IF Cincy has also benefitted from the support of business sponsors and individuals willing to support the festival through crowdfunding. IF Cincy marks the sixth anniversary of OTRimprov, a group of dedicated improvisors who created the strong improv community in Cincinnati while winning Best Improv Troupe in Cincinnati for 2015 and 2016.
Local troupes performing are Basement Dwellers, Coincidence Improv, Don't Tell Anna, Highly Improvable, Killer B's, The Middle Child, OTRnext, Portals to Possibility, and What It Ain't.
National improv performers traveling to Cincinnati are B&B (Portland, OR), Bearded Men (Minneapolis, MN), Damaged Goods (Louisville, KY), Devil's Daughter (Chicago, IL), Fun Bags (Atlanta, GA), Human Amusements (Detroit, MI), The Improvised Sondheim Project (Chicago, IL), The League of Pointless Improvisors (Ann Arbor, MI), Orange Tuxedo (Los Angeles, CA), and Shade (Chicago, IL).
Many of the performers taking the stage in the evening will also be hosting workshops for experienced and beginner improvisors, giving Cincinnatians an opportunity to learn alongside the impressive visiting national talent. Workshops will be offered by Megan Leahy & Leslie Sharp (Fun Bags), The Improvised Sondheim Project, and Craig & Carla Cackowski (Orange Tuxedo). In addition, for the first time OTRimprov will be offering a workshop focused on teen improvisors in the Cincinnati area.
"For our third year, we wanted to raise the bar with a bigger and bolder IF Cincy," says Kat Smith, co-director of OTRimprov. "In addition to top-notch improv troupes from all over the country, we're adding another night to accommodate more local troupes from the ever-expanding Cincinnati improv scene. Our workshops this year include a musical improv workshop and a teen-focused workshop." Smith continues, "Six years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find a monthly improv show in Cincinnati. Today, there are multiple shows a month at venues across the city. Thanks to the efforts of this small but mighty community, we continue to build a thriving improv scene here and IF Cincy lets people know improv is here to stay!"
The All Access Pass allows entry to all five evenings, Tuesday - Saturday, for $90, the Weekend Pass covers Friday andSaturday evening's performances for $70, and a One Night Pass is available for entry on either Friday or Saturdayevening for $35.
Single tickets are $5 each for the Tuesday September 7th Improv Yak Podcast performance, $10 for Wednesdayevening, and $20 for Thursday - Saturday's performances.
Original Link: http://www.broadwayworld.com/cincinnati/article/OTRimprov-Presents-3rd-Annual-Improv-Festival-of-Cincinnati-20160815
Just got back from teaching and performing at the Detroit Improv Festival, 2016. Such a delightful group of people putting on this festival and it was a joy to play for Detroit!
Show - August 7th 10pm TIX HERE
Workshop - August 7th SOLD OUT
IMPROVISE LIKE A MARRIED COUPLE - The same communication skills that make for a good relationship make for a good improvised scene. Real-life married couple Craig and Carla Cackowski (from the duo Orange Tuxedo) share their favorite exercises that foster open communication between scene partners! Learn how to read each other’s minds, express your ideas clearly, and avoid arguments (while still getting what you want).
“The Stumptown Improv Festival is officially a thing now, and word’s getting out!”
–The Portland Mercury
The Stumptown Improv Festival’s first two years have been bonkers (or, as Jed likes to say, “bonkerz”). We’ve sold out shows and forced audience members to sign up for obscenely long waiting lists. We’ve attracted some of the most well-regarded improv groups performing today from LA, NYC, San Franscisco, Vancouver, BC, Minneapolis, and, of course, Portland. Performers who are vets on the festival scene have raved that “this is one of the best festivals we’ve ever been a part of”. We’ve offered huge gift bags to our comedians and gave people leather coasters embossed with our logo. We are OUT OF CONTROL.
Will we “rock steady” again in 2016? Answer: will will “steady rock all night long”. We’re going to alleviate those aforementioned waiting lists because we’re heading across the river to Artists Repertory Theatre! More seats = more comedy. So if you don’t get in to see a show this year, you’re just plain lazy. We’re got some of the best groups around the country to help us christen our new venue. We might even smash a champagne bottle on the side of the building, if they let us! Summer. Is. Here.
Los Feliz, Karen’s House, 1997
SPONTANEANATION WITH PAUL F. TOMPKINS #56APRIL 18, 2016
Paul F. Tompkins is making the most of every welcome and is pleased to welcome you all back to SPONTANEANATION! This week, Paul’s special guest is stand-up comedian Margaret Cho! They chat about what tattoo Margaret would get if she had to get one within the hour, visiting the White House, and the history of The Bishop Don “Magic” Juan. Paul is then joined by Carla Cackowski, Brandon Johnson, and Chris Tallman to improvise a story set in Los Feliz, Karen’s House, 1997. And as always, Eban (only the best) Schletter scores it all on piano! SPONTANEANATION LIVE returns to Largo on Saturday, June 4th, with special guest Robyn Hitchcock! Tickets are available now: bit.ly/SPONT616