The 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group
The 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group is a longform improv group at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 2004 by 6 friends in Stradley Hall as a short form group, 8th Floor has grown to be one of the most established college improv groups in the country, with alums in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. They were named in Splitsider's 12 Colleges with Great Improv Groups list in 2012.
They host the annual Bellwether Improv Festival, which features professional and collegiate long-form improv troupes from across the country.
8th Floor was founded in 2004 as a short form improv comedy group.
In 2007, the group decided to focus primarily on longform, inspired by their exposure to groups from iO in Chicago and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York.
In 2007, 8th Floor hosted its very first ImprovFest, a day long mini-festival featuring short form college improv groups from around Ohio. Billed as an improv competition, ImprovFest featured a panel of judges featuring improvisers, comedy savvy theatre staff, and other such folks. It sort of worked but was super weird, obviously. ImprovFest lasted three iterations before evolving into Tthe Bellwether Improv Festival.
ImprovFest I: April 21, 2007. Featured: 8th Floor Improv (Ohio State), ImprovMent (Case Western Reserve University), On the Fly (University of Dayton), Pocket Lint (Wittenberg University). 8th Floor and ImprovMent tied.
ImprovFest II: April 4, 2008. Featured: 8th Floor Improv (Ohio State), ImprovMent (Case Western Reserve University), On the Fly (University of Dayton), Pocket Lint (Wittenberg University), Burpee's Seedy Theatrical Company (Denison University). ImprovMent won.
ImprovFest III: 2009. This was the first year that there was no competition aspect. The festival also featured primarily long form improv groups. The show improved as a result. Featured: 8th Floor Improv (Ohio State), ImprovMent (Case Western Reserve University), Bad Genetics (Bowling Green State University).
Bellwether Improv Festival
Inspired by the scope and quality of such festivals as FRACAS and The Del Close Marathon, 8th Floor created The Bellwether Improv Festival, which brings together teams from colleges across the country and professional groups from some of the major improv theaters in New York and Chicago. It's great.
See also: List of 8th Floor Improv Teams
Current: Alex Barnes, Jake Fernberg, Cory Frame, Zach Haldeman, Joe Horan, Mitra Jouhari, Dan King, Alex Moore, Lisa Navarro, John Ross, Mackenzie Taylor, Jordan Tolford, Kyle Tolliver, Chelsea Weaver, Ben Zambito
Alumni: Kevin Bauer, Brittany Belland, Kyle Bethea, Samantha Bowling, Johnny Cook, Caitlin Crowley, Casey Dekker, Xavier Dunson, Rainey Fleming, Eddie Greenblat, Mark Hale Jr., Ben Hollinger, Cody Johnston, Martin Kellogg, Pat Landers, Chris Lochinski, Moran Lowe Jr., Justin Nawman, Aaron Nemo, Brady O'Callahan, David Olszewski, Sebastien Pensis, David Rafailedes, Sara Rapaport, Jess Scherer, Tyler Schmall, Nate Sherman, Lindsey Smith, Matthew Starr, Ian Stroud, Drew Tarvin, Yvonne Townsend, Damon Trammell, Nate Varrone, Jess Wagoner, Joel Weidl, Dan White, Peter White
Denotes Honorary Alum