Silly People’s Improv Theater or SPIT, is the country’s premiere improvisational theater group known for their smart and incisive brand of comedy. Considered as one of the best improv comedy troupes in Asia, SPIT has had over five hundred performances in the last decade to both local and international audiences.
In celebration of the group’s 11th year anniversary, SPIT partners with PETA Theater Center to bring to the stage the 2nd Manila Improv Festival on June 25-30, 2013.
The 1st Manila International Improv Festival was held last year between June 28 and July 1 featuring other improv groups from Bacolod, Cebu, Hong Kong, Beijing, Xiamen, Taichung and Los Angeles. With improv workshops held at the College of St. Benilde featuring renowned improv veterans Shaun Landry and Tom Farnan from Los Angeles and performances of the different improv groups held at Quantum Café in Makati City. The festival attracted over 600 guests in the course of 4 days.
I was very fortunate to witness SPIT in action during the launching of the 2nd Manila Improv Festival last Tuesday held at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Jupiter, Makati City. I was amazed at how SPIT was able to liven up the atmosphere with no script or formal program at hand. Every act was spontaneous, interactive and, well, improvised.
I personally enjoyed the act where they were able to improvise a short skit using the letters of a word suggested by an audience one at a time to start a line for their conversation.
I also love the Oracle, where three members of SPIT portrays a three-headed oracle who are able to answer any question and tell anyone’s fortune – the trick is, each oracle head can only utter one word at a time until they are able to finish a sentence or a paragraph.
These acts are ‘workshop’ materials that are really very hard to perform specially in front of a live audience. It requires some quick thinking, discipline and sensitivity in knowing what the other members of the act are thinking while at the same time acknowledging the audiences response.
Present during launch is GABE MERCADO – actor/director and founder of SPIT, MARIBEL LEGARDA – PETA Theater Center’s Artistic Director and all the members of SPIT. Comic artist MANIX ABRERA of kikomachinekomix.com was also present and jammed with the SPIT cast in one of their act as well as Publicist TOOTS TOLENTINO who hosted the show and did a very funky strut to open program.
GABE MERCADO, SPIT
MARIBEL LEGARDA, PETA
Comic Artist, MANIX ABRERA
Publicist/Host TOOTS TOLENTINO
The theme for this year’s Manila Improv Festival is “Follow Your Feet”, an improvisational theater concept which also ties in with the art form’s return to PETA – the group which first introduced improvisational theater to the country in the early 1970s. As SPIT takes on a new decade of laughter and innovation, the group decided to take a bolder step in sharing the art of improv to bigger audiences through the festival and its partnership with PETA Theater Center.
The Manila Improv Festival 2013 will have six shows featuring the participating improv groups: People’s Liberation Improv and 3 Dudes Improv (Hongkong), Beijing Improv (Beijing), Taichung Improv (Taiwan), Xiamen Improv (Xiamen), Zmack (Shanghai), Pirates of Tokyo Bay (Tokyo) and Silly People’s Improv Theater (Manila).
There will be one show each on June 26, 27, 28 and 30 (8 p.m.), while there will be two shows on June 29. Entrance for each show is P400, and will feature three improv groups for each set, performing a variety of long form and short form improvisational shows.
All performances will be held at PETA Theater Center’s “Black Box” performance space known as the PETA-PHINMA Theater.
During the festival, there will also be an Applied Improvisation Network Conference for HR and training professionals from June 25 – 26. Applied Improvisation takes the concepts of improv, and utilizes it in other fields, particularly in sharpening skills in innovation, creativity, presentation skills and leadership. The AIN conference will be led by Paul Z. Jackson, one of the founders of the Applied Improvisation Network and its immediate past president, Kay Ross, a Hong Kong-based marketing consultant and coach and member of People’s Liberation Improv, and Curt Mabry who has been using improvisation in his work with Zmack Shanghai as well.
A workshop for both master and aspiring improv actors will be conducted as well from June 28 – 30.
Here are the 2nd Manila Improv Festival 2013 Schedules
June 25 Tuesday
8:00 am-6:00 pm AIN Mini Conference Day 1
June 26 Wednesday
8:00 am-4:00 pm AIN Mini Conference Day 2
5:00 pm-7:00 pm Opening cocktails
June 27 Thursday
9:00 am-1:30 pm Optional city tour
2:00 pm-5:30 pm Public Program: Paul Jackson on Applied Improvisation
8:00 pm-11:00 pm Improv performances
June 28 Friday
9:00 am-4:00 pm Open Space Technology Workshop by Gabe Mercado
8:00 pm-11:00 pm Improv performances
June 29 Saturday
9:00 am-4:00 pm Directing for Improv Workshop by Paul Jackson
9:00 am-4:00 pm Introduction to Improvisation
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Improv performances
9:00 pm-11:00 pm Improv performances
June 30 Sunday
1:00 pm-2:30 pm Workshop Showcase
4:00 pm-6:00 pm Improv performances
For more details and updates, you may check out SPIT via
For more SPIT Pictures go to the RAINCHECK FB PAGE
For ticket and Workshop inquiries contact:
Meann Espinosa of PETA
Tel: 410-0822 loc 14 to 15
mobile number 0906 211 5003
Tickets are also available at Ticketworld or the PETA Theater Center.