History

2021

The 2021 edition of the Countdown Improv Festival took place from October 20-23. It was initially scheduled for September 8-11, but the rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in summer 2021 forced a postponement. The 2021 festival was a hybrid live/online festival, with the first night featuring teams performing virtually and the next three nights all taking place live and in person. It featured 50 improv groups from across the United States, performing across 2 different stages, as well as 12 improv workshops (7 taught in person, 5 taught online). Festival sponsors included the Hillsborough County Cultural Assets Program, Brass Taxes, Lilith Elektra Coaching, Magnanimous Brewing, The MAR St. Pete, the North Fork TV Festival, and Stranded Creative Ltd. Co. Participants included:

Ant Farm (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Big Bang (Boston, Mass.)
Bryan vs. Music (Portland, Ore.)
CatBird (Boynton Beach, Fla.)
CatBomb (Long Grove, Ill.)

Cheeze&Crackerz (Sarasota, Fla.)
Cuzzins (Miami, Fla.)
Daddy’s Little Nest Egg (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Four First Names (Orlando, Fla.)
From the Heart with Jill and Jackie (Oakland/Marin, Calif.)

From Justin to Kelly (New York, N.Y.)
FST Improv (Sarasota, Fla.)
Gritty Hamburglar (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
The Haiku Lady (Tampa, Fla.)
Harmonica John (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Honk & Wave (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Hot Mess! The Musical (Chicago, Ill./Kansas City, Mo.)
I Am the Show (Chicago, Ill.)
I’m With Her (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Impromptu (Sarasota, Fla.)

Improvised Phone Calls w/ Steve Horton (Chicago, Ill.)
Inimitable Aluminum Anemones (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Interpretive Word (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
It’s All About Amy (St. Augustine, Fla.)
Kevin Is Subjected to a Series of Minor Annoyances While Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Plays in the Background (Feat. COVEN) (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Leaves of Three (San Francisco Bay/Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Magnificent 7 (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Matt Walker Just Got Some Bad News (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Meta?Nigma (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
The Kevin Michalski Improv Trio (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

NC-17: Nick and Conor (Houston, Texas)
Casey J. Newman (The Villages, Fla.)
Okay Google (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Ophelia’s Rope (Houston, Texas)
Playtime with Patrick and Preston (Chicago, Ill.)

The Project (Austin, Texas)
¡Punctuation.Marks! (Miami, Fla.)
Rat Kween (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Right-Hand and Man (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Screaming Armadillo Comedy (Boca Raton, Fla.)

Sharon & Darren (Washington, D.C.)
Solovela (Plantation, Fla.)
Sweaty Dee (Seattle, Wash.)
The Third Thought (Tampa, Fla./Boulder, Colo.)
Together/By Myself: A Solo Improv Experience (Coconut Creek, Fla.)

A Tribute to Grease (Various)
Unconsciously Coupled (Sarasota, Fla.)
Wisconsin Laugh Trip (Richmond, Va.)
The wUw Show (Omaha, Neb.)
Yes, And, You: A Journey into Improv-eing Your Life with Buddy Lee Schoenbrunn-Gnadenhutten (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

2020

The 2020 edition of the Countdown Improv Festival took place from August 12-16. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held entirely online. All shows streamed live and free of charge to Twitch and Facebook. The festival featured 50 improv groups from all across the United States, as well as 7 separate improv workshops. Festival sponsors included Battery Park Financial Partners at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Brass Taxes, The Improv Network, JuneShine Hard Kombucha, and the Palm Beach Improv Festival. Participants included:

The B-Team (Miami, Fla.)
Beautiful Dreamers (New York, N.Y.)
Big Bang (Boston, Mass.)
Bryan vs. Music (Portland, Ore.)
CatBird (Delray Beach, Fla.)

Chicken & Waffles (Tampa, Fla.)
Coven (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Crossed Wires (Madison, Wis.)
Cuzzins (Miami, Fla.)
C.Y.A. (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Da’Boyz (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Daddy’s Little Nest Egg (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Dirty Blondes (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Don’t Let Matt Improvise (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
El Improviachi (Chicago, Ill.)

