Henry Heymann Theatre

August 21 – 23
Various times

The local comedy scene is ready to step into the limelight.

Celebrating all things improvisational and stand-up, the inaugural Pittsburgh Comedy Festival is setting up shop at the Henry Heymann Theatre, which is located in the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland, from August 21st through August 23rd.

Featuring stand-up and improv comedy acts from throughout Pittsburgh and the country, the first-of-its-kind festival will include feature performances, open mic opportunities, panel discussions, workshops, social happenings and interactive programming for children and families. Expected to become an annual Pittsburgh event, the festival features more than 40 comedians and ensembles hailing from all around the region and country, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Austin, Durham, Detroit, Portland and Rochester.

On August 21st, don’t miss a headlining performance by acclaimed stand-up comedian and actor Judah Friedlander, best known for playing Frank Rossitano on NBC’s hit television series 30 Rock. Based in New York City, Friedlander—whose mother is a Pittsburgh native—is also known for his role as Toby Radloff in the film American Splendor, a role that garnered him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards. Thursday’s programming also includes a happy hour kick-off event and a local showcase.

Additional headlining acts include improv duo Cackowski and Talarico on August 23rd, comedy writers and members of the Los Angeles-based improv troupe, Dasariski. Rich Talarico has written for Key and Peele, MadTV and Saturday Night Live, while Liz Cackowski is known for her recurring roles on Community and Drunk History, as well as for her appearances on hit shows such as Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Also performing on August 23rd will be the festival’s local headliner, Tim Dimond. A Pittsburgh native who is now based in NYC, Dimond has written for Vh1 and Fox News, has also been featured in Time Out New York magazine and is a regular guest on the popular podcast, Keith and the Girl. Among the region’s leading contemporary comedians, Dimond appears regularly on the NYC comedy circuit and on the road at clubs and colleges, sharing his signature blend of highbrow and lowbrow humor and cleverly crafted, tightly worded jokes.

Fostering the craft of comedy, the unique festival will provide audiences with a rare glimpse of the creative practice of comedians and writers. The three-day festival aims to showcase Pittsburgh’s thriving and vibrant comedy scene alongside nationally and internationally known figures working in the genre, share the artistry of improv and stand-up with the general public and connect local working artists with community partners and diverse audiences. Run by executive director Brian Gray, the festival is working actively to establish Pittsburgh as a leading destination for comedy.

View a complete list of performers and a festival schedule.

Purchase tickets and passes.

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...