Winter 2019

Shows & Events


Apr 13 

Apr 27

Apr 28

Apr 17

Apr 24

May 01

Apr 19

Apr 26

May 08

The Unified Scene Theater Takes Over Big Bear Cafe

Wednesday, May 8th, 8 pm.



Big Bear Cafe and The Unified Scene Theater, a brick-and-mortar improv comedy theater in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of DC, are teaming up monthly to provide laughter to neighborhood, bringing the area’s most talented and experienced improv troupes to weave comedy gold right before your eyes using only the suggestions you give them at the top of every scene. It’s comedy without a net, the same kind that comedy legends Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Steve Colbert, Steve Carrell, and numerous others have performed. Fun and laughter guaranteed. And, once again, it’s FREE!

The Unified Scene Theater Short-Form Players: 

  • Joe Gagliardi III
  • Ryan Baugh
  • William John Kuduk
  • Kurt Berning
  • Luke Wadsworth
  • Jake Boggs
  • Rachel Johansen
  • JJ Walter
  • Alliy Marie



  • Shawn Westfall
  • Mikael Johnson


Doors open at 7:15 pm, again, at The Big Bear Cafe. Show starts at 8 pm. 

Check out Big Bear Cafe on thier website at

Check out Big Bear Cafe with your senses at 1700 1st Street NW

Here’s a band from Vancouver B.C. playing a song from Letterkenny.


Padsworth, Frenemies, and Just The Three Of Us

Saturday, April 13th

Tickets: $12 pre-sale, $15 at the door


Three amazing troupes: one that formed out of our classes here at The Unified Scene Theater; another that takes the elevated rhetorical styles of two prominent 20th Century intellects and, well, debases them; and three experienced improv graybeards take the stage without any idea what will happen — though laughter is guaranteed. 
Padsworth:  A new troupe that formed out of a recent class at The Unified Scene Theater, Padsworth delivers big laughs through big characters. Cory Seth, Matt Newsome, and Frankie, Abralind are your delivery team. 
Frenemies — The Buckley-Vidal Debates
During the 1968 Republican Convention, conservative commentator William F. Buckley and novelist and progressive public raconteur Gore Vidal agreed to take part in a series of live television debates throughout ABC’s coverage, a series of debates that eventually descended into venomous spirited name-calling and threats of violence: live, on camera, Vidal called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi,” and Buckley responded by calling Vidal a “little queer” and then threatening to punch Vidal in his “goddamned face” whereupon he would “stay plastered.”
We at The Unified Scene Theater can think of no better time than the present to resurrect the spirits of these two esteemed men, as well as the rhetorical tone they both took when engaging intellectually. Taking various and decidedly non-political subjects throughout the show, William F. Buckley (Shawn Westfall) and Gore Vidal (Chris Ulrich) will debate (read: improvise) the merits of each, with a moderator Howard K. Smith (Paul Hitlin) in tow to ensure that name calling and violence doesn’t occur – or ensure it does.
Just The Three Of Us: Gather ’round, youngins, and hear tales of mystery and imagination via improv comedy, from three experienced improvisors who were doing improv before Facebook and Netflix were things. It’s Just The Three Of Us: Rich Nyman, Mikael Johnson, and Shawn Westfall. 
Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm.

White Privilege, Black Power; NIXON; and Last Ham Standing

Friday, April 19th  

Tickets: $12 pre-sale, $15 at the door


This show features long-form experts White Privilege, Black Power and NIXON, as well as visit from exurban Virginia’s Last Ham Standing, who take short-form style improv, like the kind you’d see on “Who’s Line Is It, Anyway?,” and amplify it for a DC crowd. Have your suggestions at the ready, because you’ll need ’em. And, yeah, be prepared to laugh. 
White Privilege, Black Power: It’s like “2 Dope Queens” except one of the Queens is a straight, white, male businessman. Starring Eva Lewis and Greg Tindale.
NIXON — Reaves McElveen, Jamal Newman, and Eva Lewis — will take you on a fast paced high octane long form improv comedy journey through anything and everything you can imagine. These three veteran improvisers have performed improv, stand up, and sketch for sold out crowds all across the DC area. Come see them join forces to create improv gold!
Last Ham Standing: If you like “Whose Line is it Anyway?” then you’ll love Last Ham Standing, the other comedy meat! Last Ham Standing is the improvisational comedy troupe comprised of founders Dave Wright, Steve Heaton, and David Sly, who together make Market Street Productions, the company who ran the Tally Ho Theatre from 2008-2012 in downtown Leesburg, VA. Offering hilarious comedy, each show is different as audience participation and suggestions fuel the fun. A variety of additional Last Ham Players, whom you can “meet” at, rotate in and out from show to show, keeping things fresh and interesting each time you watch. 
Doors at 7:30pm. Show at 8pm. 

