"Downright Hilarious ... Staggeringly Brilliant" — Time Out

"One of the most reliably funny and clever improv troupes in the country" — The New York Times

"Each unique show is a masterpiece on its own" — LA Weekly

Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written), The Improvised Shakespeare Company® creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your very eyes! Each of the players has brushed up on his “thee’s” and “thou’s” to bring you an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. Nothing has been planned out, rehearsed or written. All of the dialogue is said for the first time, the characters are created as you watch and if every you're wondering where the story is going ... so are they! The night could reveal a tragedy, comedy or history. Each play is completely improvised, so each play is entirely new!

The Improvised Shakespeare Company® is one of the funniest and most critically-acclaimed improv troupes in the world. It has been performing its unique show to sold-out audiences in Chicago since 2005. The ISC also continues to entertain audiences across the US with its national touring company. They have been featured at the Piccolo Spoleto Fringe Festival, Off Broadway in New York City, Bonnaroo, the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, Outside Lands, San Francisco Sketchfest, UCB’s Del Close Marathon, the prestigious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and Chicago, and they perform regularly at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles. The ISC has been named Chicago’s best improv group by both the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Examiner and has received numerous awards in LA (Best of LA-LA Weekly), New York (New York Nightlife Awards) and Chicago (The Chicago Improv Foundation).

Check out what people say on Twitter!

"Take the hype you hear about @ImprovShakesCo & multiply it by a billion trillion gajillion"

"Laughed so hard last night, my cheeks were legitimately sore this morning. @ImprovShakesCo was incredible!"

"I had heard tales, but nothing could have prepared me for the @ImprovShakesCo. I'm not sure I have ever laughed harder. Utter perfection."



(Click the names below to expand info.)

Joey Bland

Joey Bland (player) Joey traveled the world with The Second City Touring Company, he played the title role in The Second City's hit, original musical, Rod Blagojevich, Superstar. He recently was featured in the sold out production of The Second City Guide to Opera show with Second City and Lyric Opera House in Chicago. Joey is a two-time Jeopardy champion.


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Ross Bryant

Ross Bryant (player) Ross most recently was added to the cast of Nick Cannon’s WildN’Out. Prior to that, Ross was seen on the Mainstage at Second City in their critically acclaimed revue, Let Them Eat Chaos. The Chigago Tribune called him, “the decidedly thrilling newcomer.” He also toured internationally as a member of Second City’s TourCo. In addition to the Improvised Shakespeare Company, Ross performs with Baby Wants Candy, ComedySportz and Bullet Lounge. Time Out Chicago named him one of the ten "things that made us laugh."


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Thomas Middleditch

Thomas Middleditch (player) Thomas is currently starring in Mike Judge’s new series, Silicon Valley on HBO (nominated for an Emmy “Best Actor in a Comedy”). Recent film work: Joshy, The Final Girls, The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorcese, Brass Teapot and Kings of Summer. Other film work includes: Fun Size, The Other Guys, Being Flynn and Splinterheads. Thomas will also voice one of the lead roles in Dreamworks Animation’s, Captain Underpants.


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Steve Waltien

Steve Waltien (player) Steve is currently a staff writer for Jon Stewart’s new venture which will premiere on HBO in the spring. He is also featured in Mike Birbiglia’s critically acclaimed film, Don’t Think Twice. In Chicago, Steve performed and co-wrote 3 revues for The Second City mainstage. He was also a correspondent on the Big Ten Network’s Friday Night Tailgate — a comedic sports themed news show. He also co-created the critically acclaimed two-person sketch review Jordan and Steve are Steve and Jordan, Respectively with Jordan Klepper which played at UCB/NY and at Sketchfest NY.


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Blaine Swen

Blaine Swen (player, director and creator) Blaine has performed in Chicago with Improv Olympic, The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Pegasus Players Theatre and The Second City Touring as well as Education Company. The Chicago Reader has named him the "Best Improviser in Chicago." In 2015, he shot a comedy sketch pilot for NBC. He recently co-created the ISC pilot, What You Will, with Greg Hess. Blaine has a PhD in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago.

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Details & Ordering

Need Help?

If you have any questions, need assistance with your order or require special seating considerations, such as wheelchair accessible seating or hearing assistance, please call Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation.

If you prefer, you can order your tickets and class enrollments by calling Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation, using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can also place your order by fax, by mail, or in person at our Box Office on Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street.

Have a group?

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount. Please note that certain events may not qualify for a group rate. To make group arrangements or need further assistance, you may contact Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation.

Get to the front of the line!

Priority registration puts you at the front of the line to register for courses and events for an upcoming semester.

Eligible patrons will be able to order priority registration online.


Who is eligible for priority registration?

Individuals who have participated in 92nd Street Y programs over the past year in selected program areas, participants in certain memberships, and those who have made contributions of $500 or more to 92Y, are eligible to register for programs before they become available to the general public.

How do I know if I qualify?

Patrons that qualify for Priority Registration will receive packets in the mail explaining how to purchase online. Priority registration is normally mailed 2-3 weeks before a catalog is available. Registration information includes your Patron ID#. You can use this ID# to setup your login information online. This will allow you to register early for a course or event. Please note: if you receive a packet, you are only eligible to priority register for the programs covered in your packet.

Priority Registration Support

To find out if you are eligible for priority registration, don't have your Patron ID#, or having difficulty ordering online, please call 212.415.5500 or email.