From Justin to Kelly (New York, N.Y.)
Four First Names (Orlando, Fla.)
Gene Pool Party Improv (Bonita Springs, Fla.)
HaegandButts (New Orleans, La.)
HBCUnity (Miami, Fla.)

Hot Mess! The Musical (Chicago/Kansas City/Nashville)
The HR Department (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
I Am the Show (Chicago, Ill.)
I Win Improv (Bethesda, Md.)
Impromptu (Sarasota, Fla.)

Internet Friends (Orlando, Fla./Miami, Fla.)
It’s All About Amy (St. Augustine, Fla.)
JewMama (Gainesville, Fla.)
Katie & Chris (Denver, Colo.)
Let’s Get Real (Orlando, Fla.)

Liss n’ Sams (San Francisco, Calif.)
The Magnificent 7 (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Meta?Nigma (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Mixed Emojis (Clearwater, Fla.)
Musical Swords Improv (Bonita Springs, Fla.)

Okay Google (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
One Show/Two Guys (Tampa, Fla.)
Playtime with Patrick and Preston (Chicago, Ill.)
The Project (Austin, Texas)
¡Punctuation.Marks! (Miami, Fla.)

Ralphie & Tuh (Orlando, Fla.)
Sharon & Karen (Washington, D.C.)
Snooze Button (Kansas City, Mo.)
Sweaty Dee (Seattle, Wash.)
The Third Thought (Tampa, Fla./Boulder, Colo.)

Together/By Myself: A Solo Improv Experience (Coconut Creek, Fla.)
tum tum (Chicago, Ill.)
understated (Miami, Fla./West Palm Beach, Fla.)
We, Robot (Chicago, Ill.)
Wisconsin Laugh Trip (Richmond, Va.)

2019

The 2019 edition of the Countdown Improv Festival took place from August 15-17 at the HCC Ybor Performing Arts Building in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. The festival featured 45 improv groups from all over the United States, performing across two stages to sold-out crowds. It also featured five improv workshops and three stellar after-parties. Festival sponsors included Brass Taxes, The Bricks, Camp Improv Utopia, the Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa/Ybor City/Downtown, King Corona Cigars, the Northfork TV Festival, and Stranded Design. Participants included:

Ant Farm (Delray Beach, Fla.)
As Yet Unnamed (Miami, Fla.)
The B-Team (Miami, Fla.)
Before Ghosts (Orlando, Fla.)
Big Bang (Boston, Mass. / Sarasota, Fla.)

The Bitter And (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Bryan vs. Music (Portland, Ore.)
CatBird (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Chicken & Waffles 2.0 (Tampa, Fla.)
Crab Leg Cheesecake (Tampa, Fla.)

Crossed Wires (Madison, Wis.)
Cuzzins (Miami, Fla.)
Da’Boyz (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Daddy’s Little Nest Egg (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Feminunchucks (Delray Beach, Fla.)

Four First Names (Orlando, Fla.)
Free Tacos (Delray Beach, Fla.)
From Justin to Kelly (New York, N.Y.)
FST Improv (Sarasota, Fla.)
Get Out of My Head! (Winter Park, Fla.)

Helmet Thieves (Austin, Texas / Amsterdam)
Interpretive Word (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
It’s All About Amy (St. Augustine, Fla.)
JewMama (Gainesville, Fla.)
Katie & Chris (Denver, Colo.)

Lamp Money (Madison, Wis.)
The Magnificent 7 (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Meta?Nigma (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Mixed Emojis (Clearwater, Fla.)
Musical Swords Improv (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Okay Google (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
One Show/Two Guys (Tampa, Fla.)
Playtime with Patrick and Preston (Chicago, Ill.)
Power of Godt (Tampa, Fla.)
¡Punctuation.Marks! (Miami, Fla.)

Robbery (Jupiter, Fla.)
Scharf&Waldon (Orlando, Fla.)
Storytime with Grandpa (Winter Garden, Fla.)
Ten Trick Ponies (Des Moines, Iowa / Minneapolis, Minn.)
Tobin Tales (New York, N.Y.)

