When: Feb. 14-18 2018
Improv comedy is typically based on audience suggestions, but the founders of Bexar Stage already had a plan in mind. “We’ve always had a dream of opening an improv theater,” said Tina Jackson, executive producer, artistic director and co-founder of Bexar Stage, “and we both lived in Chicago where there’s a ton of improv — it’s sort of like the Broadway of improv.” Seeking a new territory for improv after training internationally and coaching for nearly 10 years, Jackson and her business partner, Dan Grimm, ended up in Grimm’s hometown, San Antonio. Bexar Stage opened in May 2017, with improv classes and shows three nights a week featuring stand-up, sketch and improv. This year, Bexar Stage will host Jackson and Grimm’s Big-Little Comedy Fest, which began in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2010 before moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Jackson said she’s excited to use the festival to bring established improv acts, such as Austin-based headliners Parallelogramophonograph (aka PGraph), to her students in San Antonio. The Big-Little Comedy Fest lineup, Jackson said, includes “about a third” locals who regularly perform at Bexar Stage or ComedySportz. San Antonio teams include Grumpy Old Men and the all-female Missed Opportunity. The fest will also include shorter, game-focused improv teams, and family-friendly shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, including a musical improv team.