Arcade Comedy Theater

January 29 – 31
8 p.m. & 10 p.m.

A first-of-its kind festival is shining a spotlight on a burgeoning aspect of Pittsburgh’s vibrant comedy scene. Spanning three nights, six shows and eight troupes, the inaugural Sketchville Festival will showcase original, scripted comedy and dozens of new sketches.

The brainchild of Downtown-based Arcade Comedy Theater, the unique event provides a new and much-needed platform for a different skill and art form than the improv acts that typically dominate the company’s program calendar. Featured will be some of the region’s most prolific sketch comedy troupes, along with new and emerging groups—all presenting their latest and favorite material.

Sketchville kicks off with a headlining performance by Super Uber Mega Ultra—a troupe featuring recent graduates from Arcade Comedy’s first Sketch Writing Class taught by Larry Phillis of Hustlebot—entertaining audiences with its twist on “real life and its parallel universes.”

Also on Thursday is Secondhand Sketch, featuring a mix of live comedy, videos, musical numbers and monologues exploring a variety of cultural, media and societal topics. The third act on opening night is The Big Deal, an emerging troupe that creates “live and filmed comedic scenes ranging from dark to silly to adorable to topical, each underscored by the trademark sexual tension that exists between its cast members.”

Those seeking the late-night comedy experience won’t want to miss weekend shows by the all-female troupe Frankly Scarlett, featuring Abby Fudor, Robin Hitchcock and Liz Labacz, along with Arcade Comedy’s first in-house sketch writers collective, The Cut Scenes, who will showcase work penned by Matt Bower, Matthew Hartman, Greg Gillotti, Mike Rubino and Ben Mayer.

Additional weekend performers include multimedia conglomerate Spinster Comedy, Cleveland-based troupe Friends with Cats and the brand new two-man sketch comedy team, Justin & Jerome Experience.

Michael Rubino, creative director with Arcade Comedy Theater, says that Sketchville will occur annually, and possibly two or three times a year. Shows are appropriate for ages 16 and up.

Cost: $10 per show or a festival pass for $30. View a complete schedule and purchase tickets.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...