The Whole World Improv Theatre celebrates 20 years in Atlanta this weekend with two events- an alumni show and anniversary party- that pay homage to the growth of the company.
What started as an improv group in 1993 by David Webster, Whole World has expanded over the past two decades to bring together long form improvisational comedy. Creative Director Chip Powell has seen significant development in the group since its induction into Atlanta’s theatre community.
“We have won just about every award out there for improv and theatre year after year, and that has secured our reputation as one of the founding fathers of improv in Atlanta. Our audience keeps coming back and the word of mouth brings legions of new patrons every season.”
Improv comedy is still making its way into the mainstream, but Whole World has bridged the gap by providing free comedy shows to expose the public to Whole World’s mission. Since 2004, the company has implemented outreach programs like Improv in the Park, Tuesday Night Improv Laboratory, Thursday Night Ladies Night and student workshops through partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta.
The 20th anniversary weekend kicks off with an alumni show on Friday night, where some of the actors from the original 1994 group come together to perform after being apart for a decade.
“These actors helped put Whole World Theatre on the map,” said Powell. “Jenny Andrews, Michael Snow, Jim Issa, Wes Kennemore, Phil Cater, Annie Humphrey- they have gone on to New York and Los Angeles to perform on-stage, on-screen and even direct.”
Then on Saturday, October 11, Red Brick Brewing, former neighbors of Whole World when the brewery was on Williams Street, hosts a night of celebration called Frothengiggle. Guests can expect live music by Tribute ABB, a wine and beer tasting, light bites, and 30-minute classic improv show. The funds from the celebration will go toward general operations at Whole World, like the investment in a YouTube channel, which will increase production value of their improv shows.
Powell has a lasting vision for Whole World Improv Theatre. “After 20 years, we are putting significant effort into raising funds outside of programing in order to ensure a strong future for Whole World.”
*While the company was created in 1993, they mark their birthday as 1994, where they became a 501 (c)3 non-profit.