WTF is Wrong With You? A (FREE!) Live Podcast Recordings

Wednesday, April 24th  



WTF Is Wrong With You? — A (Free!) Live Podcast with Shawn Westfall of The Unified Scene Theater and John Papageorgiu of Papa’s Basement
What the f**k is wrong with you? Well, plenty, probably: living in DC costs a lot of money, and your job pays you in Pizza Hut coupons; dating and relationships are tough, and you haven’t been allowed into the super-hot-peeps-sexy-time dating app that all the cool kids are on; and a strain of amoebic dysentery somehow became sentient, got elected president, and is now ruining the country, and your life. So, yeah, plenty. So you got questions about, like, a lot. 
Fear no more: Shawn and John are here to help. 
They’ll take your questions. They’ll give you advice. Now, mind you, neither are medical professionals: Shawn’s the owner and co-founder of The Unified Scene Theater, a teacher of improv comedy, holds an MA in English Lit, is an honorably discharged member of the United State Air Force, and was once married to a woman nearly 17 years older than he. John doesn’t have an advanced degree, but before you get all hoity-toity with the book learnin’, know that he’s accomplished a lot in his life: he runs his own business; he’s the brainchild behind Papa’s Basement, DC’s premier comedy podcast; and, finally, he’s managed to circumnavigate various local judicial systems champing at the bit to serve him multiple bench warrants. So, yeah, you can act on that advice at your own discretion. 
In short, they’ve got problems, too. And theirs might pale in comparison to yours, putting your own in perspective. And you might laugh and feel better. At the very least it’ll be fun. 
So show up. It’s free, remember? And bring some booze. We don’t care. Tell us what’s going on. It’ll be on a podcast that might go viral. And who knows? You might get internet famous. And who doesn’t want that? 
Doors open at 7:30 pm, show starts at 8 pm. And again, it’s free!
See you then. 
Shawn and John


Fish Outta Water

Friday, April 26th  

Tickets: $12 pre-sale, $15 at the door


Fish Outta Water 
If you’re familiar with Gravid Watto, you know the premise: we coupled the biggest “Star Wars” nerds in the area, those who could recite dialogue from every episode verbatim, with improvisors who decidedly *weren’t* fans of the movies to the point of never having seen them. Then we put them in scenes together, with the SW nerds reciting dialogue from the movie, and the improvisors, well, not. Hilarity ensues. 
But since there’s so much cinema history to be drawn from, and since there are so much cinema that many improvisors have never seen, we’re expanding out of the Star Wars universe into those of other classic movie narratives. Hence the name change to Fish Outta Water, and hence, more fun to be had by all. Movie geeks of all stripes will love this — which, in short, means everyone.
Cast: TBD
Doors at 7:30 pm, show’s at 8 pm

Gimme Two

An Art Exhibit/Showing by Matt Nelson and Jai Mitchell

Sunday, April 28th,  6-9pm


The Unified Scene Theater is proud to present a showing from two local artist, Matt Nelson and Jai Mitchell. Entitled “Gimme Two,” this exhibition explores the interpersonal and intra-personal perspectives of two distinct local DC talents exploring how art can do and undo one’s perceptions of the world. 
Food, drinks, conversation, and accordion music provided. As well as awesome art. 

Honor Society

Saturday, April 27th 


We at The Unified Scene Theater couldn’t be prouder to partner with Brainy Girl Productions to bring you a new monthly stand-up comedy show, The Honor Society, a show featuring some of the DMV’s best stand-ups. It’s laughter from the smart set from people who had to be nominated to get on the bill. Admission is free, but space is limited so please RSVP to let us know you’re coming. 

Doors open at 7:30, show’s at 8 pm. See you then (cap and gown optional). 

“Hate To Admit This…”   A (Free!) Live Podcast with Mikael Johnson, Adam Stanzione, and Shawn Westfall

Wednesday, May 1st  


There are cultural artifacts we’re supposed to like: Bruce Springsteen. Kitten/puppy videos. “Game of Thrones,” apparently. And then there are those cultural artifacts we’re *not* supposed to like: Anne Hathaway, Shia LaBeuf, Chevy Chase (in both their movies and IRL). The bands Smashmouth, Nickelback, and Coldplay. And any food that Guy Fieri recommends. No doubt you have some nominees for both lists. 
This podcast provides a different take: Adam, Mikael, and Shawn are going to be intellectually honest and talk about things that they like, or are underrated, or even ignored or condescended to, culturally, and perhaps talk about things/people/talents that are overrated, or given a pass where others of similar talent aren’t. 
Their credentials? None. I mean, same as just about anybody else’s. Well, Adam’s a lawyer, and Mikael and Shawn have performed improv comedy (live, in front of paying audiences and all), so all three know what it means to be at the unpopular table of the cultural lunchroom. 
Perhaps you have a few of your own hot-takes or “I’ll-die-on-this-hill” opinions. Show up. Share them. It’s free, remember? And bring some booze. We don’t care. Tell us what’s on your mind. It’ll be on a podcast that might go viral. And who knows? You might get internet famous. And who doesn’t want that? 
See you then. 
Adam and Mikael and Shawn
FREE! Doors at 7:30 pm, show’s at 8 pm