The Denver Improv Festival is here thanks to the Group Mind Foundation.
I don’t consider myself a DIF / GMF historian, but I’ve been around long enough to provide a little bit of history. The GMF and the DIF were created in 2005. If memory serves it was Chris Gallegos who came up with the idea to start a festival in Denver. I hope I don’t leave anyone out but the first festival in 2005 was due to the hard work of Cindy Laudadio-Hill, Pam Farone, Linda Klein, Chris Gallegos, Meredith Winfield, Barbara Gehring, Paul Backer, Sam Gordon, and Kerstin Caldwell. Many of those same people along with Jon Jon Lannen and Jean Schuman continued working on bringing Denver Improv festivals to the Mile High city until 2008.
There was a three year hiatus and the GMF / DIF reorganized in 2010 to put on the 2011 Denver Improv Festival. Many of those same board members (Natalie Kilkenny, Cheryl Pack, David Schultz, Matt Fogel, Kathleen Boland, James Clark, and Jon Jon Lannen) are back to bring you the 2012 DIF.
The DIF has brought in some amazing talent over the years from all over the country, including Bassprov, TJ Jagadowski, Pete Grosz, Switchboard, Jimmy Carrane, Johnny Lunchpail, Dave Razowsky, Carrie Clifford, Jill Bernard, Dina Facklis, Emily Wilson, Craig Cackowski, and Bob Dassie. The GMF / DIF has also hosted a plethora of funny and amazing local troupes from the Denver area. They have also hosted improv shows for high school students, provided improv scholarships, and sponsored local groups at festivals across the country.
It’s alot of hard work to put on a festival, and the board members give up their own time to make it happen and promote improv in Denver. The GMF / DIF do it because they love improv. I hope you will support this year’s DIF, and if you see one of the board members at any of the shows make sure you tell them “thanks”. They deserve it.