Your 2017 Pittsburgh Comedy Festival Lineup!

Comedy Arts Pittsburgh (CAP) is pleased to announce the official performer lineup and workshops for the fourth annual Pittsburgh Comedy Festival (PCF) to be held August 23-27, 2017 on the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus.

PCF is a non-profit, volunteer run event organized and run by CAP, an arts organization founded to elevate the profile of comedy as a performing art in Pittsburgh and to raise Pittsburgh’s profile nationally.

Stand-Up Headliner: W. Kamau Bell

Emmy-nominated comic and CNN host W. Kamau Bell delivers incisive, scathingly funny commentary on modern society that will change your view of race, politics and social issues in America. As host of the CNN docu-series “United Shades of America,” Kamau travels the country, offering viewers a rare yet eye-opening look inside the various subcultures of American life. The second season for United Shades of America began in April. He first captured audiences’ attention with his thought-provoking one-man show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour,” and later, with his widely praised FX comedy series, “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” The multi-talented entertainer also hosts the must-listen podcasts, “Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period” and “Politically Reactive,” as well as the live public radio show, “Kamau Right Now!” Kamau’s book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell was released May 2nd.

Improv Headliner: North Coast Presents: ANYBODY

North Coast, New York City’s premier hip-hop improv team, has long been known for their seamless melding of high-energy freestyle rapping and long-form improv comedy. In the spirit of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit Hamilton, ANYBODY is a fully improvised historical “hip-hopera” based on a historical figure suggested by the audience. Named one of the “Top Ten Best Comedy Shows” by Time Out New York, North Coast has been featured on VH1, on Slate’s Podcast The Gist, The Village Voice, and The New York Times Comedy Listings. They perform every Saturday night at The Peoples Improv Theater in New York City.

The festival will also feature many of Pittsburgh’s brightest stand-up and improv comedy acts, a midnight stand-up show showcasing local and national comics (including a return appearance by PCF 2016 headliner, Quincy Jones) and a family-friendly, pay-what-you-can Kids Comedy Cabaret.

Stand-Up Acts

W. Kamau Bell
Ossia Dwyer (Pittsburgh, PA)
Alex Homyak (Pittsburgh, PA)
Blair Parker (Pittsburgh, PA)
Brandon Schell (Pittsburgh, PA)
Chanel Ali (New York, NY)
Jarret Berenstein (New York, NY)
Isaac Crow (Pittsburgh, PA)
Wally Baram (New York, NY
Collin Chamberlin (Pittsburgh, PA)
Quincy Jones (Los Angeles, CA)
Chris Alan (Charlottesville, VA)
Leslie N Battle (Columbus, OH)
Robert Punchur (New York, NY)
Marlénas McMahon-Purk (Philadelphia, PA)
Rufat Agayev (New York, NY)
Gab Bonesso (Pittsburgh, PA)
Nore Davis (New York, NY)
Danny Felts (Brooklyn, NY)
Amanda Averell (Pittsburgh, PA)
Mark Caesar (New Orleans, LA)

Improv Acts

Change Machine (Pittsburgh, PA)
Brenda (Ann Arbor, MI)
Dance, Monkey! (Chicago, IL)
Game Shark (Pittsburgh, PA)
Andy’s Mints (Columbus, OH)
Sad Trombone (Philadelphia, PA)
Real Housewives of Montana (Pittsburgh, PA)
Listen, Stupid (Ferndale, MI)
The Friendship Club (New York, NY)
Well Known Strangers (Pittsburgh, PA)
North Coast presents: ANYBODY (New York, NY)
Warp Zone (Pittsburgh, PA)
Minority Re’port presents: Casually Dope (Baltimore, MD)
Swartzlander (New York, NY)
Olivia Benson (New York, NY)
The Austen Family Improv Players (New York, NY)
Grammelot (Pittsburgh, PA)
Improvised Mythology (Chicago, IL)

Kids Acts

Penny Arcade (Pittsburgh, PA)
Michael Buzzelli (Pittsburgh, PA)
Jack Rau (Pittsburgh, PA)

The festival will also offer a Kids Comedy Cabaret and a weekend of comedy workshops for both general audiences and experienced improvisers. Community workshops are offered under a pay-what-you-can pricing model and are intended for general audiences who are interested in the intersections of comedy with social justice, community-building and personal growth. Skills workshops are intended for both experienced comedians and general audiences looking to hone their comedic craft.

Community Workshops

Our Experiences as Women in Comedy
with Anupama Jain and Hannah du Plessis

30 Years of Making Connections: An Introduction
with Rich Keitel and April Daras from Pittsburgh Playback Theater

Skills Workshops

Be Authentic
with AJ McCombs and Ti Coleman of Minority Re’port

Keep it Simple, Stupid!
with Eleanor Lewis of The Friendship Club

Intro to Hip-Hop Improv
with Doug Widick or Rachel Rosenthal from North Coast & ANYBODY: The Musical

Cinema Hilarité: Film and Theatre Genres for The Improv Stage
with Lindsay Gonzales of Dance, Monkey!

Founded in 2014, PCF is organized and run by Comedy Arts Pittsburgh (CAP)–an arts organization founded to elevate the profile of comedy as a performing art in Pittsburgh and to raise Pittsburgh’s profile nationally. Using comedy as a universal language, CAP partners with artists, public and private organizations to promote comedy and the life skills it imparts.

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