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Improv Festival at SCV Space Sept. 24-26

Improve your improv

Posted: September 17, 2010 3:13 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2010 3:13 p.m.

The Improv Festival is coming to Saugus next weekend, with improv workshops and many talented performers. Some of these include: Front row, from left, Mike Marsalisi, Cameron Rose and Katie Meyer; middle row, Kevin Darga, Christina Gonzalez, Nikki Santino, Allan Trautman, Denise Koek and Kevin Rae; back row, Daniel Stewart, Steven Huerta, Joaqui...

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If you've ever wanted to let your inner "crazy" out, or just enjoy watching other people do it in an environment where you know you won't be harmed, the Santa Clarita Valley Improv Festival is for you. These three days of comedic mayhem will offer budding improv artists and fans of the style as much zany, imagination-fueled fun as the law legally allows.

The festival will be held in the intimate SCV Space in Saugus, with workshops and performances scheduled to start on Friday, Sept. 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Visit for the latest schedule details.)

Event cocreators/improv artists Mike Marsalisi and Christina Gonzalez have designed the SCV Improv Festival to include workshops for beginners as well as advanced improv artists, and performances from budding and established professional improv "teams."

Workshops include such titles as "Improv Self Defense," "The Art of Mimicry and How It Leads to Nuclear War," "Improv and Creativity. You Really Can Do It" and "Shut Up Already!" There will be performances by local favorites Holler!, The Gardeners, and The Horse and Saddle Jubilation Good Times Improv Brigade, as well as the famous Hollywood duo BillyHawk!

Proxart and Border 7 have sponsored the event through donations and services, and there will be snacks and bottled water and soda available before and after shows. Tickets are $10 per show/workshop or $50 gets you a pass for four workshops and all shows.

The SCV Space is located at 27600 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus, CA 91350. (In La Rumba shopping center where Haskell Canyon Road intersects Bouquet Canyon Road.) The phone number is (661) 263-3733. Tickets will be available on site and via the festival website,

Improv (s)kills
Several of the festival performers will also be conducting workshops, and many members of the performing teams have local connections, especially through Saugus High School and College of the Canyons.

For example, Allan Troutman, who will be teaching at the festival, also teaches improv at COC.

"There's a lot of improv talent in the SCV and a large audience for it," Gonzalez said. "A lot of the talent comes up through COC and there needs to be an outlet for it." And this is why she and Marsalisi are so grateful to The SCV Space for providing the venue.

"We couldn't have done the festival if The Space wasn't here," Marsalisi said.

The Gardeners
The members of The Gardeners include Kevin Darga, Shelley Pack, J.R. Cruz, Steven Huerta, Joaquin Garay, III and Katie Meyer. The group has been together for three years. Originally coming together at College of the Canyons, they are now based out of North Hollywood. They do both "short form" and "long form" improv comedy routines with an "in your face, action-packed" style. Check the website for their performance days/times.

Additionally, The Gardeners will be performing locally at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall on Nov. 6, and you can reach the group at

Also performing at the SCV Improv Festival is Holler! Members include Aaron Wong, Brandon Cabrera, Adam Womack and Mike Marsalisi. Team members said this group has also been together for three years as Holler! but has been performing together for eight years.

All of the members "came up through" COC and then went to Improv Olympics West in Hollywood. They have performed at the Los Angeles Comedy Festival for two years in a row. Holler! performs long form improv with stylings including "brain tumbler experiments," "eulogies" and "nightmares."

Contact Holler! at  or call (661) 724-6656.

Funny name for a funny group, The Horse and Saddle Jubilation Good Times Improv Brigade came together in the spring of 2009 at Saugus High School. They worked so well together there they decided to continue on together as comedy group. Members include Kevin Rae, Cameron Rose, Daniel Stewart and Nikki Santino.
While looking for other venues, the group has monthly performances at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church. Their improv stylings include original scenes, video clips, vaudeville sketches, music and clowning (commedia dell'Arte style).
To contact The Horse and Saddle Jubilation Good Times Improv Brigade look up their name on Facebook.



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