Friday, August 18th

Friday, September 22nd

Saturday, August 19th

Saturday, September 23rd

Friday, September 15th

Friday, September 29th

Saturday, September 16th

Saturday, September 30th

The District Improv Festival Returns To The Unified Scene Theater, September 8th-9th, 2017

Now in its sixth year and scheduled to take place between Wednesday, September 6th and Saturday, September 9th, 2017, the District Improv Festival has been growing steadily, showcasing not only standout local improv talent, but also the opportunity to see some of the most talented improvisers from around the country, with troupes visiting from Chicago, NYC, Philly, and many other cities.  
And, for the second year in a row, we at The Unified Scene Theater are proud to be a second stage to its run of shows; what’s more, our partnership has grown in size: while last year we hosted only two blocks of shows on the Friday evening of the festival, this year our relationship is expanding to include two additional blocks of shows on the Saturday afternoon of the festival, one of which is entirely FREE, and other costing only $5.
We’re once again proud to be partnering with DIF, specifically to be bringing DC (and Bloomingdale) four total blocks of performances, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 8th, and two more, on Saturday, September 9th, all of which will feature local and visiting troupes, and one of which is, again, entirely free.

Friday, September 8th, 2017, 7:30-9 pm block:

Los Profesores (NYC),

Beverly Crusher (DC),

Minority Re’port (Baltimore)

 Saturday, September 9th, 2017, 2:30-4:30 pm FREE block:

Beautiful Dreamers (NYC),

Peaches Galore (NYC),

Sabado Picante (DC),

 Empty Promises (Austin)

 Friday, September 8th, 2017, 9:30-11 pm block:

The Johnsons (Richmond),

Nox! (DC),

The Boozeroom (NYC)


 Saturday, September 9th, 2017, 5-7 pm block:

I’m in DC Leave Me The Fuck Alone (Seattle),

Hymn Brothers (Chicago),


B & B (Portland)

 Once again, we’re extraordinarily honored to be partnering with DIF, and helping showcase the tremendous local improv talent as well as visiting improv artists.

NIXON and Bring Back the ‘90s


Friday, August 18th, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

Richard Nixon died in 1994. And some people look back on the ’90s with a modicum of nostalgia. Things were kind of awesome. Well, tonight, we’re resurrecting both Nixon and all the cool stuff from that era, as troupes NIXON and Bring Back The ’90s (which celebrated their one-year anniversary at The Unified Scene Theater last month) show you just how awesome everything was back then: the music, the videos, the clothes, the culture, and four years of a President who *really* knew how to throw a scandal. Show up!

Your Feature Troupe: NIXON

NIXON — Reaves McElveen, Jamal Newman, Annie Barry — 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!

Your Headliners: Bring Back the ’90s:

The ’90s were a great time for pop culture, fashion, and of course… music videos! Bring Back the 90s is an improv show based on the most memorable 90s music videos. The audience will get to choose which music videos to watch. The cast will use the images and lyrics from those videos to create hilarious, and off-the-charts scenes.

Bring Back The ’90s is: 

  • Erick Acuña
  • Elaine Colwell
  • Ginnie Seger
  • Rob Miller
  • LJ Barber
  • John Carroll
  • Krystal Ramseur
  • and DJ Lazzeroni



The Unified Scene Theater and Bad Medicine Present:

The First Annual 24-Hour Sketch-Fest


Saturday, August 19th, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

Sketch teams usually take a few weeks to hone, craft, rehearse, direct, and perform a sketch show. Well, screw that. We’re putting a couple of local sketch comedy teams to the test, as we make them brainstorm, write, cast, rehearse, and direct not one but two 3-5 minute sketches all within a 24-hour time period.

Wait, what? Yep. Two “finished” sketches in 24-hours.

But that’s not all, since there’s an element of improv comedy involved: a week prior to the show we’ll be reaching out to our fans and followers on social media to get suggestions for the sketch troupes, suggestions that will be required, under penalty of disqualification, to be used in their sketches. We’ll write these up, put them in a hat, and then draw them out during the intermission of our NIXON and Bring Back The ’90s show at The Unified Scene Theater on August 18th.

One they get them, the clock is ticking, and the troupes — Bad Medicine, Sketchy Notion, and Preacher’s Tit — are on their own: they then have 24-hours to brainstorm, write, cast, rehearse and perform two 3-6 minute sketches, performed during this show on the evening of Saturday, August 19th.

