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The First 10 Years (2009-2018)


OKC Improv Original Founders (2009)

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OKC Improv rehearsing for Arts Council's "Opening Night" (2012)

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OKC Improv was founded in December, 2009 by co-producers Marcy Fleming, Buck Vrazel, Clint Vrazel, and Eric Webb, who had all four been active in the local improv scene since 2000. Rising stars of the national improv scene, twin brothers Buck and Clint Vrazel had been performing and teaching improv for many years and had performed and taught at theaters and festivals in Chicago, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Austin, Kansas City, Dallas, Detroit, Springfield, Tulsa, and Honolulu.

In the summer of 2010, OKC Improv graduated its first classes of students. Education Directors Buck and Clint Vrazel created challenging and accessible courses designed to give Oklahoma improvisers training on a par with the largest big-city institutions. More subjects and teachers have been added each year as the improv community has grown in skill and scope.

In 2012, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Managing Director Sue Ellen Reiman succeeded Eric Webb as Managing Director. In 2015, Actress, Singer & Improvisor Cristela Carrizales succeeded Clint Vrazel as Artistic Director. By establishing itself as a “hot spot” for top tier improv comedy, audiences continue to discover a wide range of talent and different improv styles and troupes from across the country, all performing right here in OKC. 

Further, through the many classes and support efforts sponsored by OKC Improv, the organization has helped many new improv Troupes and performers make their way onto the stage to perform their own shows.

By providing ongoing publicity, top-tier education programs and frequent performance opportunities, OKC Improv has directly contributed to the growth of the Oklahoma improv scene. Since its establishment, the number of active performance groups in the metro has increased from 5 to more than 50 with the promise of more groups and projects continuing to be developed each month. 

OKC Improv has taught over hundreds of classes and workshops to well over 1000 students, professionals, children, and adults, and it has held dozens of free community jams that provide networking opportunities for area performers in a performance-style atmosphere. 

Since debuting on December 4, 2009, OKC Improv has entertained thousands of people at hundreds of shows with different acts from OKC, Stillwater, Tulsa, Tahlequah, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Kansas City, Springfield (MO), New Orleans, and Seattle.

OKC Improv Performers with audience at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Paseo (2015)

The Plaza District Home


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Kyle Gossett in front of OKC Improv's official Plaza District home (2018) 

After a decade of performances and educational outreach for audiences in various metro locations, OKC Improv started its second year in its renovated theater home at 1757 NW 16th Street in Oklahoma City’s growing Plaza District in November 2018. 

In addition to performing two shows a night every Friday and Saturday, OKC Improv continues its mission of being Oklahoma's premier teaching institution dedicated to the art of improvisational comedy and theater. 

This includes hosting troupes from throughout OKC and the state, as well as, bringing in top regional improv performers like T.J. Mannix and Will Luera. Plus, OKCI held its first “Oklahoma City Improv Festival” earlier this month. 

Further, OKCI continues to expand its community outreach efforts through school supply drives, on-stage performance workshops and family-friendly “Squeaky Clean” shows.


Kendon Lacy: Executive Directo
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Kendon Lacy, OKC Improv Executive Director  (2018-Present)

In October 2019, Kendon Lacy was named OKC Improv’s Executive Director, following Katie Kochelek who had previously served in that position. With childhood passion for theatre and comedy, Lacy continues to lead the organization in a positive direction including bringing on new Artistic Directors Roger Connelly II & Tiffany Gutierrez-Connelly.


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Knaves Out show design  (2020)

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, OKC Improv had to make the tough decision to temporarily close its door to in person shows and classes. Relentless with the mission to serve and entertain, the organization pivoted to online classes via ZOOM video conference calls. For shows, the staff creatively brainstormed and came up with multiple successful live stream formatted shows such as the "At Home Formal" where people could dress up in formal attire and socialize with other via conference calls all setup like a virtual party, "Knaves Out" a week long improvised online murder mystery series, "The Next Top Apocalypse Model," and much more. To aid with finances, The OKC Improv Board filed for multiple grants as well as coordinating a very successful fundraising campaign title #SaveTheLaughs. About a year and half later, in 2021, OKC Improv began opening it's door once again to in person shows. The organizations survival of the pandemic is attributed to the financial support of it's community of performers and patrons, a gracious landlord, multiple grants and the creativity of it's staff.

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OKC Improv's Next Top Apocalypse Model show design  (2020)


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Jaime Moyer workshop (2023)

After re-opening it's door, OKC Improv was able to finalize the process of it's liquor license and in 2022 hired bar manager, Kelsey Rumenapp. Now back on their feet, OKC Improv continues it's mission of entertaining and impacting Oklahoma City and it's surrounding neighbors in an efficacious way. The organization has welcomed an increase in local talent for performances as well as high level out of state talent including Patrick Rowland & Nnamdi Ngwe (writers from the Amber Ruffin show & The Blackening), Jaime Moyer (from Bob's Burgers, Modern Family & Broke Girls) and John Lutz (from NBC's 30 Rock & SNL writer).

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