ExAb Fest ’22 took place on Sunday, April 3 at fallout Theater in downtown Austin, Texas. For details about ExAb Fest ’23, check out the festival website.
Our 7th festival, this year featured 20 shows that ran back to back, marathon style, over the course of the day. A dedicated team of teen volunteers ran the entire thing. It was fantastic.
Hooray for hilarious shows and fantastic audiences and beautiful volunteers and generous venues and more!
As always, the festival included:
- The best adult comedy acts in Austin
- Youth comedy acts from Austin and beyond
- OffSpring Acts featuring veteran improvisers performing with their children, grandchildren or parents.
Due to a residual fear that pandemic woes might re-emerge, we chose to keep the festival to a single day and did not offer the usual workshops and social events. We lucked out and were able to hold our smaller fest with not a single hiccup! (But we are bringing back workshops and social events for sure next year. So mark your calendars!)
Fallout Theater generously provided us with a venue for the festival and we happily took over early Sunday morning. The day began at 11 am with Toast and a Jam, our early morning Improv Jam that includes all you can eat toast and tiny juice boxes.
The noon block included ExAb Tourco who killed with their fast paced, hilarious short form set. HennEvelyn Residence performed a two person mono-scene followed by a riotous montage by CamCamCam. The undisputed hit of the noon block however, was Bubbly Gum. A two person act featuring the grandmother/grandson duo, Elliott and Sandra. Their 10 minute OffSpring set was slow paced, smart comedy that pulled the audience in and left them wiping away the tears from laughing so hard.
Y’all we Asian, one of Austin’s most beloved improv troupes, performed a fast paced, riotous 20 minute set that had us rolling in the aisles and the return of S’Nailed It, “Austin’s longest running youth troupe” was both hilarious and, frankly, kind of emotional. We’ve known those guys for a long, long time…
Prayer Circle was a show we all looked forward to and they did not disappoint. Sure, they’re an adult troupe, but their comedic sensibility is pure teen snark. OffSpring troupe SweetLamb Inc. may have the distinction of bringing the phrase “Truth in comedy” to life by giving the 5 and 7 year old children of veteran improvisers Jeremy and Caitlin Sweetlamb a chance to test their parent’s commitment to “yes, and.” There were definitely multiple booger references.
Stool Pigeon graciously invited multiple youth improvisers to sit in on their set and the result was a mammoth of a freewheeling, joyful show. OffSpring show TauriTowne features ColdTowne co-owner Tauri Laws Phillips and her hilarious son and daughter – Tauri is obviously hilarious, but those kids! Dang. Comedy gold.
As always, we end the festival with a set from Girls Girls Girls, a musical improv troupe who might just be at the heart of Austin Improv. Once again, their show was a crowning moment of perfectly executed hilarity and fun and we are so grateful that they take part in the festival.
Every troupe that played was awesome and we apologize for not having notes on all of them! We are so grateful to everyone who supported the festival whether it was as a performer, VOLUNTEER, an audience member or just a patient parent, dropping a kid off at the theater.
You guys make this happen and it is an extraordinary thing. Thank you! See you in 2023!