And wait, there’s more: the results — including whether or not the suggestions were used — are under scrutiny. Why? Because there’s money to be won. All troupes participating are eligible to win a Judges’ Prize and an Audience Prize. Can one troupe win both? YOU DAMNED WELL BE THEY CAN!

In short, comedy under the gun: you know, what they do at “Saturday Night Live” every week, and what just about every live variety show during the era of live television used to do, you know, just about every day.

Show up. Laugh. Be The Comedy Judgy McJudgerson you know you wanna be. And have a blast.

Participating Troupes: 

  • Bad Medicine
  • Sketchy Notion
  • Preacher’s Tit

The Quitters & VI Lenin


Friday, September 15th, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

The Soviet Union apparently “quit” Communism, insituted by VI Lenin, over two decades ago. But there’s still some nefarious crap going on over there, if recent headlines are any indication. We should help them quit that, too. And we’ve got two troupes who can help, or at the very least make you momentarily forget it for a moment: The Quitters, an all-female troupe who’s been rockin the DC’s independent scene, and House Troupe VI Lenin, who are just downright amazing.

Your Feature Troupe: The Quitters

The Quitters will quit the shit out of you. With all the charisma of an emoji and the dedication of anyone you ever met on Tinder, these ladies will create an entire world based on nothing but the stuff you’ve quit. And they’ll erase any of your lingering guilt. Because we’re all just a bunch of natural-born quitters. Get behind it, Quitter Nation.

The Quitters are: 

  • Sanaa Abrar
  • Paula Atkinson
  • Tonya Jordan
  • Kristin OBrien

Your Headlining Troupe: VI Lenin

VI Lenin VI Lenin (Rich Nyman, Joe Uchno) explores the world and characters around us just as soon as we figure out what they are, sometimes before. Rooted in discovery and patient scenework, each Lenin show will take a different form. We follow whatever discovery is most interesting and see where that takes us. Come along for the ride. We’re going to have a good time together.

The Artless Bards and Christian Science Theater


Saturday, September 16th, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

There’s no record that Shakespeare was in any sense religious. Hell, there’s very little we know about the guy in general, let alone whether or not he believed in the great big bearded sky-daddy. But it’s probably pretty clear that a lot of the language used in both The King James Bible and in his plays was pretty ubiquitous at that time. Well, we’re yoking together Shakespeare and The Unified Scene Theater’s version of Christianity, as, on this evening,  we’re pairing Shakespearean improv via The Artless Bards with Christian Science Theater, an improv troupe that is neither theater, nor Christian, nor in any way scientific. Discuss.
Your Feature Troupe: Christian Science Theater:
I know what you’re thinking: “we get it: one’s a Christian, one’s a scientist, and one, was, like, in the theater, right?” Matt Roland, Shawn Westfall, and Brandon McTavish would love for you to think that they put that much thought into the troupe name. But they didn’t: It just kinda sounded cool. If you want, you could think of it as kind of combination of left-brained, right-brained performance art. But even that is kinda pretentious for what they do: take a suggestion, start parsing their respective multiple neuroses, and then improvise scenes about it. Tons of laughter.Your Headlining Troupe:
The Artless Bards: An Improvised Shakespeare Show
For thy entertainment this eve: The Artless Bards, a rascally troupe of scapegraces and dunderpates mangle, confusticate, and otherwise bedevil the memory of the Bard. What will spin faster? Their tongues as they spin a fantastical tale, or the Bard’s corpse as his life’s work is profaned for your pleasure!?
Show starts at 8:30 pm (doors open at 8 pm)

The YouTube Show Takeover


Friday, September 22nd, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

We unveiled this new format last month, and, as of this writing, received no cease & desist letters from YouTube. So we’re bringing it back, while we still can. It’s the return of The YouTube Show! — specifically, a takeover of the entire evening.
There’s some wild crap on YouTube, right? And, inexplicably, some of that wild crap actually makes to YouTube’s list of most popular videos, right? That’s where The YouTube Show! comes in: getting suggestions from the audience, we search and play video clips in real time as inspiration for improv scenes. And we’ll even go toward the more popular clips, new and classic YouTube videos for inspiration. Think of it as, well, like, a live version of a YouTube clip.
  • Reaves McElveen
  • Jamal Newman
  • Shawn Westfall
  • VJ: Brian Duss
  • + players to be named at a later date!
This one’s gonna be a hell of a lot of fun. Show up!
Show starts at 8:30 pm (doors open at 8 pm)

