Face Off Unlimited

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Face Off Unlimited is an improvisational comedy production company based in New York City that offers improv classes.

Face Off Shows

Face Off Unlimited presents BATSU! © - America's batsu-game improv show, running weekly in NYC's East Village. Since 2010.
Face Off Unlimited presents Friday Night Face Off © - The original Face Off show, short form competitive improv, running weekly on Long Island, NY. Since 2003.
Face Off Unlimited presents Queens Improv Jamboree © - A celebration of "Improvised Artwork Showcased In A Production Frame" © - 2nd annual event (formerly known as the Queens Fringe Festival)
Face Off Unlimited presents The Face Off Jam © - Performances by the Intro to Face Off class, Face Off Improv classes, and Face Off cast members. Monthly, in Queens, NY. Since 2010
Face Off Unlimited presents A Whole 'Nother Level © - Long form with live music, poetry, physical comedy, and elements of short form. Performing at colleges and festivals around the country. Since 2010.
Face Off Unlimited presents Improvius Maximus © - Long form teams compete in Roman arena with Caesar, his beautiful slaves, and a Roman soldier, running weekly in LIC, Queens, Opens April 14th, 2012.
Face Off Unlimited presents Goon River © - Mysterious residents of an all American city tell their story in complete darkness. Opens for preview May 12th, 2012


Jay Painter - Co-Founder, Partner, Creative Director
Eric Robinson - Co-Founder, Partner, CFO
Joe Tex - Partner, Director of Operations
Vinny Russo - Creative Director and original cast member of Friday Night Face Off
Matt Samardge - Technical Director, BATSU!
Martin Lorea - Receptionist


The company originated in early 2003 as Friday Night Face Off, a weekly improvised comedy show in Port Jefferson, New York featuring two teams of comedic improvisers engaged in a mock competition in the style of TheatreSports. Friday Night Face Off (often abbreviated as FNFO) has since become one of the longest continuously running improv comedy shows in New York. In 2009, the founders of Friday Night Face Off (Jay Painter and Eric Robinson) formed Face Off Unlimited, A Limited Liability Company, which produces various comedy stage shows as well as offering classes and workshops that utilize techniques of improvisation and creative ensemble. Soon after they brought on Joe Tex, a former Creative Director of FNFO (2003-2007) as Director of Operations.

In 2010 Face Off Unlimited opened Face Off University at The Secret Theatre in Long Island city, New York. Students include Emmy Award Winner TJ Moss of the band The Yes Team and Chelsey Keding of the Off-Broadway hit Voca People, which enjoyed a run at The Westside Theatre in 2011 and currently is running at New World Stages, and dozens of other professional working actors, singers, and dancers.

On January 10, 2011, Face Off debuted their live Japanese game-show comedy in New York City's East Village called Face Off Unlimited presents BATSU! Translated from the Japanese word for "penalty game", BATSU! has been hailed by critics as one of the "Best Things To Do In NYC" by CBS New York and was made a Time Out New York 2011 Critics' Pick and a 2011 Village Voice, Voice Choice. BATSU! was also hailed as "one of the most entertaining Monday nights in NYC" by Backstage Magazine.

Face Off Unlimited co-produced the 2011 Queens Fringe Festival in partnership with the Long Island city Arts Open, featuring the All Day Improv Festival. The All Day Improv Festival featured UCB Theatre house team [Standard Oil], iMusical: The reunion Show!, and International Stinger, a comedy team from Chicago founded at the Playground Theatre. The 2nd annual event will be held on May 19th, 2012 at the Secret Theatre in LIC, Queens. The Queens Improv Jamboree will bring legendary musical improv director and accompanist Travis Ploeger (iMusical, I Eat Panda).

In 2012 Face Off is adding two new weekly shows,Improvius Maximus and Goon River.

Current Cast

BATSU! - Joe Tex, Jay Painter, Eric Robinson, Alexander L Hill, Noriko Sato, Brian Walters, Whit Baldwin, Steve Grande, Matt Samardge, Nick Sotack
FNFO - Vinny Russo (creative Director), Charlie Connolly, Steve Zegers, Michael Puma, Greg Ceremello, Heather Shields, Keith Miller
Improvius Maximus - Matt Samardge, Whit Baldwin
A Whole 'Nother Level - Joe Tex, Jay Painter, Eric Robinson


Christopher Hahn, Democratic FOX News contributor on the FOX News Channel, Luis Jimenez, comedic actor and star of the 2012 film Taco Truck and comedy short The Immigrant with the Kids In The Hall, and Emmy Award Winning singer/songwriter TJ Moss of the TJ Moss Band and The Yes Team.