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Announcing the Inaugural NORTH COAST COMEDY FESTIVAL Oct 5-10



OCTOBER 5-10, 2021 // NEW YORK, NY

Monday, Aug 16, 2021- NEW YORK, NY - North Coast, New York’s premiere hip hop improv group since its start in 2009, is excited to announce the inaugural North Coast Comedy Festival, October 5-10, 2021 in New York City. Bringing together a diverse and eclectic group of performers from around the globe to celebrate and support the comedy industry that has suffered so much this past year, the festival will book 6 days of back-to-back improv, stand-up and sketch performances, with an emphasis on musical comedy. All scheduled shows and festival events will be hosted at Asylum NYC in Chelsea. The schedule and confirmed acts are detailed in the schedule below. Additional performers and line-up will be announced soon, with 3 shows per night, 18 shows total over the course of the 6-day festival.

Curated by Victoria Gagliano, RJ Williams, and Douglas Widick with a combined 20 years of experience on the New York and London theatre scenes, the North Coast Comedy Festival aims to highlight and support some of the most exciting and impactful comedy teams in the business, while also giving back to the audiences of New York City and beyond whom they love so much. The motivations behind launching North Coast’s own improv festival, said Douglas Widick, had to do with memories of performing on the road: “we’ve been to all night beach parties in Sarasota, performed in a giant church in Amsterdam, and ate shark meat with improvisers in Iceland. We’ve been handed an amazing set of experiences by other festivals, and it was time to take all that we learned and give back to the community that’s given us so much.”

Victoria Gagliano who has been producing theatre in festivals abroad for the last 5 years, including the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland, said, “I hope to use my experience and passion to recreate the exciting, diverse and eclectic style of these world-renowned festivals here in my hometown of NYC.”

North Coast Comedy Festival will be partnering with its venue, Asylum NYC (aka Improv Asylum) who have recently taken over the old UCB Chelsea Space on Manhattan’s west side. In addition to the shows and performances, the Festival will include specially curated networking events, panel discussions, workshops, and after-show drink events for the artists and attendees according to ticketing.

Tickets will be $20 individually, $10 to livestream, and there will also be festival packages for purchase including full-festival passes and VIP events. More information on festival ticketing and line-up to be announced soon.

First Line-Up Announcements*: Tickets Here

There will be 3 shows per date, for a total of 18 shows over the course of the 6-day festival

Tues 10/5- 8:30pm: Anybody! An Improvised historical hip hopera in the style of Hamilton

Wed 10/6- 8:30pm: I Love NY Improv: Featuring Squirrel and Magnet Theaters

Fri 10/8- 9:00pm: Astronomy Club

Sat 10/9- 7:30pm: AzN PoP!

Sun 10/10- 7:00pm: Astronomy Club

*Additional line-up to be announced soon

About the Founder/Curators of North Coast Comedy Festival: RJ Williams RJ was born and raised in Dallas, TX. He majored in Broadcast Communication at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he found his passion for comedy. He moved to NYC in 2015 to study improv, and trained at The Peoples Improv Theater. After playing on house teams, he performed at The Tank Theater’s Armory Improv Collective. He soon joined North Coast and began performing across the US and Europe. Specializing in long-form and hip hop improv, RJ is always looking for an opportunity to bring smiles to audiences' faces. He also loves professional wrestling, video games, and taking 7 mile walks every other day. Douglas Widick is a founding member of internationally touring hip-hop improv group North Coast, which was named one of Timeout NY’s Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2014 and tours internationally. He is currently in the cast of Toxic Masculinity: The Musical, and has performed in Sketch Shows Amazing Earth, The 2017 Tony Awards, and The Dead Dads Club as well. Doug teaches an 8-week Hip-Hop Improv class, and was recently seen in the Off-Broadway musicals, “F#%king Up Everything”, “Blank! The Musical”, and "Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera." He is the founder of, and you can watch his many comedy videos at Victoria Gagliano - A Brooklyn girl since 1987, Tori has been dedicated to live theatre since the age of 16. From building stages at Lincoln Center to Company Managing at Barrow Street Theatre, she's had the pleasure of working with such comedy legends as TJ & Dave, Daniel Kitson, and Colin Quinn to name a few. In 2016 Tori hopped the pond to produce theatre and comedy in the UK, including the Edinburgh Fringe and VAULT festivals annually. In London she solidified her love of satire while producing NewsRevue, the world's longest-running live comedy show. In addition to working alongside the brilliant North Coast, she's also spent the past 2 years event-managing the immersive theatrical powerhouses Punchdrunk and Secret Cinema. Dividing her time between continents, Tori proudly supports artists in whichever country she finds them!


For Interview Requests, High-res Images, and All Other PR Inquiries:

Kathryn Musilek // Shark Party Media // // 347-712-2024

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