The alma mater sketch house of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph and more SNL alums, the Groundlings, reopen their theater and school on Melrose Ave. July 23.
A series of improv shows are already on the schedule, including “Groundlings Lights Up” and the return of “Black Version” on July 31 and “Groundlings Bar Fight: Round Two” in August, a popular show that premiered ahead of COVID with a collection of sketches and improvisations.
Alumni and friends of Groundlings are also expected to make appearances throughout the season. Additional shows and times will be announced shortly. Tickets are on sale today on http://www.Groundlings.com.
In-person classes for adults will begin August 2 and registration will open from July 5.
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“We are delighted to reopen our theater and our school. We want to thank everyone for all the support with our performances and virtual classes over the past few months and we can’t wait to see everyone smile and laugh in person. It is true that laughter is the best medicine, and perhaps a very good vaccine, and we can’t wait to laugh with you in a post-pandemic world! Executive Director Carrie LaFerle Gergely said in a statement.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Groundlings Theater & School has moved their shows and in-person classes online with webinars and panels by Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Randall Park and many more. others. While the Groundlings will continue to use the online format in the future, their intention is to reinvigorate their live events in person.
“We have learned a lot over the past 16 months and, in many ways, the linchpin of re-creating our online trainings and shows has opened up new avenues of creativity and expression,” added LaFerle Gergely. “It has also attracted students and audiences from across the country, not just our zip code, which we hope to build on to reinvent our program. But nothing replaces the thrill of live theater, or working side-by-side with teachers and students, so we’re extremely grateful for this return. “
Meanwhile, it’s unclear when the sketch / improv comedy rival Upright Citizens Brigade will reopen its theater and black box school at 5919 Franklin Ave. in Los Angeles. Due to the pandemic, UCB was forced to close its New York site as well as its new Sunset Blvd. held in two stages last year. UCB continues to offer online courses.