Crossroads Comedy Theater blends together laughs with learning in new festival

Crossroads comedy Theater study hall
‘Study Hall’

Next week, Crossroads Comedy Theater will be putting together a special multi-day event, inspired by the venue’s popular showcase, ‘Study Hall: Comedy Inspired Lectures.’

Since its inception in 2011, ‘Study Hall’ has become a fan favorite, and also a popular feat among its performers as well, so this new event, titled ‘The Class Clowns Comedy Festival’ takes that general idea and expands “edutainment” into stand-up, storytelling, musical improv, trivia, panel discussions, and more, a release notes.

Crossroads comedy Theater study hall

Taking place April 3 to 6, the fun begins with ‘Book Club: An Interactive Book Loving Experience’ on Wednesday, April 3, from 7 to 8 p.m. With this specific event, locals can read a book  chosen by Courtney and Frank Farrell (or just come by to observe), and participate in an audience discussion—baked goods are also welcomed. Performers will also be on-site to share their own interpretations of this go-arounds book, ‘Bad Mormon’ by Heather Gay (from the ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’.)

Following the first event, ‘Extree Extree: Comedy Inspired by the News‘ will then take place at 8:30 p.m. Local and national headlines inspire this fully improvised show, and through a series of news clips, images, and stories read aloud anchor style, Crossroad’s group of performers will use the news to inspire the scenes created right in front of audiences.

The next night, Thursday, April 4, ‘American History Sex’ will be in full swing from 7 to 8 p.m. The event is an informative, raunchy, and occasionally wholesome comedy show in which comedian Bobby Sheehan combines his three passions: America, history, and sex. Following this event, ‘Laugh of Totality: A Roast of the Solar Eclipse‘ will take place on the same night beginning at 8:30 p.m. In this event, scientists-turned-standup comics will cover the upcoming solar eclipse in cities that are in the path of totality (total eclipse coverage).

Friday, April 5, the festival continues and will include ‘Political SOS: A Scientific Antidote for the End of Times’ from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by ‘Electoral Dysfunction: Politics! Comedy! Yelling!‘ at 8:30 p.m.

With the first event, Philadelphians can partake in a college lecture-type lesson where a professor, scientist, circus performer, and standup comedian delve into why our politics “feel so bad” in this non-partisan show.  Then with the latter, audiences can join host Tom Brennan (from Marvel Entertainment) and token “Never-Trump Republican” Robert George (from Bloomberg Opinion) as they discuss and debate the news of the week with a panel of special guests. As a release notes, their debate will inspire the improv performed by some of Philly’s best and funniest performers as well.

Friday also holds the festival’s ‘Porn Stash’ event. Taking place from 10 to 11 p.m. on April 5, this sex-positive show will feature sex educators sitting down together and watching clips of porn in front of a live audience, followed by a discussion with hosts Betty Smithsonian and Ralph Andracchio.

Saturday, April 6 will feature three events to close out the Comedy Inspired Lectures. Firstly, the Pay What You Want Improv Workshop will take place from 4 to 6 p.m.  As a release notes, this pay-what-you-want workshop will teach you the building blocks of improv in a fun and supportive environment. The skills learned in the classes go beyond the stage and can benefit you in your everyday life and work, and can help participants improve communication, build self-confidence, think more positively, embrace collaboration, meet new people, and have more fun.

Then from 7 to 8 p.m., ‘Extra Credit: Educational Comedy for the Short Attention Span’ will be in full swing. This particular showcase will feature short, comedic performances with an educational spin through improv, stand-up, storytelling, dance, and music.

To finish the experience on a high note, the festival will close out on April 6 with ‘Study Hall: Comedy Inspired By Lectures’ from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. This long-running comedy show mixes real lectures with improv comedy to create a show that is “both entertaining and educational.”

All performances during the festival will take place at Theatre Exile, 1340 S. 13th St. For tickets to these events and more, visit Note, there are also a limited number of Pay What You Decide tickets available through Philly Theatre Week.