Teacher’s Pet, Where’s My Ukulele? & Request for Protest


Saturday, September 23rd, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

Tonight features three troupes who are direct products of The Unified Scene Theater’s classes and coaching systems, three amazing troupes (including one musical improv troupe) guaranteed to show you how it’s done, and done proper: Teacher’s Pet, Where’s My Ukulele?, and our House Troupe Request for Protest.
Teacher’s Pet: 
A practice group that turned into an improv troupe — you know, how it should be done — is how we describe this troupe. A bunch of people who met each other in classes at The Unified Scene Theater, liked each other immediately, began rehearsing together, and wowed us during the their monthly Rep Stage debut. Whaddaya gonna do but put them on the main stage? I mean, that is the next step.
Your Middle Troupe: Where’s My Ukulele?
Formed out of Unified Scene Theater short form improv classes, Where’s My Ukelele (Mike Taylor, William Kuduk, Liz Crowther, Sachin Kandari, Kelsey Flora, Miles Bullock) fuses soft-rock musical stylings with the classic Harold improv format to deliver a musical experience heretofore unknown to the entire galaxy. They started in Spring 2017 and are based out of Eckington, DC.
Your Headlining Troupe: Request for Protest:
Character-driven and full of quirk, RFP shows are like a string of feral ponies high-stepping across the not-so-nice-end of the beach: a little unruly and a lot of fun, even with the strong likelihood of strolling over a used syringe. Since meeting in a DC Improv class in the winter of ’15, RFP has been honored to play on several of the District’s mainstay comedy stages including: The Unified Scene Theater, DC Improv, ShawnMikael(s) in CoHi (Studio 1469), Improvapalooza (Source Theater), and DC Arts Center. RFP is coached by Shawn Westfall.
Request for Protest is:
  • Brandon McTavish
  • Pat Bragan
  • Emily Markle

An Evening With The Unified Sing


Friday, September 29th 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

We, The Unified Scene Theater, are proud once again to feature our new improvised musical troupe, The Unified Sing. Taking a suggestion from the audience, The Unified Sing will devise a musical right before your very eyes, a musical in which everything is completely made-up on the spot (yes, everything: the scenes, the songs, the melodies, the lyrics — everything). Show up and get a little (improvised) Broadway on the Potomac as The Unified Sing shows you what 42nd Street might look like with a little (read: a lot!) of artistic license.

And, yes, it’s founding member Caroline Yates’ final show as she heads off for the headier waters of NYC. Come wish her goodluck and tell her goodbye. And then ugly-cry like the rest of us.

The Unified Sing is:

  • Julie Tice
  • James Freeman
  • Shawn Westfall
  • Caroline Yates (though, not for much longer! sniff…)
  • Mickey Daniel, accompanist

Bring Back the ‘90s


Saturday, September 30th, 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)

Someone once warned us against thinking in terms of decades, because they aren’t really that definitive or all-encompassing when it comes to summarizing an era. But you know? To hell with that dude. For instance, the ’90s! Who doesn’t love them? A Clinton in the White House! Zach and Slater were still at Bayside! P Diddy was still Puffy. Those were the days, right? Well, no need to simply reminisce: the cast of Bring Back the ’90s will make them reappear right before your eyes, via the magic of technology (they’ll broadcast music videos from that decade) and the even magic-er magic of improv. It’ll be bigger than Zach Morris’ cell phone!
Your Feature Troupe: Bring Back the ’90s
The ’90s were a great time for pop culture, fashion, and of course… music videos! Bring Back the 90s is an improv show based on the most memorable 90s music videos. The audience will get to choose which music videos to watch. The cast will use the images and lyrics from those videos to create hilarious, and off-the-charts scenes.
Bring Back The ’90s is: 
  • Erick Acuna
  • Jordana Mishory
  • Elaine Cowell
  • Ryan Alloway
  • Joe Dawson
  • Shealy Molpus
  • Ginnie Seger
  • DJ: Huckleberry Spin

Free Improv Workshop


Sunday, August 20th 1:00-3:00 p.m

Ever thought “Hey, this improv crap looks fun. But I’m not sure I could do it. Wouldn’t mind giving it a test run before I do.” Well, now’s your chance: we’re offering a free (that’s right: FREE) 2-hour improv workshop at The Unified Scene Theater on Sunday, December 11th from 1-3 p.m. Come on by. Kick the tires. You might surprise yourself — and have fun doing it! Space is limited, so let us know you’re coming by emailing us at and say, “yeah, what the hell, I’m coming.”     (or just click the I’m Coming! button)

Instructor: Shawn Westfall

Prerequisites: A Pulse.