Tone Tata Improv Music Comedy Show (West Palm Beach)
Tower of Bone (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
The Third Thought (Tampa, Fla.)
understated (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Wisconsin Laugh Trip (Richmond, Va.)

Improv workshops were taught on Friday, August 16 by Will Luera and L.E. Zarling, and on Saturday, August 18 by Lauren Morris & Alex Streu, Kevin Miller, and Kiki Hohnen.

2018

The 2018 edition of the Countdown Improv Festival took place from August 16-18 at the HCC Studio Theatre in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. The festival featured 39 improv groups from all over the United States, performing to sold-out crowds. It also featured five improv workshops and three stellar after-parties. Festival sponsors included Brass Taxes, The Bricks, the film The Happytime Murders, King Corona Cigars, the Northfork TV Festival, Stranded Design, and the Ybor Chamber of Commerce. Participants included:

Ant Farm (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Before & After (Tampa, Fla.)
The Belt (Miami, Fla.)
Big Bang (Boston, Mass./Sarasota, Fla.)
The Bitter And (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

CatBird (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Chicken and Waffles (Tampa, Fla.)
Da Boyz (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Derivatives of K (Madison, Wis.)
Elemenopee (Winter Park, Fla.)

Escape Artisans (Tampa, Fla.)
Exes (Baltimore, Md.)
The Farce and the Furious (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Feminunchucks (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Free Tacos (Delray Beach, Fla.)

From Justin to Kelly (New York, N.Y.)
FST Improv (Sarasota, Fla.)
Glassworks (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Goodison (Washington, D.C.)
The Grownups (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Half-Baked Boomer (Largo, Fla.)
Hot Pursuit (Baltimore, Md.)
I Am the Show (Chicago, Ill.)
Improv4Lawyers (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
It’s All About Amy (St. Augustine, Fla.)

Merit Badge (Chicago, Ill.)
Mixed Emojis (Clearwater, Fla.)
Okay Google (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
One Show/Two Guys (Tampa, Fla.)
Ophelia’s Rope (Houston, Texas)

Organic Kittens (Miami, Fla.)
Power of Godt (Tampa, Fla.)
Screwballs (Tampa, Fla.)
Snooze Button (Kansas City, Mo.)
Tobin Tales (New York, N.Y.)

Tom & Jamie (Miami, Fla.)
Understated (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Ricky Wayne (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Wisconsin Laugh Trip (Richmond, Va.)

Improv workshops were taught on Friday, August 17 by Ricky Wayne and Kathleen Kenny, and on Saturday, August 18 by Laurel Posakony, Christopher George, and John Windmueller.

2017

The inaugural edition of the Countdown Improv Festival — then known as the 321 Improv Festival — took place from August 17-19, 2017, at the HCC Studio Theatre in Ybor City. The festival featured 22 improv groups from all over the United States, performing to sold-out crowds. Teams included:

  • &Anthony (Delray Beach, Fla.)
  • Almost Funny (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Blue Arc (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Cary Farrow IV (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Christopher Walkens Adventure Through Time (Miami, Fla.)
  • The Farce and the Furious (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • FST Improv (Sarasota, Fla.)
  • From Justin to Kelly (New York, N.Y.)
  • Goodison (Madison, Wis./Washington, D.C.)
  • It’s All About Amy (St. Augustine, Fla.)
  • Just Friends (Dallas, Texas)
  • LimboLand (New York, N.Y.)
  • Lo-Key Bush (Orlando, Fla.)
  • Meta-nigma (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Richard Regan Paul (Orlando, Fla.) ​
  • Power of Godt (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Reckless Fireweavers (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Ripley (Orlando, Fla.)
  • Risky Biscuits (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Rough Draft (Richmond, Va.)
  • Screwballs (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Side Pickle (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Tom & Jamie (Miami, Fla.)
  • Underhanded Improv (Chicago, Ill.)

The festival also featured five improv workshops and three stellar after-parties. It was co-produced by Improv Utopia and sponsored by The Bricks, Coppertail Brewing Co., and Stranded Design.