Outreach Shows

The Make ‘Em Ups;
Storybox For Kids;
World Tales;
The Collage;
Viola Spolin, Visionary Woman of Play


The Make ‘Em Ups

kids silhouettes

This improvised touring show from CIP Productions debuted in the Fall of 2010. The Make ‘Em Ups tells the history of Chicago’s connection to modern improvisation, while at the same time teaching how to and how not to improvise. The show also helps kids understand how to create stories and the who/what/where of all improv scenes. The show features 4 professional adult improv actors who utilize improv games to entertain and educate their audiences.

To book a Make ‘Em Ups performance at your event, please call the Chicago Improv Productions office at (773) 599-3084 or email:

Storybox For Kids


Join Chicago Improv Productions as they present Storybox for Young Audiences, an imaginative and inventive, fully improvised 45 minute long theatre production that is enthralling and enrapturing to children and teens alike.

Inspired by a combination of Second City co-founder Paul Sills Story Theater and Japan’s Noh Theatre, the company creates a single story from multiple ensemble narrative and storytelling techniques. The performers develop their original story from two audience suggestions and then incorporate text, physical movement, props, and sound effects into the work. The production shows students the eternal value of storytelling, communal mythology, and shared creativity.

Touring since October 2004, Storybox for Young Audiences has performed over 125 shows to over 15,000 children and teens in the Chicago area. In 2013, Storybox for Young Audiences will continue their 9th consecutive year touring for Urban Gateways, Chicago’s premiere presenting arts organization. Storybox for Young Audiences has also toured for the Chicago Park District, to several Chicago Public Libraries, and they’ve also done shows for After School Matters and suburbian libraries.

Storybox for Young Audiences is performed by four diverse professional actors, from a larger core company who’s members all have wide and varied Chicago theatre credits. The show is created and directed by Jonathan Pitts.

CIP Productions has posted a video of a Storybox For Kids outreach performance from December 14, 2009. The show took place at a north suburban grammar school and there were over 200 kids in the audience.

To watch the video, please click: Storybox For Kids Video

To book a Storybox for Young Audiences performance at your event, please call the Chicago Improv Productions office at (773) 599-3084 or email:

World Tales


Chicago Improv Productions is proud to present the 5th season of World Tales, an original and charming 45 minute theatre performance of three folk tales from the continents of Africa, Asia, and South America.

The diverse company of actors employ story theatre techniques to bring these funny and magical stories to life with the creative use of long wooden sticks, multi-colored cloths, and hand-held musical instruments. Wrapping up the fascinating presentation to a wonderful close, the cast plays a group improvisational storytelling game based on a suggestion taken from the audience.

The two adapted folk-tales are “The Dreaming Tree” from Brazil, and “Where Stories Come From” from a traditional Zulu story. All two folk-tales tie into a larger theme of stories, storytellers, and storytelling.

World Tales currently tours for Urban Gateways, and the production features an ensemble of four professional theatre actors. World Tales is created and directed by Jonathan Pitts.

To book a World Tales performance at your event, please call the Chicago Improv Productions office at (773) 599-3084 or email:

The Collage

Chicago improv Touring Company

CIP’s Touring Company presents “The Collage” a dynamic hybrid of long and short form improvisation!  This hilarious performance for college audiences inserts popular improv games into a sophisticated web of unique perspectives and spontaneous characters.  The audience supplies numerous suggestions throughout the show to contribute to the improvised mayhem and customize the performance to their entertainment whims!

For questions or booking, contact Jeremy at or call (773) 599-3084

Viola Spolin, Visionary Woman of Play


Chicago Improv Festival Productions presents Viola Spolin: Visionary Woman of Play, an entertaining and unique 45 minute long original theatre performance about the originator of modern improvisational theatre games.

Everyone knows that Chicago is the birthplace and mecca for modern improvisational comedy theatre, but not everyone knows who got it started, and how and why it did. This performance shows Viola Spolin creating the foundation of improvisational theatre while she was in her 20’s working with poverty children at the Hull House on the north side of Chicago.

Viola Spolin: Visionary Woman of Play is an interactive performance that actively does several things including, tell the life story of improv’s belated mother Viola Spolin, give examples of the 100+ games Viola created, demonstrate a Viola Spolin style workshop, give a social-historical background to Chicago during the time period (30’s through the 50’s) when Viola did most of her work, and allows the audience to be part of the play too.

The performance features an all-woman cast of 4 actors, 1 musical director, and 1 moderator. The show begins with the cast on-stage playing the children’s game Kitty Wants A Corner while the musical director and the moderator encourage the audience members to get up and play the game too.

Then the moderator tells the life-story of Viola Spolin, while the cast using Viola’s son Paul Sills Story Theatre techniques acts out Viola’s life from childhood to her death. Viola’s life story is told in three sections, and during those sections, photos of Viola are projected overhead (the photos are from the Spolin/Sills family archives).

In between those three sections, the cast describes, demonstrates, and performs various Viola Spolin games while a rotating cast member sits out to side coach the games (like Viola would have done). After the games are played, the side coach asks the audience what they saw and experienced. Through out the show, a total of 10 different games are performed by the cast.

At the end of the show, the audience knows about Viola Spolin and her place in Chicago theater as the source of all modern improvisational stage work.

The production debuted in 2006 at the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library, and it was part of their Women’s History Month. The show is created and directed by Jonathan Pitts.

To book a Viola Spolin: Visionary Woman of Play performance at your event, please call the Chicago Improv Productions office at (773)875-6616 or email:

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