Secret City Improv needs a little help from friends

Jay FitzAnderson, Our Town Arts

The Secret City Improv Festival is seeking additional fundraising through the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The Secret City Improv Festival will be featuring 18 professional improv troupes from across America and five area high schools at Oak Ridge’s Historic Grove Theater.


An innovative program for high-school students to hone their creativity, leadership potential and problem-solving skills in a fun, funny, dynamic and supportive manner will debut at the second annual festival on Oct. 1. The program, called the Slayden Intensives, will be led by professional improv instructors. High-school students will have one day to prepare and perform their own comedy improv show in front of a live audience at the festival. The intensives are being offered to the participating schools at no cost.

This program is a first of its kind and is unique to the Secret City Improv Festival. The students’ performances will be held on Oct. 1 during the 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows. Both shows will be suitable for all ages.

“Fundraising has not been as strong as it was last year,” said Festival Director Aaron Campbell. “We are closing in on the end of this festival period, and we are behind on fundraising goals, putting the Slayden Intensives at risk. Partnering with Kickstarter to bring attention to our mission is vital to keeping the Slayden Intensives free for the participating schools.”

The festival has made it easy to contribute and is offering perks for all contribution levels from being featured as a contributor on their website to free passes and workshops for contributions at different levels. The campaign on Kickstarter is all or nothing. This project will be funded only if it reaches its goal by Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 11:59 p.m. To reach the Kickstarter page go here. Local companies interested in sponsoring the Slayden Intensives or the Secret City Improv Festival can go here.

The Secret City Improv Festival is a production of Southern Fried Events. The festival is East Tennessee’s only improv festival and aims to bring together a diverse cross-section of improv styles and troupes from all over the country. The festival will play host to multiple shows and workshops over two days at the Historic Grove Theatre in Oak Ridge. For more info go here or call 423-912-7171.

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